Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Followup and Party Party Party!

Oops. I guess it took me a while to get back. It would be true to say that I have been wayyyyy more tired this past week than I have been through my whole treatment - so I have been sleeping accordingly. But, tiredness and sleep I can deal with, so I'm not complaining.

When I did find some energy to get up - I hung out with Mondo and Eric, went to a movie with Darren & Mondo (Igor), saw the Bronco game at Mario & Karen's and also went to lunch and a movie with my friend Wendy (Nights in Rodanthe - I know Mondo was disappointed I didn't wait for him to see it with me - haha). It's been a good week.

So anyway... followup. Last week I talked to Dr Azar about followup (she will be out of the office on my last appointment). It's pretty basic I guess. Sometime in December I will need to go in for a colonoscopy. Ugh. FYI - this will be my first one. I know a lot of people think I've had one, but no. If I had had one, perhaps I never would have got this far! Anyway... then in March I will have a CT Scan. And in April I will visit Dr Azar to see how things look. Here's praying for nice and clear with no signs of Evil Cancer growth.

My last chemo is one week from tomorrow! I will wear the pump for two days and should be able to get my central line taken out on Friday! I am sooooo excited I can't even tell you. In the meantime I am planning an "End of Chemo" party. It's set for October 25th and if you didn't get the evite - please drop me a line with your email address! BTW - October 25th is also my dad's birthday so we should have cake too! Come Celebrate with me!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session X I

I am excited that after today, I only have ONE chemotherapy session to go... really, I am. But I am really tired right now and my tummy hurts, so I'm not so up to writing a blog at the moment. I have updates because I found out what my next steps will be and I will post them later.

Short story - today basically went well, I'm home, and I'm gonna go take a nap.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bring. It. On.

"angry stitches" + central line falling out + PICC line insert + ouch, blood clots + PICC line removed + another surgery + new central line. + breathing problems + CAT scan + more steroids = THREE crummy weeks!

But I'm over it. As soon as I finished my last chemo I vowed that my next four - LAST four would be better.

So far, so good!

Fri, 09/12 - Roller Derby! Woohoo!
Sat, 09/13 - My Godson's Bday Party
Sun, 09/14 - Family BBQ
Mon, 09/15 - Walk with Beth
Tues, 09/16 - zzzzzzzzzzz....
Wed, 09/17 - Walk & Lunch w/Beth, Dinner w/Mario & Karen
Thu, 09/18 - Dinner & La Rhumba (dancing - even though I didn't dance :o) w/friends
Fri, 09/19 - Lunch w/Lisa, Darren & Adrian. Movie w/Mondo, Adrian & Darren. Dinner w/Mondo, Mario & Karen - part of my "mini-make-a-wish", we went to Landry's Seafood House - yummmmm....
Sat, 09/20 - Miracle Party 2008 in honor of some amazing kids battling cancer, including my cousin Taylor!

I'm not gonna lie - I'm tired. And I feel more tired everyday. But getting out re-energizes me and makes me feel oh so much better than when I stay home. It was a great week, spent with a lot of people I love. And although I am not overbooking myself next week - I am looking forward to having three more good weeks to end this part of my battle! Bring. It. On.

Check out the pix from the Miracle Party. Isn't Taylor beautiful! She's amazing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session X

Sooooo, today was FUN... well, it wasn't really FUN, but it was exciting. I guess what I really mean is - it was a looooong day at the Franklin Clinic.

Where do I start? My day should look something like this - 10:30 Blood Draw, 11:30 Dr Appt, 12:00 Chemo, 2:30/3'ish on my way home.

Instead it looked like this -
10:35 - Arrive at Franklin Center
10:40'ish - Get checked in
10:45 - Check into Oncology
11:00 - Blood Draw
12:00 - Dr Appt
2:30'ish - Start Chemo
5 minutes after 2:30'ish - Stop Chemo
2:45 - CT Scan
3:30 - Back up to Oncology - restart Chemo
6:00 - Finish Chemo

I was running late in the morning, so that got my blood draw off whack. And then the labs came back showing my neutrophils were good to go, but my "chemistry" labs weren't back. I didn't know what that meant, but apparently the chemistry labs have to do with my liver and kidney function. That was a pretty big holdup.

Hmmm... I should backtrack a little. When I saw my nurse and Dr Azar I told them that I was having some breathing problems last night. I had a really crummy night's sleep with the breathing funny thing, plus my shoulder is still sore from surgery and it didn't help that I stayed up late playing TWIRL on Facebook! Anyway, I told them that it didn't hurt but it felt like my breath was being taken away (and not in a good way) or like I had the wind knocked out of me. Dr Azar thought it was probably the Neupogen. This made sense cause I took the Neupogen Monday evening and that is about when I noticed the problem. There was a bit of an occurrence on the way to the clinic and while I was waiting for my meds. But when they hooked up the Chemo, it got really bad and both my friend Sheila and my nurse Julie noticed, so she stopped the Chemo and took my vitals. Then she gave me a dose of steroids in case it was an allergic reaction. Dr Azar came over and said she ordered a CT scan just to make sure there weren't any blood clots in my lungs. Cause although the timing coordinated with the Neupogen shot, it also coordinated with my surgery.

The results of the CT Scan were negative and I actually felt better by the time they re-hooked up the Chemo. Dr Azar still thinks it was the Neupogen because it can have a side effect like that and she thinks the additional steroids they gave me helped. And even though it was negative, I'm not sorry for having had the scan. There are things that run through my mind when I get some sort of symptom that wasn't there the night before. It kinda freaks me out. That also could be the reason I stayed up so late - I'm even afraid to go to sleep! The thought of complications is scarier for me than the thought of cancer. Isn't that weird?

