Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's All Good

Just wanted to let you all know that the CT scan came back and it showed "No Abnormalities!"




YEAH! Woo-Hoo! and Yipee!



The Dr said that if I continue to have headaches they will do an MRI because apparently CT scans don't show everything.



I am still having headaches so when I go back to the Dr in January I will probably have an MRI scheduled.



Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. You guys are seriously the greatest!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Secret

I have a secret.




Something that very few people know about.



I'm not sure why I haven't talked about it on my blog. My blog is my release of sorts. Writing makes me feel better. I think part of me is scared. Part of me is nervous. And part of me thinks I'm just being silly.



So here goes, my secret is, last Friday I had a CT scan of my brain. I have been having really bad headaches for the last month or so and I decided it was time to tell the Dr about it. He scheduled a CT scan right away.



I am still waiting on the results. I hate waiting. Waiting is the hardest part.



Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as we wait for the results.



Please pray that my headaches are just sinus related issues and nothing more.



Please pray that the results will be in today! I am so sick of the waiting!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grateful

Tonight, as I was reading Sally's latest post, she discussed how fragile life is.




These past three months have really made me realize how true that statement is.



Life is fragile. Live it. Love it. And make the most of it.



I feel like I really have. Especially lately.



I don't always have a lot of energy and I spend at least one night a week nauseous, but I am enjoying life right now. I am enjoying my kids and I am trying to make the most out of my life.



Sally mentioned this family in her post. After reading his mother's journal, I bawled.



This precious little angel was diagnosed on April 11 2008 with advanced stage IV lymphoblastic bcell lymphoma. He passed away last week. I can not imagine the pain that this mother is feeling. Michael was only 7 years old.



Reading his story made me realize that I am grateful. I am grateful that I am the one fighting this battle with cancer and not my children. Yes, it's been rough on me, but having to watch either of them go through this would just be to hard. I love them way to much.



So a big thank you to God. Thank you for making me fight this battle and not my children. I will beat it. I will watch them grow. I will live a long, long time. Because I have to and because I have two beautiful children to live for.



Thank you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Feeling Good

I have a secret.




Something that very few people know about.



I'm not sure why I haven't talked about it on my blog. My blog is my release of sorts. Writing makes me feel better. I think part of me is scared. Part of me is nervous. And part of me thinks I'm just being silly.



So here goes, my secret is, last Friday I had a CT scan of my brain. I have been having really bad headaches for the last month or so and I decided it was time to tell the Dr about it. He scheduled a CT scan right away.



I am still waiting on the results. I hate waiting. Waiting is the hardest part.



Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as we wait for the results.



Please pray that my headaches are just sinus related issues and nothing more.



Please pray that the results will be in today! I am so sick of the waiting!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Results Are In

On Wednesday I went to the surgeon to have 2 moles removed.




He removed 3.



Apparently, they were so close together and I was already numb he just went ahead and took the third one off too.



Works for me.



Less of a chance for a problem later on.



The results came in today.



Of course I was napping when they called.



But Cody was home and answered the phone.



Two of the moles came back fine.



The other mole showed some atypia, but it was all removed so nothing more needs to be done.



I am finally on top of things.



I am finally ahead of the game.



I am finally beating this thing!



Go Mama!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still Love Me?

Would you guys think less of me if I was considering hiring a cleaning lady? I would say it's all hypothetical, but, well, it's not. I really am thinking about it.




I looked around my house this week and realized how gross it really is. It's picked up, but when you really start looking around you start to notice how dusty and grimy it actually is. My husband does a super job with the kids, but a housekeeper he is not.



Today I had a lady come over to give me an estimate to clean and I was EMBARRASSED by how dusty it is!



I'm a pretty clean person. I just don't have the energy to clean the house. When I do have energy I want to spend it playing with my kids, not cleanig the house!



I've only had two estimates so far but they seemed reasonable. (Those of you around here, do you have any names and numbers you could give me?)



The bad part is that we know we will have medical bills coming in, so is it something that we can really justify? Ok, so is it something that Cody can really justify? I already have! I am willing to do without things just so I can have a cleaning lady.



Food? Totally overrated.



Milk? Not that important.



Toilet Paper? Really? Do we need it?



See, totally justified:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Please Come Help Me

Yesterday I started the shots.




I was tired, but hey, I'm used to that. I'm a mom on chemo! I can handle the tired.



It's the nausea that I can't stand!



Yesterday I was nauseous on and off. It would come and go.



Today however I am EXTREMELY nauseous.



I have some Reglan which seems to work well on the nausea, however it totally knocks me out. I am home, by myself, with the kids. Can't really be knocked out.



I have some samples of a drug called Anzemet. I have never taken it so I am a little nervous about taking it when I am home, alone, with the kids.



I think, for now, I am going to deal with the nausea and just wait for Cody to call and tell me he is almost home. Then I will take the Anzemet and see how I do.



I thought life would be better on the shots.



Life, so far, is not better. Nausea and fatigue are no way to live.



I can't do this for the next 11 months. There is no way.



I will miss out on everything.



This makes me angry.



I am scared that Kyler and Ella will some day remember that I missed out on everything.



I am scared that Kyler is not going to be a mama's boy any more.



I am scared that Ella is not going to be a mama's girl any more.



I am scared that Kyler is never going to be potty trained!



I am scared that Kyler will go to preschool and not know what all the other kids know.



I am scared that Ella is never, EVER going to sleep through the night!



Ok, so some of those had nothing to do with cancer or treatment, they are however, things that I have been freaking out about. Please feel free to tell me that everything with be ok.



Pretty please?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Today is it.






My last day of IV Interferon!



Do you even know how excitied I am? Extremely!





No more sitting at the Cancer Center with an IV in my arm for several hours.





No more IV in my arm at night.





No more trying to take a shower with an IV in my arm.





No more DAILY trips to the Cancer Center.





No more extreme nausea! (I hope)





No more extreme fatigue! (I hope)





Yay! If I could drink a glass (bottle) of wine, believe me I would! Feel free to help me out in that area:)




Yesterday Aunt A joined me for my treatment. She drove all the way from Kansas City to join me (for those of you that don't know-KC is about 3 hours away!) Thank you so much Aunt A for joining me. I know yesterday was not a fun day-I had blood work, Drs appt and treatment-so having you join me meant a lot.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Rough One

Treatment today was rough.




Sometimes when I have a treatment my arms get achy. It's an odd feeling. It's like I can't stretch my arms out far enough. It's an awful feeling.



Today was the worst.



The absolute worst.



So bad that I had tears in my eyes.



They gave me Tylenol, didn't help.



Gave me ibuprofen, didn't help.



Finally called in a prescription for Lortab. Of course, I couldn't take that because I didn't have it.



I'm just sick of all of this. I am ready for it to be over. Only 3 more of this type of treatment. I am SO ready.



The aching in my arms is awful.



It's not painful, per say, just annoying and there is nothing I can do about it.



It's just so frustrating. What's even worse is that I can tell when it is going to start and I can't stop it.



Please pray that my last three treatments go quickly and painlessly. I need that right now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Good One

This weekend was a good weekend. I had to take nausea medicine all weekend, but apparently I am either used to being exhausted or it just doesn't make me as tired as I thought it did.








I was able to hang with my kids, attend church, make a quick trip to Kohl's, and nap. Good times, good times!





My treatment was moved to the morning today because of Labor Day. So while Cody and I sit here for treatment, Grandma Penny has taken the babies to the zoo.





In all of Kyler's excitement to head to the zoo, he decided that he needed to pick out his outfit to wear. Imagine if you will, shorts and a t-shirt, stocking cap, belt, tennis shoes, and a pink baseball cap on top of the stocking cap. Yep, he looked adorable. I swear he does not get his fashion sense from me. It's all from his father.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oen More

I only have one more week left of this type of hell.




Then begins a whole new type of hell.



After next week, I will start shots three times a week for the next 11 months. I am not happy about this. Come to find out I will have to go to the Dr's office and wait.



I have two little kids. I do NOT have the time to sit in a Dr's office 3 times a week for the next 11 months. Can you imagine? I am so mad about this. I have a Dr's appt next Thursday and I will be discussing alternatives with him. This is just not going to work.



