Thursday, October 8, 2009

Much better news

After seeing my oncologist I went to see my colon surgeon. He has been the one that has been the point through all of this, finding me the other doctors that I needed since my diagnosis. I told him what the oncologist said and he was shocked. He said he didn't see anything in the report that made him believe I only had two years. So the surgeon, my husband and I agreed what I really needed was a new oncologist. One that was agressive and would fight with me to find the best treatment, and not have his mind made up that I was dead already. How can you have faith in an oncologist that sees you dead? While I was still in his office the surgeon called another oncologist and was able to get him to take my case. I met with him the next day and he was awesome! He also agreed that there was no reason to believe I would be dead in two years. He said I had a lot of work to do and it wouldn't be easy but he believes WE can beat it! He has already spoken with my liver surgeon, my colon surgeon and the radiologist to determine the best course of action for me. Teamwork! What a concept! I am so happy with him already. I have also been told that he is one of the top research oncologists in Charlotte.

So I leave Saturday morning for my Caribbean cruise to celebrate my 50th birthday on Tuesday and then when I come back we start fighting. I'll start with a new regimine of chemo and go from there. The biggest thing is my change in attitude. It's amazing how demoralizing it was to have someone tell me I was going to die. Whole different ballgame to have them tell me with a good fight my time is unlimited!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bad news

Wish I had happy news to tell you, but unfortunately I don't. The cancer in the liver is growing and has possibly spread. The liver surgeon wanted me to start chemo immediately, but that's not going to happen. I'm going on my cruise for my 50th birthday, and I'm not doing it sick from chemo.

He also wants me to go to a radiation specialist to find out if my insurance company will pay for a specialised radiation to my liver. It will probably take about 3 weeks to set it up and get it approved, so I will probably do that when I get back from the cruise. I've already told the oncologist that I'm not doing chemo again unless it's the only option left to me.

Neither chemo or the radiation are a cure. They are basically tools to prolong life. As of right now there isn't a cure for me.  My onc said 2 years, but why should I take his word for it?  I"m going to fire him and find someone that will work with me, not someone who has written me off already.

Please keep me in your prayers.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great News!

My surgery went very well. I no longer have cancer in my colon! God is good!!! And not only that, I feel great! Very little pain. Haven't had the nausea like I did after the last surgery. It's wonderful. I'm really amazed at how good I feel. I've been walking around with no problem. I get a bit lightheaded, but nothing bad. And there is no cancer in my colon! Woohoo!!!! I love being able to say that. Still have a bit in my liver, but that will be gone in a couple months.
The nurses and other people here at Mercy are awesome! I have been treated so good! Great response out of the, and they really care. They also work great as a team.

Thank you all for your prayers. I believe they really made a difference.
Love you!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

More surgery

I am having surgery on my colon on Tuesday, June 30th! I saw the surgeon this morning and he set everything up. I go tomorrow for all my pre-op blood work and stuff, on Sunday have to drink all the yummy stuff to clean out my colon, have a colonoscopy on Monday and Surgery on Tuesday. Which means no food after midnight on Saturday. :( I gonna starve to death!

The good news is the surgery is at a different hospital than the liver surgery was so I don't have to put up with the terrible nursing staff again! The only way they could be worse is if they didn't show up at all!

I'm so glad this was scheduled so fast. There are still some spots in the liver that will need to be addressed, but I won't see the liver surgeon again until the end of September. It will give my body some time to heal from the 2 surgeries before we start again.

I really appreciate all the cards all y'all have mailed me and all the prayers! Keep them coming!

I love you all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LIver surgeon

CT scan was awesome! The tumors he ablated are dead and gone!!! God is good! wonderful! There are a couple tumors left, but he told me to begin with that was to be expected. Now I see the colon surgeon on Thursday and make arrangements to have the colon tumor removed. God is good!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009


24 hours from now I will see my liver surgeon and find out how successful my surgery was.  I have a CT scan at noon and then go see him.  Woohoo!  Then on Thursday I'll see my colon surgeon and set a date to have my colon resection done - in other words he will cut out the part of the colon with the tumor on it.  If there is anything left in the liver that will probably be cut out at the same time.  Then I should be cancer free!  I'll keep you posted. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Anti-depressant

As of my last post I told you I was going to get anti depressants. Found something that works even better. A new puppy. We've had her a little over a week now and she is really sweet. At least she will be when I can convince her she really doesn't need to chew on me all the time. Housebreaking is going well. She is starting to get the idea to go to the back door when she needs to go potty. Unfortunately that's usually right after she piddles on the floor.

