Psalm 118:17

I will not die, but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I will be leaving tomorrow evening for Texas again. I will have treatment on Thursday at 10:00 and fly home Friday morning. Please pray for a safe trip and that all goes well with my treatment. Ian will be at home with the kids. Parker does not want me to leave him again. He keeps asking me if I like to leave him. Hopefully he will understand better after this trip that they won't be as long each time. I keep telling him only two days, but he doesn't really get the concept of time. He just says it's alot of hours. I will post after treatment and let you know how everything went.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I know I'm a little late in writing this, but I'm home! I was so excited to be home with my kids that I haven't even looked at the computer. When we pulled up to the house on Friday, Jamie had the kids outside with a welcome home sign waiting for me. I have never been so excited to see my kids! I have enjoyed being with them this weekend, reading books, snuggling in bed and loving on them. My in laws came in yesterday and have taken them out for a little while, so I thought I would use a little quiet time to catch up on my blog.
The trip went well and I am now four chemo treatments down. We have the next three weeks scheduled. I will leave on Wednesday night, have treatment Thursday mornings and come home Friday. My mom and I will be going this time. Ian will stay home with the kids. We just felt it was too soon for both of us to leave them again. They were happy with the fact that Daddy would be staying with them. I think Ian will go with me every other time so it's not too much on the kids. Wednesday is coming quick and I will be gone again. As far as how I am feeling. Well, I did not feel real well the last two days. I was really run down Saturday and yesterday I was nauseous most the day. But, today I woke up feeling a little better. Hopefully I'll get a couple of good days before getting chemo again. My pain is a little better. It seems to come and go more than being constant. Hopefully it will continue to just go away.
I am back on all my supplements and strict diet. We had backed off a little bit because the doctor said it was too much on my body all at once. Please pray that my body will continue to be able to deal with all the change that it is going through and begin to heal itself. My goal is to get my ph level up. I need to be in an alkaline state because the cancer cannot live that way. It likes to be acidic. If I can get my ph to be 7.0 then the cancer will quit growing. If it is 7.4 the cancer is dead. I am at 6.5 right now. This is a major goal. So, please pray that I can get to 7.4 because then this monster will not be able to thrive inside of me. I am going to kick him out one way or the other!
Thank you again for all your prayers and support!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thank you for everyone's comments on my blog and on facebook. They are so encouraging and usually make me cry tears of joy that you all care. You make me feel at home reading your comments which is where I would like to be right now. Two more days and I will be home for 5 days before leaving again.
I woke up this morning in alot of pain in my chest and back. I took pain medicine and mom suggested that we go down in the jacuzzi. The hot water on my back at night in my shower seems to help. So, we did and it did feel good. We stayed in for quite a while and then sat in a lounge chair in the sun and soaked up the beautiful weather that we had today. We decided to get dressed and go get some lunch at this nice little family run bakery. They have good homemade salads and soups. It's hard saying no to all the yummy bakery stuff, but the lunch is worth it. We then walked down the little main street and went into a few shops before finally coming home. I did really well and it was so beautiful out today. It was good for me to get out. And then, the night begins to set in. Nights seem to be the hardest right now. The pain begins and the shortness of breath. Oh, by the way, the nurse called today with the results of my chest xray. Not what I was hoping for, but still believing! I now have a pleural effusion on the right and left lobe of my lungs and fluid inside my right lung as well. The pleural effusion is fluid between the lung and the sac around my lung. I knew I had the right pleural effusion which was mild and it is now increased to moderate. Needless to say, I was disappointed. But, it does explain why I am so short of breath. Just taking a shower completely wears me out. The doctor is not going to take any action at this point, but will be watching closely. This is just side effects of metastasized cancer and hopefully it will respond to the chemo.
Please continue to pray for pain relief and peace. I'm on this roller coaster that is easy when your feeling good, but when you start to feel lousy, it's much harder.
I forgot to tell you that I did have a wonderful surprise today. We had a knock at the door this morning and there was a box of flowers for me. All the way from Romania! My little Rebecca sent me flowers to encourage me with the nicest card. It put such a big smile on my face and tears down my cheeks. Thanks Bex! I love you soooo much!