I have already asked about giving myself the shot at home and my insurance will not cover it. I asked about home health care, my Dr won't approve it. I asked about having the shots at my family physicians office and my Dr won't approve that either.



Surely my Dr understands the difficulty of this, he has 7 kids after all! Maybe his wife would come over and watch Kyler and Ella and I will go have the shots!



This whole thing just irritates me. I haven't been able to enjoy my kids for the past month. Now I have to take even more time away from them. It's just annoying.



I keep trying to tell myself that it could be worse, but it's hard to do that. Especially with all this anger I have towards cancer and myself. If I would have gone to the Dr last summer when I first saw this spot I wouldn't be going through all of this. I kick myself every.single.day for that. I should have known better. I definitely know better now!



I hope that you all will learn from me. If you have something that you are unsure about go, Run, don't walk, to the Dr. Just get it looked at. I don't want you to have to go through this. It sucks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bye Bye Pump

Today I packed away my pump.




I know a lot of mommies don't enjoy pumping. For some odd reason, I didn't mind it.



I loved the fact that my body was able to make all that milk. I was constantly in awe of what I could do. Of what I could produce. I wasn't ever able to make much milk with Kyler so I was thrilled that I could make so much with Ella.



Not a day goes by that I don't want to grab Ella and nurse her. The thought of never again being able to breastfeed hurts my heart. It hurts so bad.



We've already used all of February and March milk and are currently on April. I realize that the reason I was pumping was so that we could use the milk, however, the fact that we are almost through April's milk is killing me. I hate using it. I hate that my supply is almost half gone. I just want to scream at Cody when I see him thawing it out! Stop, don't use it all!



However, I also don't want formula going into my baby girl either. I know, I'm hard to please!



After lots of research, I discovered that Interferon is not safe to breastfeed on. Even if Interferon was ok, I am on so many other drugs that I run the risk of hurting Ella. That is not something I am willing to risk.



When I was pregnant or breastfeeding I was always one of those "anti-drug" mamas. I never took medicine unless I absolutely had to. Tylenol was about as crazy as I got. Now I have so many medications pumped into my body I probably couldn't name them all. I don't like that. Especially since all these medications are making me feel WORSE!!! I realize that I have to take them to make me better in the long run. But seriously, do they have to make me feel like shit? Uggg, I am so sick of these headaches and the nausea. I can't function. I can't even glance around the room without wanting to puke. Not a fun feeling, not a fun feeling at all!



Please pray that these next 9 days of treatment fly by. I am SO ready to be done with this! I just want to feel normal again!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Changed My Mind

Remember how I bragged that Sunday was my new favorite day?




Well, I lied! Yesterday was awful. I mean AWFUL!



On Friday they switched my nausea medicine because we thought that was the reason my arms and legs were so achy. That wasn't the reason. They still ached AND I was sick all weekend.



I have nausea pills to take, which I took all weekend, but those just make me want to sleep. So, instead of being able to play with my little ones, I was in bed most of the weekend.



I feel so bad that my husband has had to take on so much. Not only is he playing the role of daddy, but mommy too. I hope he realizes how much I appreciate everything that he has been doing. I have not been an easy person to live with. Thank you honey for everything. Some day I will make this up to you. Some day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Halfway Point

Does anyone know what day it is?




Huh?



Anyone?



It's the half way point baby! I am half way done with my treatment.



WOO HOO!!



These last few weeks have sucked. Majorly sucked! But I made it. It has not been an easy process. However, I knew that it wouldn't be. I knew that this was going to be the hardest battle I have ever had to fight.



I knew that I would be miserable. I knew that I would be tired. Honestly, the way that I am feeling is actually better than what I thought it would be.



I'm still angry. So very angry with cancer. I think that is going to take some time to get over. But I think given the circumstances I am entitled to being a little angry. Right?



One good thing has come out of these stupid treatments.



More blogging time! Lots more blogging time! Thank heavens for laptops!!



Thank you all for your comment love. You have no idea how much your wonderful comments mean to me. Some days during my treatment, if I am to sick to really write about anything I go through and read your comments. I know, I know, kind of dorky, but they really do make me feel better.



Since today is the halfway point, feel free to drink a glass of wine for me. If I could, I would!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Nurse or Not?

Most of you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding.




Enjoyed is probably to light of a word.



I loved it.



Ella loved it.



All was going great. And then we hit a road block. A road block called cancer.



Stupid cancer.



Last Monday was my last day to nurse Ella. She, of course, had no idea that it would be our last time.



No clue.



I told her, I tried to prepare her, but alas, she didn't listen.



Instead, she continues to scream when I try to give her a bottle.



She tries to bite my boob through my shirt, and trying to get her to nap has been pure torture.



I hate that I can't nurse. I hate that I can't calm her down. I hate that I can't get her to sleep. I hate that I am still producing milk by the buckets.



I knew that I was making a lot of milk, but seriously, this is crazy. I am still needing to pump once a day or else I am in some major pain. I hate that too.



When Ella was around a month old I started pumping and storing. I have a TON of milk stored up. Which ended up being a blessing in disguise. Even though I am not nursing her myself she is still getting breast milk. But let's face it, I wasn't breastfeeding her solely for the benefits of the breast milk. I was nursing her because it was something that Ella and I could do together and nobody could take it away from me.



And then someone did. Cancer stole it from me. Stupid cancer. It should not have the right to do that. It really shouldn't. It took away something that was precious, a bond that I loved.



I know it could be worse. It could have taken away me. Now that would be bad. I suppose I should be happy that all cancer has taken from me right now is breastfeeding. Even though I wish it would not have stolen that from me, it could have been so much worse. Hopefully, Ella will decide that taking a bottle from mommy is an ok thing to do. For now I'll just keep trying.



I was able to nurse her for 7 months. That is 3 months longer then I nursed Kyler. 7 months isn't too bad. It's not 5 years, but it's something right?



Now I'm curious about all of you.



Did you nurse? If so, how long?



If you chose not to nurse would you mind sharing why you made that choice?

A Surprise Guest

Today my husband set up a surprise guest to join me during my treatment.








He told me that he had a surprise but didn't tell me what that surprise was. Then, in walks my friend, Lyn-z. Have you visited her blog yet? You really should. She has two adorable little girls that always manage to bring a smile to my face.





Lyn-z and I went to college together, were bridesmaids in each others weddings, and still manage to email back and forth.





I am very grateful to my husband for emailing her, and very grateful to Lyn-z for joining me for a few hours today. I didn't realize what a difference it would make to have someone there with me.





Thank you so much Lyn-z for hanging out with me today. I loved catching up with you and hope you will be able to do it again next week. Sorry guys, no pics, maybe next time though.







Since I don't have a picture of Lyn-z and I, I will leave you with a picture of my awesome new shirt. (Ok, so instead of writing shirt I accidentally wrote shit-hee, hee, hee) Anyway, I should have ordered one of these shirts for everyday of the week!!



Because seriously-CANCER SUCKS!!



(These shirts came from Choose Hope)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why, Why I Ask?

Could someone explain to me why in the world God chose me to be the bloggy spokesperson for Melanoma?




Also, would someone mind talking to him about the whole killing cancer process?



Because let me tell ya, this blows big time. It blows so much that I am seriously considering never, ever going outside in the sun again. And tanning beds? Yeah, that will happen, oh, NEVER!



The treatment makes me dizzy, sick to my stomach, gives me a headache, makes me tired yet at the same time I can't sleep for anything. It pretty much just sucks.



I know that I am doing this so that I can be around a very long time. I get that. Even though I hate every single second of this, I know there is a means to an end. I get it, I really do. However, that does not help the simple little fact that this freakin' sucks!



What makes me really angry is that even though I am doing this so that I can play with my kids in the future, it is definitely preventing me from playing with them right now. That's been hard on all of us.



After my treatments I can't do anything but lay in bed. I am just to sick. I'm not strong enough to hold Ella and I certainly can't hold Kyler.



I've tried laying on the couch so that I could at least be around them, but then of course they only want mama and since I can't really function, laying on the couch doesn't really work.



I really want to be able to do stuff at home, but I just can't. I hate having to rely on other people. But I just don't have a choice. I hate it when I don't have a choice. I need a choice. In this case I choose to make this cancer go far, far away so that I can spend some much needed time with my precious angels.