The cat finally came out today. He's been hiding upstairs for most of the last week. He wasn't too happy with a new dog, but he's starting to get used to it. He lived with a dog his whole life so it really isn't anything new for him.

Physically I'm doing well after surgery. Still get really tired easily, but the pain seems to be gone and I'm not getting out of breath as bad as I had been. I have an appointment with my oncologist today to see what he thinks the next steps will be. Probably an appointment with the colon surgeon to get that part taken care of. I'll keep you posted.

Here's a picture of the new baby. We finally decided to name her Abby.

And here's Devil Kat.

Friday, May 29, 2009


It's been a couple weeks since I've posted. Most of you that read this already know that I had my surgery on the 18th and I'm waiting for an appointment to have a new CT scan and see what if anything is left in my liver and how successful the surgery was. I'm still in a bit of pain, more of a discomfort where the drain was, but other than that I seem to be healing nicely.

The worst thing is the depression. I have been fighting it all week, as has my husband. I finally decided I needed help and called my onc yesterday to have him give me anti-depressants even though it's not as bad as it was the beginning of the week. I'm still having trouble getting excited over the grandkids coming in two weeks and I've been looking forward to that for months. I just don't want to do anything. I guess though I've been lucky I haven't been depressed before this.

I'll update you all when I get an appointment for the CT scan. He wanted to see me within 4 weeks and it's been almost 2 already.

Thank you all for your prayers and cards. They help a lot. I don't think I could get through this without them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New surgery date

My liver ablation will be Monday the 18th of May around 8 am. It's possible that by this time next week I will be cancer free. With God all things are possible!!! Keep those prayers coming.

I love you all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

surgery date!

Hey! Better news than last week! I have a new liver surgeon. He is young and up to date an aggressive. I am having liver surgery on May 20. Woohoo! Finally a plan of action. Actually it is liver ablation meaning he will stick a probe in each of my liver tumors and microwave them. He's going to nuke my tumors! I will have to stay in the hospital overnight. I really liked this new surgeon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I miss her so much

Sassy LOVED going to the beach.  She hated water but she didn't mind running into the ocean if she was chasing birds.
She loved her Daddy.  This is a fountain in Savannah.  She loved going there. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sad news and Bad news.

The sad news is we have to put Sassy to sleep today.  She can no longer stand up.  my heart is breaking.

The bad  news is the cancer in my liver is spread too much for surgery to remove it.  I will probably have the tumor in my colon removed and then some kind of radiation.

What a wonderful day....not. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Sassy ate a good bit of steak last night and both yesterday and today ate some treats when she woke up and had drank quite a bit of water both days. Prayers are working! She is feeling much better! Has a ways to go, but considering how she was doing Friday she is much better! Thank you all for your prayer and concern!

Friday, April 24, 2009

My doggie

This is Sassy.  I've had her for 16 and a half years.  Since she was 6 weeks old.  She pretty much was in charge.  Well, she hasn't eaten for days and today stopped drinking.  It's just a matter of time.  She's my baby.  Has been for a long time.  Please pray she isn't in pain......

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Still know nothing :(

Surgeon finally called. He still isn't sure if they can operate and remove the lesions on my liver or not. He said there is definately a lot less there than there was, but the 5 or 6 that are left are spread throughout my liver. I have to go see the liver surgeon, probably next week to find out what is going on. My surgeon only does colons.

So again it's wait and see.


I saw the surgeon today.  He's still alive.  Barely.  What a waste of time.  He told me absolutely nothing except that he is going at lunch time to look at my PET scan to see if they can do a liver resection.  Grrrrr...he knew I was coming in this morning, why did he not do it yesterday so he could tell me something today?  He's going to call me at 5:00 tonight and let me know what he found out. 