So here's something that happened today that I never would have expected. When she told me about the CT Scan, Dr Azar asked if I would have the $ for the co-pay, cause if I didn't she would lend me the money - she just wanted to be sure it wasn't a clot. The co-pay was a hundred bucks. I said "no", I didn't have it and asked if they could bill me. She said they could. But she came back a few minutes later and threw a hundred dollar bill in my lap and told me I could pay her back whenever I had it. What the! Sheila has been with me since the beginning of all this and she has liked Dr Azar from the beginning... but even she walked away saying how her opinion of her went up notches. She had never witnessed anything like that - and she's a nurse. Well, all I can say is she's awesome and I am so happy she's my doc.

Bummer about having to wait so long for lab results.
Good things - Good company! (Thanks Shelia!) And we got to see a HUGE military helicopter land at the hospital across the street. That kept us entertained for a few minutes.

Bummer about me having kidnapped Sheila for so long today because she stayed with me till I was done.
Good thing
- I am really good company. hahaha. At least I am funny! But really, Mondo brought us dinner and we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the nice weather while having our BBQ sandwiches.

Bummer that I missed my WDP Board of Trustees meeting.
Good thing
- my presentation was already sent to the Head of School so he could pass it out for me.

Bummer that there were all the mishaps (or whatever you would call them) of the day.
Good thing
- I have an aaaaaaawwweeesooooome Oncology Team. Dr Azar, Julie and Lisa are the best and they really make me feel like I am getting the best care I could hope for.

Best thing of the day - I only have TWO more Chemotherapy Sessions after today!!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Surgery update...

Surgery Update
I made it to my appointment at 11am, and had to wait in pre-op until almost 1pm. My surgery lasted about an hour and it worked on the first try! I guess they did an XRay in the operating room to make sure the line went to the right place. I woke up in the OR, and I remember talking to the doctors and people in the room, but I don't remember about what. Then the next thing I know, I was in recovery and felt like I just woke up from a good nap. It was 2pm. I stayed in recovery for two hours and then was able to go home on some extra strength Tylenol :o) We stopped for lunch/dinner on the way home and I wasn't nauseous at all. So it was a good day.

Other News
Hey, I talk about my little cousin Taylor on my blog and I'm posting a 9News story that she was interviewed on. If you have three minutes, take a look. Isn't she beautiful!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Third times a charm???

I just got home from my pre-op appointment. Yep, that means the winner is - the Central Line or Hohn Catheter. Yay. I really mean YAY! cause at least I will be given anesthesia. I don't know what the difference is between the PICC and the Hohn - but for some reason the PICC can be installed with only a numbing agent and by a nurse. But the Hohn requires surgery. Since I have chemo on Wednesday, they had to scramble to get it scheduled, but it's set. I go in on Monday at 11am and this should allow me to stay on track with my treatments. Another YAY!

Soooooo, I'm a little nervous. This is the third time I'm having a line installed. I'm starting to feel like Swiss Cheese. Each of the previous times it had to be done twice! For some reason, my anatomy didn't lead the line to the right place on the first insertions. Soooooo, my praying friends - I wouldn't mind if you put in a good word or two that this goes right the first time!

Onto brighter news... I just read my cousin Taylor's most recent blog entry and it looks like they are having a party. It's called 2008 Miracle Party and it's honoring several kids battling with cancer, including Taylor. Please visit her site http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/taylormorgan or the 2008 Miracle Party site for more information if you might be interested in attending.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwch! That hurts!

I guess going to the Medical Center every other week isn't enough for me, so I took a trip there today...

My upper arm has been bothering me since I had my PICC line installed just over a week ago. It's been a dull but constant pain increasing each day and although I could deal with it if I had to, it still hurt. It wasn't so fun to sleep with it either.

I didn't want to call in cause I was afraid of what they would say... like maybe "come in, we might have to take it out." But I thought, it probably shouldn't be feeling worse than when they put it in, so I called. They said "Come in, let us check it out. It's probably just an irritation in your vein, but we want to make sure there aren't any blood clots."

I went right in, got there about 12:45. Dr Azar said she could see some redness and that it shouldn't be hurting. She (and nurse Julie) ordered an ultrasound. Julie really worked some magic cause they said they didn't have an appointment until 3:30pm and when I went down to Radiology, they said they didn't have anything open until the 9th! But it all got straightened out and I was seen by 2pm.

It was coming up to 4 o'clock and I had to head out for a Parent Council Meeting at Darren's school, so I asked if they could change my dressing and I could check back for results. We optimistically hoped that no news was good news. Julie tracked down Dr Azar just before I was getting ready to leave and just AFTER Lisa had changed my dressing.

Apparently I was starting to get blood clots (not a good thing) and they had to pull the line. Argh... I just smiled and said "okay". Ya have to do what you have to do right? Dr Azar said I might need to get another Central Line (in my chest). I just am not sure how I feel about it. It seemed a bit easier than the PICC as I had an extra hand to use... but it's surgery.... and a $100 co-pay vs the $20 co-pay for the PICC line! But a PICC line in my right arm? That doesn't sound so fun either. Awe, whatever. For now, I have to take aspirin once a day until I hear back from Oncology. They will let me know what I am scheduled for.

Good news! No co-pay today! Yay!