I do feel quite blessed to have such precious angels to come home to after my treatments. In that sense I feel very lucky. I am also lucky that my precious angels are young enough that they will not remember how sick mommy has been and that she really has been neglecting them.



I hope that someday, Kyler and Ella will look back at this blog and think, huh I don't remember my mommy ever neglecting me. I don't want them to remember these bad times. Only the good. It's bad enough that I will NEVER forget these bad times. I couldn't handle it if I knew that it would be stuck in their minds forever also.





*BTW, I have been updating the Cancer Journey link on the sidebar daily. They are just short and sweet little notes about how the treatment went that day. Feel free to check it out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One Week Down...

...only 3 more weeks to go!!








Yes, I know 3 weeks is a long time, however, it is one less week than when I started this whole process.





I simply MUST look at it that way. Otherwise, I will not make it through. And I will make it through. I will. I know I will. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have said that I am done. I quit. However, my family will not let me do that. Which really is a good thing, I guess.

Today my dad has joined me during the treatment. It's nice just to have someone by your side. Even if all we do is play on our computers or watch reruns of The Cosby Show. Ahh, yes, good times folks.

Thank you Pops for joining me today. I appreciate your support. Thank you for being the strong one through all of this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Here I Sit...

....with a needle in my arm.




Wondering why in the world I have to go through all of this. Amanda mentioned that she would have just skipped it. Don't think that thought didn't cross my mind. It did. It crossed my mind, oh, maybe a BILLION times.



Screw the treatment. I'll just skip it. Hide out at home. Nobody will be any the wiser right? Wrong! I have to be here so that I can be here. Does that make any sense?



I have to be here, because I want to be around for many, many years.



I have to here so that I can chase off the girls that want to date my baby boy.



I have to here so that I can show my boy how to treat a lady.



I have to here so that I can show my boy that girls really do know how to throw a football.



I have to here so that I can show my baby girl how to put on her makeup.



And do her hair.



And discuss boys.



And show her how to shave her legs.



And show her how to throw a softball like a real woman does.



I have to be here because my husband needs me. (He has no idea how to balance the checkbook, pay the bills, or where the cleaning supplies are!)



I have to be here because my husband is my rock.



I have to be here so that I can be here for many more years to come.



Hopefully, I will get over this anger soon. Just writing this post has helped me. It has shown me a lot of good reasons to be here.



Yes it sucks.



Yes it ticks me off.



But, I just have to be here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The First Day

Today is it.




The big day.



The first day of my Immunotherapy treatment.



I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I am. Very scared.



I am scared of what this treatment is going to do to me.



How will my body react?



Will I be able to function? Will I be able to take care of my kids? Will I be able to take care of myself?



I am also sad. Sad that today is the last day that I can breastfeed my precious little princess. No, I haven't really been weaning. I don't want to stop. I enjoy nursing her. She enjoys it also. It's not fair. None of this is fair.



I'm not sure what I have cried more over. Quitting breastfeeding or beginning treatments.



Maybe I have shed tears over both evenly.



Please think of and pray for me today as I begin this stupid journey to kick cancer's ass. I know that I will win. I have no doubts about that. I am just scared to go through hell and back to beat it.



I am so lucky to have my family and friends with me as I begin this. Thank you all for that.

Update on Today

The first treatment went ok. I cried alot, but the nurse was wonderful, my husband was strong, and the other ladies having chemo were all very sweet.




I am feeling ok. I am very tired and my head is pounding. They gave me Bendryl to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction, they gave me some nausea medicine, and they also gave me Tylenol because the nausea medicine causes headaches. The Tylenol is so NOT working!



I am currenty laying in bed watching Gossip Girl and reading blogs. BTW, does anyone watch that show? Interesting show.



Anywoo, just wanted to let you all know that I am doing ok. Tired, but ok. Thank you all for your phone calls, emails, and comments. You really know how to make a girl feel loved:)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My (stupid) Journey With Cancer

This post is mainly for me.




I want to be able to look back in a year and see how much I have gone through.



I want to see how much stronger this stupid cancer has made me.



I plan to update it regularly as I make this stupid journey. I think I will put it as a link on the side.



I would love it if you left a positive comment for me. This helps me in two ways:

1-when ever I come in to update this I will be able to read all the wonderful comments, and

2-I love comments:)



See, it's a win-win situation:)



2/11/10- MRI came back clear, PET scan showed a 1.4 cm mass of melanoma in the left hip region, go here and here, also had incision checked since it still has not healed. Apparently new skin has grown up and is not allowing the incision to close. Nurse place silver nitrate on the new skin to get rid of some of the new skin.



2/10/10- returned to MD Anderson for PET scans and MRI of brain



12/9/09- incision became infected, went to ER, started antibotics, came back as E Coli



12/2/09- surgery to remove tumor in left thigh area



11/11/09-MDA PET scan and MRI, MRI was clean, PET showed that the remaining tumor was growing, no new spots on PET, Dr found a mole on my skin, and wanted it removed. Came back clean.



9/09- surgery to remove tumor in right thigh area



8/5-8/12 leave for MD Anderson for 6th and LAST round of chemo!!! go here for Dr visit



8/4 labs



7/31 labs



7/28 labs



7/15 leave for Houston; 5th round of chemo; go here; and here; go here



7/10 labs and appt with Dr Moore Jr



7/6 labs



7/2 labs



6/22- 9am labs, 10am chest xray, 11am Dr Bedikian, afternoon-admission to hospital for 4th round of chemo; go here



6/21-leave for MD Anderson

6/19-labs



6/16-labs



6/12- labs



June 9th- labs WBC at a 45!, hemoglobin at a 8.43, if it gets below an 8 will have to have transfusion



June 5th labs, WBC at a 1.3



May 27th- Appt with oncologist, one mass is gone, 3 masses remain, hard to compare size because first PET was done in Wichita and 2nd was done at MD, hospitalized for tx



May 26th-PET scan and MRI, MRI totally freaked me out, PET scan was a lot of wasted time waiting



May 25th- leave for MD Anderson via flight out of OKC



May 22nd- labs and appt with oncologist in town, worthless appt



May 19th labs



May 15th- labs



May 12th -labs



May 4th-10th- Hospitialized for chemo treatments



May 3rd- Family held fundraiser, $3000 raised! Left for MD Anderson via Corporate Angels



May 1st-labs



April 28th- Blood clot in arm, started Lovanox shots twice a day, 64 units, had to have CVC removed, it will be replaced on Monday at MD Anderson



April 13th-19th- Chemo in hospital, bad side effects, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness



April 13th- Blood work at 8am, CVC placed, appt with Dr Bedikian, admittance to hospital for at least 5 days



April 12th- Drove to Ponca City and caught a flight with the Corporate Angels, caught a ride to hotel with Ground Angels



April 8th- ECHO and stress test, drove home



April 7th- chest xray and PFT



April 6th- Appts at MD Anderson, 9:00 meet with Dr Bedikian, blood work, appt for introduction of my Central Venous Catheter



April 5th- Drove to Houston, TX.



April 3- PET scan at 5:45 AM



April 2-Appt with Dr Moore Jr. agreed that the Interferon wasn't working. He did not feel that any of the treatments in Wichita are what we need. He suggested we head to MD Anderson. I called MD as we left the office and left a message. Anita called back and they are able to get us into MD Anderson on Monday. Have to head back to Cancer Center for CT scan at 1pm.



March 31-87th shot, pathology report came in, all 3 spots are melanoma, appt set up at Cancer Center of America in Tulsa. Still waiting for nurse to fax paperwork to MD Anderson



March 28th- 86th shot



March 26th-85th shot, had spots removed, Dr felt they were probably maligant melanoma, should get the results early next week



March 25th-Appt with dermatologist, wants spot on the back and two lumps on the front removed, will do that tomorrow



March 24th- 84th shot



March 21st-83rd shot



March 19th-82nd shot



March 18th-sonogram on shoulder, tech thought it was cysts not blood clots



March 17th-81st shot, appt with Dr. Neidre for lumps



March 15th-Found one lump under my skin near my shoulder and another lump on the right side of my chest.



