Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chemo Continues until September

Happy July 4th weekend and the weather is lovely!
I went for the CT report on Wednesday (6/28). Some tumors have shrunk and some have grown so it's back on chemo til Sept. anyway when another CT scan will let the doctors know what comes next. Thanks for your continued prayers. We expect to go to Oklahoma when Jacob is born in mid August and the doctor assured me that would be a priority.
Hugs and Blessings--

Saturday, June 19, 2010

6 down, CT scan to go

OK pick yourself up off the floor. I know it has been several months since the last entry -- end of January to be exact. I had to read that lengthy thing to find out where I left off. That hospital visit was followed by another at the beginning of February for low blood count of some kind. Soon after that, the Chautauqua County Home informed us that my Mom's lungs were filling with fluid and her organs were beginning to shut down. We went to see her once, sometimes twice a day until February 21. My prayer had been that she would die peacefully and that we would be with her. On that Sunday we arrived at 4:00p.m. and at 4:30 she simply stopped breathing without a struggle of any kind. As she had done with Dad, we prayed the Hail Mary several times "now and at the hour of our death". Our prayers had been answered and we knew she would now know life in fullness once again -- better than ever. The day after her funeral in Rochester, I attended a retreat for women with cancer in Niagara Falls which was a great experience with time to process all that had happened. In mid-March Suzi was home during her school's break for almost a week. Then came Easter and I never seemed to catch up with life and here we are in mid-June. I finished this last series of chemo treatments and will have a CT scan on Tues. June 22 with a follow-up check up and meeting with my oncologist on Wed. June 30. I hope and pray to be able to begin a joyful July with no more chemo please and thank you for your prayers as well. And then on to moving Greg to Case Western University Law School in Cleveland and being a grandma in August with a trip to Oklahoma to meet baby Jacob before school begins again. So there you have it -- the mid-year update. I will attempt to do a July 1 report. Until then, may sunshine dance on your path day by day. Happy Fathers Day tomorrow to all Fathers and Happy summer on Monday to everyone!
Love and Bunny Hugs,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy New Year and 1 Down, 5 To Go

Hi Blogster Buddies!!
We hope everyone had as enjoyable a Christmas celebration as we had. Can't believe the month of January is almost done too.
On the medical scene, I had a CT scan on Dec. 4. At my Dec. 9th check up and what I thought would be the beginning of the same chemo regimen, I was told that the Topotecan (the toucans) didn't work as well as hoped and I would begin another combination of chemo drugs - Cisplatin which I had the first time and Gemzar which I haven't had yet. It would be given 2 weeks on and two weeks off for 6 sessions, basically 6 months. They wanted to begin on Dec. 16th but that would mean I would have to go for the 2nd session on Dec. 23rd, the day Greg, Suzi and Jason were scheduled to arrive for Christmas. I asked if we could begin on Dec. 30 and they OK'd it. On Sat. Dec. 19th I was getting ready for bed and noticed a stream of blood coming from my left ear. Most people get bloody noses. Of course, I wanted to be different and have a bloody ear. I called Roswell to see if I should go to the ER but they said it would stop and just make an appointment the next week with my primary care dr. So I stuck some cotton in my ear and saw one of the doctors in the group I go to the following Monday (12/21). He said it was an external ear infection and prescribed some drops to put in for a week. Actually Dave put them in every morning and evening. Drainage continued to come out and the pressure gave me a headache so that I had to take Ibuprofin every 5 hours. When I went back for the follow-up, I told the dr. that I didn't think the drops did the trick because the drainage continued and was now more orangish. He took a sample to send to a lab, put me on penicillan for 10 days and sent me to an ear, nose and throat dr. The lab said it was streptococus-pneumonocus (don't think that was it exactly but it sounded like that to me.) The e/n/t dr. said I had a small hole in my eardrum which may have been good because it let the yuk out. The hole would heal. Because I had the ear infection, I could not begin the chemo because you can't have it when you have an infection. So I did finally begin on Jan. 13 and 20 to complete my first round. I am now on 2 weeks off and will have the next round on Feb 10 and 17. Side effects are minimal, mostly tiredness.
Last Sat. (1/23), I woke up at 5:30am to visit the BR and went down on all 4's. Still not sure if I passed out for a few seconds but I got up, went to the Br but had to hurry back to bed as I couldn't stand for very long. I slept another couple of hours hoping that feeling would go away. It didn't. I was fine sitting or laying down, but couldn't stand for very long. Called Roswell again and they told me to go to primary care dr. or ER. My dr.'s office has Sat. morning appts. but they couldn't fit me in so we went to Westfield ER around 2:30. They said I was anemic and had some internal bleeding. They could not take care of me there so I went by ambulance to St. Vincent's Hospital in Erie, PA., about an hour away from Fredonia. I never rode in an ambulance before so that was a new experience. I had to be on complete bed rest and couldn't get up for anything, even though the br was 3 feet from the bed. Couldn't have anything to eat except clear liquids until Monday night. On Sunday they did a dopler test on my legs and found there were some blood clots in the lower leg. On Monday they put a scope down to my GI track and found an ulcer most likely caused by the Lovenox injections I have been giving myself since March when a blood clot in the abdomen was discovered - common after surgery. I also have been taking low dose asprin for several years on the advice of my dr. to prevent heart attacks. The combination of the two blood thinners most likely caused the ulcer so I'm off asprin for good, off the injections for two weeks until Roswell decides when I need to go back on. The ulcer should heal in a couple of weeks. I'm taking a generic protonix med now for the ulcer (anti-acid drug). On Tues. they inserted a filter in my groin which will prevent any blood clots from going to my lungs. That's a good thing. I was released on Wednesday and got home about 3:30p.m., so happy to be home. Dave had a lovely bunch of daisies on the table for me, my favorite flower. I'm feeling better every day and will return to work on Monday. So that's this month's kind of long update.
Thank you for your continued prayers for both Dave and I. Got us through another hurdle. Always does. Always will. Have a happy heart all through February!
Love, Bunny Hugs and Blessings--

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Surprise!