Nothing like a little stress to start your day.....

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End of Chemo Party

What a great time we all had on Saturday.  It was so wonderful to get together with many who have given me great support on this journey.  Thank you all for being my family.  I love you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Last Chemo!!!

Woohoo!!! almost at the finish line. 24 more hours, my pump will be removed and I will be done!!! Yeah!!!!! It's been a long six months and I can't thank you enough for all your prayers. It'll be fun trying at the party Saturday.

My friend Denise stopped by the chemo center and brought me flowers yesterday. Aren't they beautiful??

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My first trip to the ER.....

Yesterday morning (Friday the 13th!) I was on my way to go to the oncologist for terrible pain in my right arm, and my chest. I was short of breath and taking a deep breath hurts a LOT! I could barely move my right arm without pain shooting down my arm, up my neck and into my jaw.  Owie!  I called the oncologist and they told me to come in at 11.  Mark came home from work and took me.  The onc examined me and was afraid that I had a blood clot in my lung.  Doesn't that sound fun.  So he sent me across the street to the ER to have tests run.  They did an EKG and a heart enzyme test to rule out heart problems.  Those both came back normal.  Although when I checked into the ER my BP was 145/100.  They then did a chest CT scan and took an x-ray to see if there were clots in my lungs. Both showed my lungs were clear!  Yeah! 

The ER doc, who seemed to be very thourough, came to the conclusion that I had pinched a nerve and that was causing my pain.  They gave me really good drugs at the ER and by then I had no pain :)  The only problem was the nausea.  So they gave me nausea medicine that made me throw up twice!  Have to remember that one so they don't give it to me again! 

So they sent me home.  Yeah!  I was sure that morning they would admit me.  That's the last thing I wanted.  Mark made me homemade pizza for dinner.  Yum.  Then I took a hot bath watched the end of Space Chimps (what a funny movie!) and went to bed.  I slept pretty good except for twice when I made the mistake of rolling over on my right arm. 

This morning my chest still hurts when I take a deep breath, but the right arm is doing much better.  I just have to be careful not to overdo it today.  But this cold rainy day is a good day to stay home and not do much of anything.

Thank you to all y'all that prayed for me yesterday!  Prayers are making all the difference in my life! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

11 Down, 1 to go!

God is so good!  Only one more to go.  I'm sitting here in awe over a beautiful card with two beautiful handmade bookmarks today.  I will try to remember to post a picture tomorrow.  My friend does beautiful work. 

I'm sitting here in awe though over the note on the card saying I saved her life.  Wow.  She pushed her doctor for answers and they found the cancer in time because of my story.  That made everything I have gone through worth it.  Praise God!  God is so good to bring something beautiful out of this. 

God is good.  Thank you all for your continuted prayers, cards and email. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Number 11

Please pray for me tomorrow, March 9th as it is my 11th out of 12 treatments.  Please pray for peace for my husband who is very stressed out even though he will not admit it. 

hey Rick - you gonna make a copy of the new joe bonnamasa cd so i can decide if i wanna buy it?

I really could use cards and notes this week.  or flowers....or presents....or stuff.....:)

Hair - or lack of it.

Just thought I'd let you know that my hair is really falling out now.  I will no longer go out in public without something covering my head.  Any one have any fun hats they want to loan me?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Answered Prayer

I want to thank all of you that prayed for me when I asked for it the other day.  By 4:00 that afternoon I was in the best mood I've been in in months.  God was so good in answering all your prayers.  I no longer am dreading the last two treatments, and have been able to look at all the blessings I have and praising God for them.  Ok, so I'm not looking forward to the last two treatments, but they are no longer something that I would rather be shot than have to endure. 

The difference in my attitude has been amazing.  I feel peace again.  I know that the Lord is healing me.  Thank you all.  I would not be here if not for the prayers of all my friend.  I love you all. 

Most of all Praise to the Lord Jesus for answered prayers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2 to go....