March 14th-80th shot



March 12th-79th shot, appt with Dr, talked about muscle pain-Dr suggested going off treatment for a week, but I told him no, gave prescription for 800 mg Ibuprofren to help with muscle pain, talked about pulmonary hypertension, may schedule an echo at next Dr's appt so that we have a baseline.



March 10th-78th shot



March 7th-77th shot



March 5th- 76th shot, appt with Dr- Dr had emergency so had to reschedule



March 3-75th shot, fatigue, muscle pain, labs done today, WBC were 4.3, RBC were 3.8, platelets look good



Feb 28th-74th shot



Feb 26th-73rd shot, muscle pain. Bruising where I am getting the shots on my right arm. Have become allergic to the adhesive on the bandaids.



Feb 24th-72nd shot, really tired, muscles are really sore, talked to nurse Alta about the increase in fatigue and apparently that is normal. I guess the longer I am on Interferon the more tired I will get. Great! I am only halfway done. By August all I will do is sleep!



Feb 21st-71st shot, tired (2/23-I am so tired today. I slept pretty well last night, yet I am so tired I can't keep my eyes open!)



Feb 19th-70th shot



Feb 17th- 69th shot, tired, grouchy



Feb 14th-68th shot



Feb 12th-67th shot



Feb 10th-66th shot, tired, nauseus, thirsty



Feb 8th-6 MORE MONTHS OF TREATMENT!!! HALFWAY DONE!!



Feb 7th-65th shot



Feb 5th-64th shot, tired, had a hard time sleeping last night, still sick, coughing up lots of gunk. Trying to drink lots of fluid.



Feb. 3rd-63rd shot, tired , have a cold from our trip. Probably should have brought a mask, but didn't think about that.



Jan 31sts-skipped shot because we were in Wisconsin.



Jan 29th-62nd shot, is that really possible? 62 shots? That sucks.



Jan 27th-61st shot, Cody is out of town, I'm on my own. Haven't been sleeping well lately. Kids have been really good even though I am tired. This weekend we have to go to a funeral in Milwaukee so I am going to have to skip my shot on Saturday. This will push my treatment back 2 days:( The nurse said I can't do two shots in a row, however I did a month long IV treatment of Interferon, 4 weeks in a row, 5 days in a row, so I am not sure why I can't do two shots in a row, but whatever.



Jan 24th- 60th shot



Jan. 22nd-59th shot, had to bring both kids with me to treatment today. They were good though. Kyler even pottied in the potty at the cancer center! Yay!



Jan 20th-58th shot, nauseus, tired



Jan 17th-57th shot



Jan 15th-56th shot



Jan 13th-55th shot, Ella is sick so she is home from MDO, tired, nauseus



Jan 10th-54th shot, tired



Jan. 8th-53rd shot



Jan. 6th-52nd shot-7 more months of treatment left! Almost halfway!



Jan. 3rd-52nd shot



Dec. 31st-51st shot



Dec. 30th-CT scan on abdomen. I have been feeling lumps on and off in my stomach and so a CT scan was scheduled. Results came back normal. The Dr thought it was just food moving through my intestines and since I have lost so much weight I can actually feel it.



Dec. 29th-50th shot



Dec. 27th-49th shot, nauseus this morning. Took some Zofran. CT scan results came back, showed no abnormalities.



Dec. 24th-48th shot, nauseus. I am so tired of nauseus around the holidays. Had to take Reglan and Zofran all week.



Dec. 22nd-47th shot, headache



Dec. 20th-46th shot



Dec. 19th-CT scan of brain



Dec. 18th-45th shot



Dec. 16th-44th shot, headache



Dec. 13th-43rd shot, headache, tired, some nausea



Dec. 11th-42nd shot, Dr appt, told him about headaches so he ordered a CT scan just to be safe, kindey function and liver function looked good



Dec. 9th-41st shot, nauseus, tired, labs, WBC-3.5-still low, RBC-low, platelets- 191-ok



Dec. 6th-40th shot, nauseus, headache



Dec 4th-39th shot



Dec. 2nd-37th shot , headache



Nov. 29th- 36th shot, would have stayed at my parents house another day, but had to come back for my shot. I hate having to rearrange my life around my shots.



Nov. 26th- 35th shot,



Nov. 24th- 34th shot, went in at 8:30 so I didn't have to wait forever!



Nov. 22nd-33rd shot



Nov. 20th- 32nd shot, appt with Dr. Moore today, approached for a trial, but Dr said it could weaken the affects of the Interferon, have lost 12 lbs, Dr isn't worried about weight loss or hair loss, talked to him about possibly being depressed, he felt it was probably more exhaustion-told me to get some sleep and see if that helps (it did!)



Nov. 18th- 31st shot-labs today-WBC are up a little bit-3.6, red blood cells are still low, platelets are good



Nov. 15th- 30th shot



Nov. 13th- 29th shot



Nov. 11th-28th shot, so tired. I can sleep all night and I still wake up exhausted! MIL thinks I could be dealing with a bit of depression. I think I'm just plain tired! Cody is in St Louis all week so it's just me with the kids. Exhausting!



Nov. 8th-27th shot



Nov. 6th-26th shot, Kyler's birthday!



Nov. 4th- 25th shot, really tired



Nov 1st-24th shot, everyone has flu at our house, nauseous and tired



Oct 30th-23rd shot, Nurse didn't get all the meds in so I had to be poked twice! Took the kids to the zoo afterwards.



Oct 28th- 22nd shot



Oct 25th-21st shot, nausea today



Oct 23rd- 20th shot



Oct 21st-Nineteenth shot. Light headed and dizzy today. Very tired.



Oct 20th- Appt with dermatologist to have a skin check. All looks good. Totally freaks me out when the Dr or a nurse asks me what my prognosis is. Ummm, I'm assuming I'm going to make it. Otherwise, why in the hell am I going through chemo! I fully intend on kicking cancer's ass. I have no other choice. I have two babies that need their mom. So I guess the next time someone asks what my prognosis is, I will tell them I am kicking cancer's ass right now so I guess my prognosis is pretty damn good!



Oct 18th- Eighteenth shot



Oct 16th- Seventeenth shot and appt with Dr. Discussed coralation between trying to do much and getting sick.



Oct 14th- Sixteenth shot and labs. WBC and RBC were low. That definitately accounts for some of my fatigue.



Oct 11th-Fifteenth shot



Oct 9th-Fourteenth shot



Oct 7th-Thirteenth shot. Had to take Reglan this weekend. Tired.



Oct. 4th-Twelfth shot.



Oct. 2nd-Eleventh shot. Still feeling good. Headaches but no nausea! Fatigue is getting better.



Sept 30th- Tenth shot. No more nausea! Headaches, but could be from allergies.



Sept 27th- Ninth shot. Went in early for shot so we could head to KC afterwards.



Sept. 25th- Eighth shot. Daddy is still gone. Tired, nausea. Friday-feeling pretty good. Was able to take a nap. Hopefully the nausea will go away now that I have been on lower doses for a week.

Sept. 23rd-Seventh shot. Daddy is gone and mommy is on her own!



Sept 20th- Sixth shot. Major headaches. Some nausea. Took some Zofran and I felt much better.



Sept 18th- Fifth shot. Appt with oncologist today. Asked about side effects. Main ones are nausea and fatigue. He agreed that I could not go on like this for the next 11 months so he lowered my dose of Interferon to half what I was getting. In stead of 18 million units I am now getting 9 millions units per shot. I have a splitting headache but so far no nausea (knock on wood!) He also gave me a perscription for Zofran. Luckily, my insurance covers most of it because they are about $100 a pill! Yikes! It only cost me $1 per pill. Chem panel and CBC came back and everything is looking good. Liver tests came back great. Whew, all that drinking in college isn't hurting me now!



Sept 17th- Appt with surgeon today to have 2 moles removed from my back. He went ahead and removed 3 since it was right there and I already numb. Back is sore now.



Sept 16th-Fourth shot. Dang it that hurt! I'm not a big fan of shots anyway and these suckers hurt! It's not the poke that hurts, its when they push the meds in. Ouch!

Tired and nauseous. Daddy is gone until Wednesday night so I am on my own. Better suck it up huh!