Hi Blog People!!
It's still November so I thought I would sneak in an update and wish everyone a belated Thanksgiving. I was hoping to get it out before, but you know me. Forget that! As you can see from the picture, we were blessed to have all 4 (Pete is of course included) children home for Thanksgiving and brother Ken.
We did not expect Suzi and Jason as right along they said it was so close to Christmas and so costly to fly and Jason had school Mon. and Tues., but they surprised us and walked in with Greg on Wednesday afternoon. They left on Saturday and though the time was short, we enjoyed and made the most of every minute!
On the medical scene, I have finished the first round of 8 chemo sessions with Topotecan. One time I had to follow up with an infusion of 2 pints of blood because my hemoglobin was low, another time I couldn't get the chemo because my white blood cell count was too low, so it just pushed everything down a week. I had the last session on Nov. 18th with a follow up of 1 pint of blood on the 20th. Now I have 2 weeks off with the next appointment on Dec. 9th for blood work, physical, and the first of the next round of 8 chemo sessions. I expect there will be a CT scan soon to see how well the toucans have done their work.
In my last entry, I spoke about my increase in appetite due to taking a drug called Megaise or Megastrol. That has continued and I gained 14 lbs. in 2 months which is almost all I lost. My energy thus returned and I'm feeling much better than the days when eating was not at all enjoyable and such a struggle. Now I have to watch it so I don't gain 7-10 lbs. every month!
Chances are I won't be adding to the blog until next year, so we wish you all a very peaceful Advent season and joyful, meaningful Christmas. Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement and concern over these months. That reinforces any medication I take big time!
Love and Bunny Hugs--
Teri :]

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Autumn! and 1 down, 7 to go!

Hi Blog Buddies if there are any left. I just got first place in the worst blogmaster in the universe contest. It's been a while and now we are into my favorite season of autumn. Pumpkins, leaves changing colors, grape fragrance from the vineyard.... on and on.

So my story continues. I did have the CT scan on 9/9 but the dr. appt. scheduled for the following Fri. (9/11) was changed to Mon. (9/14). That appt. confirmed that I still had enlarged lymph nodes but my dr. was not there to discuss my treatment plan so we had to go back on Wed. (9/16). I had not seen my surgeon/oncologist since the day of surgery in Feb. He was very sure that the next step would be more chemo with a different drug -- Topotecan (toe-poe-TEE-kan). It sounds like an African bird to me, like a toucan, and I visualize him eating all the nasty cells. I had a choice of going to Roswell every day for 5 days, then having 16 days off, then repeating that cycle or going once a week for 8 weeks. I chose the once a week. My first infusion was last Wed. (9/23) and took only a half hour compared to the 5 - 8 hours I had for two days with the last regimen. Of course I need to have blood work first and a preliminary infusion for hydration and medication to prevent nausea so we were actually there for about 2 hours. At the end of the 8 weeks or possibly before, a CT scan will be ordered to see how things are going. After 8 weeks I will have 3 weeks off, then start again if needed for as long as needed. I must say the side effects are minimal compared to what I had before, at least so far.
The pharmacist was also at our meeting with the doctor and she ordered something to increase my appetite which was still quite poor. I never got hungry and had a hard time thinking about food let alone eating it. After 4 days on the medication, I notice my appetite returning which is great as this has been a struggle for the last 6 months since eating is not an option.
So that is the update for this month. We appreciate your continued prayers and wish you a wonder-filled fall season!
Bunny Hugs--
Teri :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

7 Down, ? to Go!

August Greetings to all!
This summer seems to be moving along at a rather alarming rate! Suzi returned to Oklahoma on August 5th and has already started teacher professional development days. Kids start coming on Wed. (8/12). We in the east have almost another month to go, but this has been a much cooler summer than usual which is fine with me, especially this year.
I did have my last scheduled chemo on 7/29 and 30. But the CT scan just before it shows that I still have some enlarged lymph nodes so I have another CT scan on 9/9/09 with an oncologist visit on 9/11 to determine what comes next. Possibly more chemo. At least I have 6 weeks off this time instead of 3, so I should have a couple of feel-almost-normal weeks in there. Whatever happens, I know you'll be praying and I'm always expecting miracles.
Peter Rabbit, my trusty side-kick, is now 3 years old. He made it through the terrible twos which weren't terrible at all. Greg called on his birthday in July and played "Happy Birthday" on his banjo. Pete was delighted! Of course we had carrot cake :).
Love and Bunny Hugs--

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pics from The Ride for Roswell

Here are some pictures to go with my last posting.
Here we are with our friends Mike and Lynn.

We were happy to have the family all together for the Ride!