Just 2 more chemos.  At least I pray there's only two.  Let's pray that by the time they do the last two treatments that if there's anything left they can remove it with surgery and I will be done with this.  Although I ahve to say at this point I don't even know how I"m going to get through two more times of them filling me full of poison.  Less than a month to go, but right now that seems like a very big mountain to climb.  In some ways this is much worse than when I started.  The effects of chemo accumulate and each treatment is just a bit worse than the last.  Gets discouraging to feel good now and to know that I'll be sick all next week.  So lets keep those cards and letters coming my friends.  I need all the encouragement I can get for the next 4 weeks. 

I love you all!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

chemo 10

The drug they didn't give me this week was Avastin.  High blood pressure and nosebleeds are side effects of it and my blood pressure was too high for comfort.  He put me on blood pressure meds and will decide on the 9th if they are going to do the Avastin the last 2 rounds.  I have been taking it from the beginning. 

Less than a month until no more chemo!  Woohoo!

Friday, February 27, 2009

chemo round 10

Actually doing pretty good this week. They didn't give me one of the chemo drugs because it causes high blood pressure and my blood pressure is up to 140/90. first time in my life it's been high. But that is also the drug that made me the most nauseated, beause i've had very little of that this week. Still pretty tired, but otherwise feeling almost like myself.

Only 2 more rounds of chemo to go. Less than a month and i'll be done! woohoo! With chemo anyway. We'll see where we go from there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An answer to an email

Someone new to having cancer sent me an email asking about my chemo.  I though I would post the answer here too.  Maybe it will help someone else that is "freaking out" over starting chemo.  I know I was.

I haven't been on the cancer boards too much because they haven't been helping me at this point. They have been just one more thing reminding me I have cancer and it hasn't helped me. They were very helpful at the begining when I had lots of questions, but right now I am just trying to get through this with my life as normal as possible. Which this week is very normal. Last week about all I could do was lay on my couch and feel sorry for myself. Yesterday I cleaned my downstairs and was able to steam clean my carpets. Stanley steamer will be here this morning to clean my couch and loveseat. Woohoo! Can't wait. They are so dirty.

My first few chemos were pretty much a piece of cake. Except for the oxyiplatin (sp?). It about killed me. I had throad spasms, couldn't touch anything remotely cold, couldn't even drink anything cool, hands hurt...couldn't deal with that. So after 2 treatments they gave me two weeks off to recuperate and then they started me on camptosar instead. It seems to be working just as well without the side effects. The only thing it does is my hair is thinning greatly. After 7 treatments I probably have less than half the hair I started with and I lose more with each treatment. I only have 3 to go, so I don't think I'll be completely bald, but close to it.

Chemo week is worse for me than the off week. Are your treatments every other week? Typically at this point, like I said the first few were a piece of cake. They accumulate and get worse - at least they did for me. Now I'm pretty sure that on Moday (chemo day) and Tuesday I'll feel pretty much ok, maybe a little tired. Wednesday I'll be tired and by the afternoon I'll be nauseated. Have to remember to take pills at the first sign and keep something in my stomach; white toast or plain saltine crackers work wonders. I've only throw up about 3 times in all the weeks, so that's not much of an issue for me. Thursday I won't really be sick, I'll just have absolutely NO energy whatsoever. I'll sleep a good portion of the day, and when i'm not sleeping i'll be laying on the couch just staring at whatever because I don't have the energy to do anything else. On Friday I'll have more energy, but still be really tired. Saturday is almost normal for me. Then on Sunday without fail I get diareaah. But 2 immodium is all it takes for that.

And then comes my non chemo week. That week I'm pretty close to being my normal self. I can pretty much ignore the fact I'm sick. I get tired a bit easier than normal but besides that no problems.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

9 down, 3 to go

Had my 9th chemo yesterday.  Only 3 to go.  Still wondering if I'm going to have any hair when this is all over.  Falling out fast now.  Dave - you may get the chance to shave it yet!  Feeling pretty good today.  Hoping it'll keep up and I can go play in my sewing room.  Mark took me to Joann Fabric on the way home from Hilton Head on Sunday.  Woohoo!  I got some beautiful yellow broadcloth and a pale green broadcloth to make new blouses out of.  I like making them first out of broadcloth because it's inexpensive and if it doesn't turn out right or fit right who cares?  I'm out $6 and know what to do when I make the next one out of more expensive material.