Sept 13th-Third shot. Not to bad. Saturdays I am able to get in and out pretty quickly. That's nice!



*Sept 12th-Feeling pretty good today also. Nauseous but took some Reglan. Now I'm just sleepy. Cody should be home this afternoon. Yay! Legs are a little achy. Going to take some ibuprofren and see if that helps.



*September 11th- Second day of shot treatment. The shot itself hurt like heck. Got it in my stomach. Ouch! Side effect wise I did pretty good. I was up from 7AM until 10:30PM without a nap. Of course this was not by choice, but you do what you gotta do.



*September 9th-First day of shot treatment. Feeling ok, just tired. Forgot to take Tylenol before treatment, luckily did ok with taking Tylenol right before shot. Talked to Nurse about WBC being so low, she said it is normal and nothing to worry about.



*September 5th- Twentieth day of treatment. This is it! No more IV Interferon-WOO HOO!



*September 4th- Nineteenth day of treatment. Pretty good day. Tired. Labs, dr appt and treatment today. White Blood Cells are low-3.3. Need to improve diet! Waited in Drs office for 2.5 hours. Set up shots to be done at injection station. Hopefully can get that moved to Cancer Center-would be much quicker!



*September 3rd-Eighteenth day of treatment. So far, so good. No achiness, just tired. Thank heavens today was better then yesterday. Could not have done that again. No nausea this morning. Reglan did wonders. Usually I wake up feeling nauseous, but I feel pretty good this morning. What a nice (and welcomed) change!



*September 2nd-Seventeenth day of treatment. Bad day. Achy arms, nausea, headaches. Gave me Reglan through IV. Seemed to help with nausea. Knocked me out. I actually slept during treatment-first time for that.



*September 1st- Sixteenth day of treatment. Last week of IV treatment. Pretty good weekend. Had to take nausea medicine all weekend, but felt pretty good. Treatment in the morning, we will see how I feel the rest of the day.



*August 29th-Fifteenth day of treatment. Nausea. The Aloxi just doesn't cut it anymore. The nurses think it is because I have so much of the Interferon in my system.



*August 28th-Fourteenth day of treatment. Nausea, headaches, fatigue. Arms and legs were achy at night. Tried the Lidocaine patches but didn't work. Got up, cleaned house, took a shower, and some Unisome. Slept until 9AM. Usually keep the IV in M-W, Th-F, however had her take it out because it was hurting. Nurse thinks she is right up along the wall of the vein. Ouch!



*August 27th-Thirteenth day of treatment. Major headache. Had to take Phenergan for nausea. Really tired.



*August 26th- Twelfth day of treatment. Major headache. Some nausea, had to take Phenergan.



*August 25th-Eleventh day of treatment. Dr appt today. Have lost a couple of pounds due to lack of appetite. Bloodwork came back ok. Major headache. Lots of nausea this weekend. Did Aloxi today for nausea. Went down to 12.5 mg of Benadryl in hope that my arms and legs won't be as achy. Last night did Lidocaine patches on my legs for the aching and that seemed to help.



*August 22nd-Tenth day of treatment. Halfway point!! Switched nausea medicine to see if that is the reason my arms are so achy (it wasn't-still got achy). Ended up needing Phenagren (nausea med) when I got home. Had to take it every day this weekend. Awful headaches.



*August 21st-Ninth day of treatment. Tired and kind of dizzy feeling. Talked to nurses about achy feeling and we are going to try something different for the nausea tomorrow. Feeling pretty good, esp compared to yesterday.



*August 20th-Eighth day of treatment. Bad, bad day. Very sick in the morning, had to take nausea medicine. Treatment made my arms and legs very achy. Came home and slept from 6PM until 8AM. Must have needed sleep.



*August 19th- Seventh day of treatment. Tired, so very tired. Little dizzy. 25 mg of Benadryl.



*August 18th- Sixth day of treatment. Had lab work and appt with oncologist today. Labs came back fine. Arms are very achy from the medicine. Such an annoying pain. Can't get my arms to stop aching.



*August 15th- Fifth day of treatment. 25 mg of Benadryl, got my dose of Aloxi (nausea medicine), less saline solution because my stomach is so bloated, hurt to breathe because of all the fluid that is being injected into my system. Ugggg! What an awful feeling. Little bit of dizziness and headaches. So tired. I was actually able to take a nap today without the aid of sleep medicine. That was nice. Will be asking for a prescription sleep med on Monday at Dr appt.



*August 14th- Fourth day of treatment. Only had 25 mg of Benadryl with a constant IV drip. Had to restick me today since the nurse removed the stint yesterday. Was very tired in the morning. Did ok for a couple of hours, then hit rock bottom. Really dizzy and light headed. Tummy is really upset. Fever has been right around 99.5. Very achy. Back and neck hurt like they are bruised. They aren't-Cody checked. Hopefully I will be able to sleep tonight.



*August 13th- Third day of treatment. Only had 25 mg of Benadryl instead of 50. Kept me on a constant IV of saline. I feel much better tonight then I did yesterday. Little dizzy and light headed. Tummy is a little upset. No desire to eat anything. Really tired but haven't been able to sleep. Apparently insomnia is a side effect of Interferon. Fever of 100.5 this morning.



*August 12th-Second day of treatment. The Benadryl made me really sick. Apparently I didn't have enough water before I went to treatment. I got really dizzy, the room started spinning, and I felt sick. They gave me saline through the IV for awhile and that seemed to help. Came home and went straight to bed. I had the shakes-bad. My back and neck hurt really bad because I was shaking so bad. Can't sleep because of this awful headache. Still really tired but seem to have insomnia. This sucks!



*August 11th- First treatment is today. There has been a lot of crying today. Most while I have been at the Cancer Center. Side effects: So far I am just really tired. They gave me a lot of Benadryl, nausea medicine, Tylenol, and the Interferon. Totally drugged. Just want to sleep.



*August 4th-Set up treatments. I will begin August 11th. I will go in every week day at 2pm for the next four weeks to have an IV of Interferon. The treatment will last around 2 hours. I have some mixed emotions about all of this. But that is for another post.



*July 31st-Appt with oncologist-PET scan came back clear! YAY! The cancer has not spread. This is SUPER news! If it had spread it would not be a good situation. We discussed treatment options and really Interferon is the only way to go. We have to get rid of all cancer cells that may still be floating around in my body. 3 things showed up on the PET scan. My shin showed some type of bruise-big surprise I run into things all the time! My boobs lit up since I am still breastfeeding. That's pretty cool! And there were two moles on my back that showed up as developing into melanoma at some point. (I already have an appt scheduled with the surgeon to have those removed in Sept.)



*July 30th- Follow up appt with surgeon. Healing well. He went ahead and removed the two moles on my stomach. Surgeon called for CT and PET scan results. CT results came in while I was still there-It was clear!! YAY!



*July 29th-Had blood drawn this morning. Appt with Dermatologist this afternoon to have 2 moles removed on my stomach. Dermatologist refused to remove moles. Did not feel they were anything to worry about.



*July 28th-Had PET scan. Radioactive Glucose was injected into my body. Had to remain completely still for an hour an a half. It felt like FOR.EV.ER!



*July 25th-Had CT scan.



*July 24th-Met with oncologist. Wants me to have a CT scan and PET scan. He did not feel the cancer had spread but wants to make sure. If it has not spread I will start on a treatment plan of Interferon.



*July 21st- Surgeon called with test results. That's way to quick. The big mass of lymph nodes tested positive for melanoma, as did the one closest to it. The big mass was actually 3 lymph nodes that joined together to fight off the cancer. Most of the mass was fluid. Surgeon felt like we caught it right before it started to spread. Imagine if I would have gone in last year when I first found that stupid spot!



*July 18th-Had surgery. More was removed from the spot on my calf to check for melanoma and 6 lymph nodes were removed. Dr did not feel that the huge mass was cancerous. He sent all the lymph nodes off for testing. Will call when he gets the results. He said a longer wait was better.



*July 16th-Met with surgeon. Loved him. He was very positive. He did not feel that it had spread. Even said we could wait until August to have the surgery. I did not feel comfortable with that. Set the surgery up for Friday to have the lymph nodes in my groin removed.