Feeling pretty good today.  Only slept until 8:30.  Was pretty nauseated last night but the nausea pills seemed to help some.  I don't have a lot of energy today, but I don't feel the need to go lay down and sleep all day.  I put dinner (beautiful pork butt that was on sale at bi-lo) in the crock pot, so all mark will have to do is make a salad to go with it.  Mmmmmm. 

Time to go sew.  I'll try to update this later in the week and let you know how this treatment is going.

God Bless you all and thank you for your continued prayers.  They mean more to me than you know!

Friday, January 30, 2009

round 8

I have felt surprisingly good this week. Was pretty tired on Wednesday and so I had my friend Lori drive me to the onc to have my pump removed. Didn't think I was up to driving myself. Although after I felt good enough to have her take me to the fabric store! Woohoo! Added fleece to my stash. Don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but it was a good price!

Yesterday I slept until about noon. After that I felt pretty good. Surprisingly good for a Thursday because in the past Thursday has been my worst day. I'm lucky to have the energy and feel good enough to take a shower usually. Felt way better than that last night. Not 100%, but not like I was sick either.

Today so far I'm feeling ok. Going to Asheville tonight to see my friend Leslie :) Woohoo! Haven't seen her in way too long! Then tomorrow gonna go throw money away in the casino. Not too much. It's not gambling, I'm going to spend money in casino. I doubt that I'll come out with more than I go in with! Then we'll go to Biltmore for a little bit and come home tomorrow night. Looking forward to it. Next weekend we go to Hilton Head! From one end of the state to the other!

Only 4 more treatments to go! Woohoo! getting there. Thank you all for your continued prayers both for my healing and peace for my hubby and I. I couldn't do this without all of you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chemo day 8 - 2/3 of the way through!!! Woohoo

Had chemo day 8 yesterday.  On a very sad note Harold, a very wonderful gentleman that I used to work with, lost his wife of 42 years to a brain tumor on January 15.  Please keep him in your prayers.  I saw him at the chemo room because he has been fighting blood clots in his legs and lungs and goes there for blood work.  HE's a very nice man and taught me all i needed to know about fish camps, what to do when they call for snow - run to the store for bread and milk - and just all kinds of other fun things southern. 

As for me the MRI was fine.  I do actually have a brain and  there isn't anything there that shouldn't be!  The CT scan didn't show much difference, but somehow the timeing of when the contrast hit the liver to when they took the picture was different but what they could see shows a little shrinkage and no growth. 

My CEA level is now down to 12!!!  the lower that number is the less activity I have.  It started at 93!!

The oncologist also believes that after the chemo is over (March 23 should be the last!) that the surgeon will be able to go in and cut out all remaining tumors and I will be cancer free!  Lets keep praying for a good result! 

It all looks good.  And I think you all for keeping on your prayer lists.  I know the reason I am healing with so little problem is that God is healing me!!!  And please pray for peace for Mark.  He is handling this remarkably well, but I know it's harder on him than he lets on. 

Love you all!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Update 1/23/09

Long time since I updated this. Just to let you know this has been a really good week for me. I have felt like a "normal" human being. Actually managed to get my sewing room cleaned out! What a disaster that was. I've been piling things in there for over a month. But it's done now and I actually can tell what I have! Was nice sewing today in a nice clean room!

I have chemo round 8 on Monday. Then I have an appointment with my oncologist to find out the results of the MRI and CT scan done 2 weeks ago. I'm sure that will be good news.

I saw my surgeon Monday the 19th and he said the CT scan showed a little improvement, but not a lot. He thinks that by the time my 12 treatments are done that the tumors in the liver should be small enough for him to go in and cut the rest out and then I will be cancer free. We are praying for that!

I'll update this Monday after I see my oncologist!