*July 15th-Results came back. It was positive for Stage IV Melanoma. Dermatologist set up appts for me to visit with a surgeon and an oncologist.



*July 8th-Finally went to that appt with the dermatologist. He looked at the spot on my calf and predicted it was melanoma cancer. He removed the spot and sent it to a pathologist to look at.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

There's More..

....Good news that is!!








We met with the oncologist today to review the PET scan and CT scan. Guess what folks...









I AM CURRENTLY CANCER FREE!!!





Yes, I am currently doing back flips and dancing a bit of a jig (and drinking another bottle of wine!!)





I will still be going through treatment with Interferon. The first month is going to suck big time.

I will have an IV placed every day (Monday through Friday) for a month. The IV treatment will take around 2 hours. I am going to start this on August 11th. (I am pretty sure they have internet access, I will definitely be blog hopping that month!)

After the first month (20 days) I will have shots 3 days a week for 11 months.



The IV treatment is going to be the worse. It has quite a few side effects.

So don't be surprised, those of you that are close, when you get a phone call from me asking for help. I will probably need it.

It doesn't sound like the shots will be all that bad. I will head to the oncologists office and will probably be bringing the kids with me. But, you know what, I'm cancer free so I don't really care! Maybe it will even get me in quicker!

After the Interferon the chance of recurrence is around 30%. So not cool.

After all this it really should be less, right? But, this is currently the best treatment for Melanoma.

Kyler and Ella are both VERY happy to hear that their mommy is going to be around for many, many years.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

(Finally) Some Good News

I went to my follow up appt with the surgeon today (and yes he is still my BFF). He looked at my incisions and said they are healing nicely.










I also told him about a couple of moles that the oncologist wanted removed. However, yesterday when I went to the dermatologist he refused to remove them. I know, weird right? He said they weren't anything to worry about and wouldn't take them off.









The surgeon went ahead and took them off. That made me feel better.









He also had his nurse call and have the results of the CT scan and PET scan faxed to them. The CT scan came through while I was there and guess what.....









IT WAS CLEAR!!! NO CANCER IN MY BRAIN!!!









(and, yes, Cody, it did show that I had a brain)









This, my friends, is the best news I have heard all month!!









I am still waiting for them to call about the results from the PET scan. However, since it is now 6:30PM, I will not be finding out that news tonight.









That's ok.









Because if those come back and show it has spread it will totally ruin this high I am on!!









I do believe I will be enjoying a glass (bottle) of wine tonight in celebration. Maybe you guys would like to join me?





Here is Kyler kissing my boo-boos from the removal of the two moles today.



Isn't he a sweetheart!



I asked the Dr to give me a tummy tuck while he was at it. He wouldn't:(

Monday, July 28, 2008

Make A Difference Monday

Have you enjoyed a Diet Pepsi for me yet? Usually I have one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Oh how I miss this caffeine goodness. Please tell me that you all have enjoyed at least one for me this morning.




You guys have all heard me talk about the dear McMommy, right? Well today she did a post just for me. And guess what's even better, she is going to compile all the comments from this post and make a wonderful quilt for me to take to my treatments. I know this will give me the strength that I need to whoop this. I would love it if all of my wonderful readers would hop on over to McMommy's blog and leave a comment. It would mean so much to see your comments and your name on this quilt.



Wish me luck today during the PET scan. Tomorrow my day will begin with blood work, followed by an appt to the dermatologist to have three more moles removed. The oncologist didn't feel they were cancerous, however he didn't want them to become cancerous.



Wednesday I have a follow up appt with the surgeon and on Thursday we meet back with the oncologist to go over the CT scan and the PET scan. Best case scenario right now is that it only spread to those two lymph nodes. However, for some odd reason I feel that it has spread farther. I don't know why. It's just a gut feeling.



Please pray that my gut is wrong. I think I would be ok with being wrong this time!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What A Week!

This week we have been blessed with many visitors.




One of the visitors that stopped by was our Pastor from church. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about him stopping by.



Why?



Because honestly, I am mad. I am mad at God for making me go through all of this. Doesn't He know that I have two beautiful little children that really need me?



When our Pastor asked how my faith was right now, I just looked at him. Then I told him that it was pretty weak right now. I was happy to hear that my feelings are perfectly normal. I was a little embarrassed for exposing this weakness and this anger to my Pastor, but we are very blessed to belong to a wonderful church with wonderful people.



Our Pastor also asked how support was going outside of the church. Of course, I told him that my family and most of Cody's family has been very supportive.



I then mentioned my bloggy friends. At first he sort of looked at me like I was insane.



A blog?



What is that?



I explained what it is, and how most of you have kids around my kids age and even though you don't "know" what I am going through, you are so supportive.



Some of you even know how much I LOVE mail and how much it cheers me up.



This last week I went to get the mail, and found a package. I have been ordering cloth diapers (yes, I made the switch and I LOVE them, but more on that later) so I just figured that's what was in the package.



But I was wrong (hey, it happens every now and then-don't tell my husband though). It wasn't diapers. It was this awesome book, from the fabulous McMommy!! I would read the wonderful note to you, but I think I will keep that all to myself. I will tell you that it is on my fridge, and every time I get into the fridge I read these underlined letters: You Will Beat This! Since I tend to get into the fridge a lot, this is a wonderful reminder of the strength that I get from you guys.









The next day I went to get the mail and I had another package. Again, I thought they were the cloth diapers that I had ordered (which still have not come!!) but it was another package from a wonderful bloggy friend, Kristen. She sent some of my favorites, a magazine (to read while I wait in the Dr's office) some Double Stuffed Oreos (almost all gone!), a "bye-bye" for Kyler (which he is currently sleeping with) and some teething rings for Ella (she seems to enjoy them).













The next day this BEAUTIFUL flower bouquet was delivered from our friends Phoebe, Jaime, and Carter. No, they don't have a blog (but should). I did, however, write about our evening with them here.







I also received some beautiful flower arrangements from Kyler and Ella, Cody's work, and my Aunt and Uncle.



I really hope all of you know how much this means to, not only myself, but to Cody also.



I'll be honest. I cry every day. Night time is especially bad for some reason. But getting something like this from people that mean so much to me helps so much. I need this. I thrive on this.



Thank you all so much. We really need all the support that we can get. I am going to beat this. I HAVE to beat this. I refuse to leave my babies without a mommy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Plan of Attack

Today we met with the oncologist. He was ok. Not my new BFF by any means, but he was nice enough. He talked very quickly, and there was a lot of info to take in. I was very lucky to have my husband, mom, and dad there with me to help me take in all the info he was throwing out there. My husband did a wonderful job of taking notes. Thank you honey.




Here is the plan of attack on this nasty cancer thing:

I have a CAT scan scheduled for tomorrow. He did not feel it had spread to my brain, but he wants to cover all the bases. Works for me. I want to know.



I have a PET scan scheduled for Monday. Again, he didn't think it had spread but just wants to cover all the bases.



Want to know what I am dreading about the PET scan?



No SUGAR! Yep, folks that's right. I can't have ANY sugar or caffeine that day. How am I going to survive with my Diet Pepsi???



Oh, this is going to be tough.



Will everyone please drink a Diet Pepsi and think of me on Monday??!!



Oh, and get this, I can't be around my kids for 24 hours after the PET scan because of the radioactive dye that they shoot into me. That is also going to be difficult.



We are very lucky to have Cody's parents about 35 minutes away so they are going to take BOTH kids for the night!



A full night of sleep? YES!! Now that gets me all giddy!!



Ok, I'm done giggling with excitement about the thought of a full night of sleep.



Let's see, I also have to have some blood work done, then we will meet with the oncologist again next Thursday to go over the results.



Assuming that the cancer has not spread, I will begin treatment with the drug Interferon.



I will go into the clinic daily Monday through Friday for four weeks (20 total days) to receive a high dose Interferon intravenously (through the vein).



For the next 11 months, I will go into the the clinic 3 days a week for an injection under the skin. This is just a simple shot, and if insurance will cover it, I can do it at home. However, he said very rarely will insurance okay this.



At this time Interferon is really the only thing that works against Melanoma.



From the research, the side effects seem to be pretty low. Nausea, vomiting, depression (no shit), and fatigue.



But, the good thing-I won't lose much hair. I was pretty excited about that. (I did just buy a pretty expensive straightener!)



I am very nervous about all of this. I'm not quite sure how I am going to go in for daily treatments and still take care of two little ones.



The Dr said the first month is the worst because I have all of these drugs coursing through my body.



I am lucky to have my mother and father in law close by and my parents who are willing to drop everything to be here for me.



I am also lucky to have wonderful friends that are close by to help out.



I have always struggled with asking for help.



I think I am going to have to suck it up and ask.



Keep praying that the CAT and PET scans come back clean. Right now, that is the best we can hope for. Oh, and pray that the insurance will ok me having the shots at home. That will save me TON of time! The Cancer Center is about 30 minutes away. If I could just do it at home that would really help me out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is Why

, my friends, is why I am going to kick cancer's a$$...




Our week has been filled with many firsts:





Ella woke up around 2:30AM the other morning. I went in to check on her and found her STANDING UP in her crib. Of course she used the side to pull herself up, but holy smokes, she wasn't supposed to be doing that quite yet!





Ella has decided that K's toys are SO much more fun then hers!







We gave green beans a shot. Did Ella likey, you ask? Ummm, not so much! The sweet peas went much better.







Ella also said her first word, and guess what it was. I'll give you a hint, it wasn't MAMA!



But oh well, Kyler's first word was mama so I guess it's ok that Ella's was Dada!







We meet up with a friend and played in the playhouse at McDonald's. This was only the 2nd time Kyler has done this. The germs totally freak me out. I am just going to have to relax on this.





My babies are growing up so fast.



I'd be lying if the thought of not watching them grow into adults didn't totally freak me out.



I am a strong person and it's because of my kids that I am that way. I get my strength from them.



I know that I can do this. I also know that it is not going to be easy. I've always been the kind of person that looks for the easy way to do things. I'm not lazy, I just figure if there is an easier way to do it, then why not use it.



There is no easy way around this. I am going to be miserable.



Thank you to all of you for your words of encouragement and your "virtual" hugs:) You may have to give me a swift kick in the butt when I start to get negative over here-k?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Battle Wounds

Here are some wonderful pictures of my battle wounds from surgery. Aren't these some beauties! Now let's just pray that the lymph nodes come back clear!




I'm moving around a little bit better. I am still in quite a bit of pain.



I was trying not to take the pain meds since I can't breastfeed while I am taking them. However, the pain has won. I MUST take the pain meds.



It just kills me to have to pump and dump it! That feels like such a waste! But, since I don't have much of a choice I guess I will just suck it up and do it.



I also have two incisions in my groin. That is the spot that hurts like hell. However, I didn't feel very comfortable with putting those pics on here. Pics of my pee-yes, pics of my privates-no!







This is where they took some more skin from the previous incision on my calf.

Just in case you didn't see it, here's another pic!

I didn't realize how swollen my leg was until I saw this picture!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Randomness

Since finding out about this whole cancer thing, a lot has been on my mind. Things that I have taken for granted are not taken for granted anymore. I appreciate my family so much more now.












I want to throw out a HUGE thank you to my husband. He seriously has been wonderful through all of this. I know I have been a huge pain in the ass so thank you honey for being at my beck and call.











Thank you to my parents for dropping everything and being down here just as soon as you could.











Thank you to my mother and father in law for taking care of the little ones yesterday and for always being here when we need you.

















Julia, Rebekah, Ella, and Kyler checking each other out!









Rebekah holding Ella. Sorry that she is so darn heavy Rebekah!



Thank you to Joel, Laura, Julia, and Rebekah for stopping by to check on us. The sweet card made me cry and the cookies are all gone!





Thank you to Ryan, Jodi, and Olivia for the very sweet card. I'll take all the prayers that I can get!



Here's a funny little sidenote. Out of all the people that have shown me such support and love, my sister in law has not once called or emailed to say that she was thinking of us. Not once. In fact, our niece and nephew are having their birthday party this weekend and we aren't even invited. I have gone through so much lately that I am really trying to get over this pure hatred that I feel for her. In fact, I was over it. And trust me, she has done some pretty hurtful things to Cody, myself, and said some pretty hateful things about my kids, but I was over it. Then she does this. Am I being silly for being upset by this? I mean, if she acts like this, do I really want my children around this? She is married to Cody's brother, shouldn't he be saying something to her about this?





I know there are so many more people out there that I need to say thank you to for their wonderful support. I know that tons of you have put links and prayers on your blog. Thank you so much for that. The more prayers the better!

Friday, July 18, 2008

What a Day

I am home from the Surgical Center.




Finally!







We started out at the Hospital where they injected a radioactive dye in the spot where they took the growth from. Those damn shots hurt like hell! I am pretty sure a few choice words were said.



After an hour of lying down and letting the dye travel we headed to the Surgical Center and we waited, and waited, and waited.



They finally took me back for surgery. And I cried. For some reason anesthesia totally freaks me out. In fact. they gave me an extra dose of anesthesia because I wouldn't fall asleep. I was very blessed to have some very sweet nurses that wiped my tears and a very sweet Dr that held my hand.



When they were trying to get me to go to sleep. The Dr was asking me if I liked the beach. I told him no. He asked what I did like. My response. The Mall! Apparently, even when I am going unconscious I still dream about shopping. Interesting!



After the surgery they went out and talked to my parents and husband. The Dr removed more skin from where the spot was on my calf. He also removed a couple lymph nodes from the groin. The one that the Dermatologist felt was a huge concern, the surgeon didn't feel was a concern. He said it has a cyst like material around it so it was probably from a previous infection that had not healed. The other lymph node that he removed is the one that he sent off for testing. This one was in the crease so therefore bending and walking are quite difficult right now. We should hear something towards the end of next week. If we hear earlier then the end of the week-it's not good. We actually want it to take a long time.



Since they had to give me some extra anesthesia it took quite awhile for me to come out of it. Apparently, I am quite the comedian when I am out of it. I guess I told my mom that she drank all of the Jack Daniels' (which we don't drink!) and that she also made my lotion all sticky. No idea where that came from. I have a feeling I will be made fun of this for quite awhile.



I also asked for several of my bloggy friends and for Aunt A. See, even unconscious I still love you guys:)



As for the green pee-yeah, it's pretty cool. I haven't figured out how to pump yet since I can't bend. If I figure that one out I'll post the pics!



Disclaimer: I am still a little out of it. If this doesn't make sense I apologize now. I will edit it tomorrow and probably change some things. Check back.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My New BFF

Today we met with the surgeon and I have decided that he is my new BFF. Sorry Aunt A, you have been replaced.




Unlike the dermatologist, he was very positive and had a good outlook on all of this.



He even told us that I could wait until August to have the surgery because even if it has spread it does not spread that quickly. That made me feel SO much better. However, the chances of me waiting until August to have the surgery were slim to none. I pretty much said, fit me in as soon as you can.



He did an excellent job of explaining all of the linguistics to us. However, I am not an auditory person so it was a good thing that my husband was there because he took some excellent notes! I will try to decipher the notes for you. Please remember that my husband does not have the nicest handwriting and I don't remember much of what the Dr said so I hope I get this right. If I am wrong feel free to comment and let me know!



Apparently there are two methods that they use when examining Melanoma. One method tells you the depth and the other method tells you the chance that it has spread to another area.



The first method is called the Clarke's. The Clarke level of a melanoma uses a scale of I to V (1-5) to describe which layers of the skin are involved. Higher numbers mean a deeper melanoma. My level was 4.



The other method measures the thickness of the melanoma using a device something like a small ruler. This is called the Breslow measurement. My reading was a 1.35. They would like it to be under 1. If it was under 1 they wouldn't do any more but monitor me once a year. Since it was a little higher there is a possibility that it has spread. He was very optimistic that it had not spread.



On Friday we will head to the hospital and I will have a dye injected into my leg that will drift through the lymph nodes. We will then head across the street to the surgical center and I will have a radioactive dye injected that will be more of a visual dye.



It's blue. How cool is that? My pee and breast milk will be blue for a few days! Don't worry, I'll take pics:)



Anywoo, he will follow the dye with a Gieger Meter and remove the lymph nodes that are trapping the dye.



The Dr was very nice and I absolutely loved him. He felt that the swollen spot in my groin was more of a fatty mass not so much cancer. I told him that that was impossible since I have absolutely no fat on my body(he, he, he) , but I will take fat over cancer any day!!



Thank you all so, so much for your positive thoughts and prayers. There has been a lot of crying in our house and a lot of cuddling.



But I will tell you right now, I am so going to kick this cancer's ass!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

They Called

They finally called with the results today.




Not good. Not good at all.



I have stage 4 Melanoma Cancer. I was prepared for this. Or at least I thought I was. However, when the Dr says it out loud that is a totally different thing.



I lost it.

I bawled.

I was not at home.

I was at Ella's 6 month appt.

I am pretty sure the pedetrician thought I was going insane.

Then I told him the news.

Usually my mom or my husband would be the first person I talk to about something like that. Nope, today it was Ella's pedetrician. Well, at least I love him!



I have a long road ahead. I meet with a surgeon tomorrow to discuss the treatment options. I have an appt with an oncologist next week. This sucks. Totally blows.



I thought I would be able to handle this. I am tough, I am strong-well at least emotionally-physically, not so much. But I thought I would be able to handle the news. I am not doing so well. I am losing my patience with Kyler. I can't stop cuddling with Ella. And I am crying. A lot.



Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

U Guys R The Best

Update: I just talked to the nurse and the results are not in yet. She said I should hear something on Monday or Tuesday. Ugggg!




Thank you everyone for all of your love and support. It seriously means the world to me.



When I first started making bloggy friends, my husband thought I was insane. I would talk about you guys to him like you were my real life friends. I would say, guess what Beans did today, or guess what Sophia now has, or guess what Kristen asked on her Friday Forum, etc. After reading all the comments on my last post, my husband now realizes that you guys are real and you guys do care. I told him that I cried after reading all of the wonderful comments, he looks at me and said, yeah, I did too!



So again, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your love and support.



I am also very lucky to have such a wonderful family and real life friends. My parents, my in laws, and my best friends have all said that they will be there to help and do whatever we need. What would I do without such support?



We are still waiting to hear back from the Dr. The waiting and the uncertainty is killing me.



Something that is really bothering me about all of this, is the fact that if I have to go through Chemo I will have to quit breastfeeding. Isn't it silly that that is what is bothering me the most!



When Kyler was born I was determined to give breastfeeding a shot. I really didn't care if it worked out though. I breastfed him for 4 months, however I ALWAYS had to supplement and I really had to watch my diet. We found out that he was allergic to all milk products and he had to go on a special (and VERY expensive) formula. He was on it until he was 2!! Breastfeeding with him was very difficult for me. I was a vegetarian and ate a lot of dairy products (still do!). I had to cut out dairy for him, since I had already cut out meat, I was pretty much down to eating nothing that I enjoyed. That sucked!



At around 4 months Kyler decided that he was done breastfeeding and would only take a bottle. I cried, but was okay with it. I was back to teaching and didn't have the time to pump so formula would definitely be easier.



When I found out I was pregnant with Ella, I thought about formula feeding for, oh maybe a minute. Since Kyler's was so darn expensive I knew that with me staying home I really needed to give breastfeeding a shot.



I bought the fancy pump.



I attended breastfeeding class.



I asked lots of questions.



I researched and researched on the internet.



I was determined.



I was going to do this and I was going to like it, damn it!



When the nurse give me Ella to feed, she latched on right away. I knew she was born to do this. That night she nursed pretty much ALL NIGHT LONG! The nurse taught me how to do the laying down position and Ella was latched on that way pretty much all night.



Apparently, you're not supposed to do that!



Apparently, she was using mommy as a pacifier. Huh, who knew! I was just so excited that she was a natural I didn't care. Until the next morning that is! Damn, I hurt! And boy was I cursing this whole breastfeeding thing!



Every time she latched on I had tears in my eyes. It lasted for 2 weeks and 1 day. Every hour she would eat, and every hour I would cry. Until that magical day 2 weeks and 1 day later. She latched on and I didn't cry. Wow, it doesn't hurt anymore! Yay!! This is going to work.



It hasn't always been easy. At times I get dirty looks for nursing her in public. Don't worry, I just flip those people off.



At times it would be easier to just give her a bottle of formula. Especially during those sleepless nights.



At times I feel like a milk cow. But I'm ok with it. Because I know that I am doing what is right for my baby girl. I am in awe of what my body can do. I am in awe of how much milk it can produce.



My husband is sick of looking at the breast milk bags in the deep freeze. But I knew that I needed to pump, pump, pump and have lots of milk stored. I don't know why, but something was telling me that I needed to have plenty stored up.



Now I know why. If I have to go through Chemo this breastfeeding thing will be no more. I know it's silly, but in my warped little mind I want to put off the Chemo so I can keep breastfeeding. Isn't that silly. My husband says I am going crazy in my old age!



I think I just always thought that I would breastfeed until Ella decided she was done. Or she was 5, whichever came first:) (Just Kidding, kind of)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Prayer Request

Today has been a bit of a rough day. It started early and it looks like it will probably end late. However, it was the in between that really sucked.






Last summer I noticed a growth on the back of my calf. I didn't really think anything about it. I thought it would just go away. It never did.



I finally made an appointment to have it looked at. That appt was today. The Dr was nice enough. The atmosphere was fine. The news, however, totally sucked.



The Dr took a look at the growth. Looked at me, and said, Why didn't you come in sooner?



Ummmm, because I've been busy raising two kids! Have you ever noticed that your needs totally go on the back burner when you have kids. My health is not as important astheirs. I take them to the Dr for every little thing. I, however, rarely go. This is one case where I should have gone much earlier.



The Dr removed the growth and is sending it off to have it tested for Melanoma cancer. He felt the lymph node in my groin and apparently it is quite enlarged. This is not good either. The Dr is 99% sure I have melanoma cancer. It started out as a little spot on my calf, and has since spread to at least the one lymph node, possibly more.



When the biopsy comes back in a week or two, and if it is cancer, he will refer me to a surgeon who will send dye coursing through my veins to determine where else the cancer has spread to. After that I will see an oncologist and will probably be started on chemotherapy.



Needless to say I am totally freaked out. This wasn't what I expected or wanted to hear. I'm not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn't this.



I came home after the Dr appt today and held both of my babies just a little bit tighter. From now on I think I will have a different out look on this thing we call life.



Please keep us in your prayers. I will keep you updated as we find out information.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It Could Be Worse

On Thursday I had to bring the kids with me to get my shot. They were awesome! Behavior wise anyway.




The Cancer Center has a little resource center. In the resource center they have a play area for the kids.



The nurses at the Cancer Center are fabulous and told me that as long as their are 3 nurses in the back that one of them would come into the resource center and give me my shot! Fabulous! I don't have to drag the kids from room to room.



While we were waiting for the nurse to give me my shot, Ella decided that this would be a perfect time to poop! In her cloth diaper of course!



If you know Ella, you know that pooping is on her favorite things to do. Kyler still has issues to consitpation, Ella has no issues with that. At all!



Since we were making a quick trip I only brought one diaper for each kid and a few wipes. I was hoping that Ella would fall asleep on the way home so I thought I should change her diaper before we left.



Changing Ella's diaper is not an easy task.



She loves to crawl away from you when you are changing it. It's great.



I laid her down.



Took her pants off.



Took her poopy diaper off.



She crawled away.



I brought her back.



Wiped her butt.



She crawled away.



I brought her back.



Wiped her butt again.



Looked at her face.



What's that on her face?



Oh, sh*t, that's sh*t.



On her face!



And her arm.



And her shirt.



Oh, sh*t!



I'm going straight to mommy hell!



And I'm out of wipes!



Ok, get her diaper on and get out to the car.



There are more wipes there.



I went to fasten her diaper and it freakin' ripped!!



Luckily, I had a Kyler diaper.



I got that on her. Got out to the car. Wiped her face off. Drove home and gave her a bath.



Pronto!



I guess it could have been worse.



She could have eaten dog poop! (Right Chelle!!)