Treatment in Texas (a photo update)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Three treatments down and who knows how many to go. But, I'm three down. I feel like I have accomplished something! I did pretty well today. My blood sugar has become pretty predictable. It has taken exactly 22 minutes each time for my blood sugar to get below 44. It makes things go a little smoother to know when it's coming and everyone gets ready for the next step. Ian and Mom are with me every minute praying and supporting me. I'm so grateful to have them here. I think I have mentioned before that it has metastasized to the skin on my breast. He decided today to inject chemo directly into the lesions. I knew it would be uncomfortable. But, it was pretty painful. I just closed my eyes and gripped the chair. I felt like my skin was on fire. It continued to burn for several hours later. Needless to say, I am not looking forward to that again. I am also very short of breath and having to sleep sitting up to breathe. My pet scan had showed fluid on my lung, but minimal. So, I let him know today and he ordered a chest xray, which I have done. Hopefully we will have results tomorrow. I'm praying that the fluid has not increased. I don't want to have to have my lung tapped. I was actually able to go get some lunch afterward before it hit me. I haven't been able to do that yet. We came back to the hotel and I slept for about two hours and actually felt pretty good when I woke up. I'm tired, but a little better than previous treatments. He is going to increase the amount of chemo on Thursday now that I am beginning to tolerate it a little better. I'm praying that goes well since we have to get on the plane very early Friday morning. Going home to see my precious kids will be worth it no matter how I feel. There is good news! When I woke up today, it felt like the tumor has shrunk a little. Not gone by any means, but, I actually have soft tissue spots. I looked at my mom and burst into tears. I said "Mom, I think it has shrunk just a tiny bit". We both looked at each other with tears streaming down our face. I was telling Robyn today that this time is so different as far as the tumor goes. The first time, I had the mastectomy first and never had any pain and the tumor was gone. This time, it is very tangible and I am constantly feeling it to see if it has changed. It makes it harder that I am living with this thing inside of me. So, to feel a small change was a milestone that I so needed today. The doctor told us today that I will continue to have one treatment a week for the next four weeks and then he will order the pet scan and re-evaluate at that point. Three more days until we head home. Can't wait!!!!! Please continue to pray that my pain will go away in my back and chest. Nights seem to be the worst.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm having a hard time keeping my head up this afternoon and evening. I did so well this morning. But, I crashed this afternoon. It is so hard to keep your head up when you feel lousy. I keep trying to remind myself that it could be so much worse. But, honestly, it's hard sometimes. I have two days off before chemo again, so I know I will start to feel better. Just trying to keep my eyes on the prize!
Home from treatment this morning. It went much smoother today. I woke up very anxious and did not want to go. Ian prayed over me and I got up and began to get dressed, but, I still felt so much oppression. I met with a psychologist yesterday and that went well. We worked on my anger. I have just recently began to be very angry that this cancer is back. I think it's been such a whirlwind and I haven't had the time to stop and think about anything. But, the last few days have given me time to think. We worked through some of those emotions yesterday, which was good. I told Ian that I just seem to be in a funk. I'm so run down that it feels like I don't have the energy to fight and my battle has just began. So, all of these feelings brought on anxiety this morning. My Dad called me on the way to chemo and prayed with me on the phone and reminded me that fear is not of the Lord. Once I got there, I felt better and things went really smooth. It took about 22 min. for my sugar to drop. And we caught it at 40 instead of 29, before we started the chemo. I did not sweat as bad this time and then freeze. I am sleepy, but the doctor says that is from the insulin drop. And just everything is taking a toll on my body. I am not nauseous though, which is a big plus! The cramps started in the office, so they gave me some more electrolytes and also gave me a prescription to help with the cramping. So, what started out to be a gloomy day, has so far been wonderful. I am going to just rest today and take it easy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I was a little under the weather. I felt great in the morning and went to run a few errands before going to the doctors office and then crashed. I was suppossed to get laser treatment to my lymph nodes, but I was too weak and sick to get treatment yesterday. They decided to just give me fluids and electrolytes which perked me up. I am mainly tired. I just feel like I could sleep and sleep. I did sleep better last night, no leg cramps. Just pray for rest today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Today went well. It was a long day. First of all, our flight was delayed an hour last night and then another 45 min. once we got to Dallas because there was not a gate open for us. So, we got to the hotel later than we had planned. I slept pretty good last night though. We got to the doctors office around 9am and we didn't leave until 2pm Long day! They were all so good to me. It took about 20min. after I got the insulin before it dropped. It was quick. All of a sudden my heart was racing. I started at 94bpm and went to 125bpm. Then my vision started going. I could see, but everything was fuzzy. I was also sweating profusely. They checked my sugar and it was 29. He started to push the chemo meds and a bunch of others too. He ended with glucose to bring my sugar back up and then I drank orange juice and ate. Food never tasted so good. He told me that I would then get cold and it took a while before I did, but then I started shivering. I was exhausted and fell asleep for quite a while before they could take me back to the hotel. I slept more when I got to the hotel, but was woken up by herendous leg camps. I had lost too much fluid and needed potassium. I was glad Ian was here with me. I remember getting cramps the first time with chemo. Other than that though, I have not been sick. Just tired and the cramps. Hopefully that is as bad as it will get. We called the doctor and he is going to give me more fluids and potassium next time. Maybe that will help and I won't get them. My mom has been running all day getting me the food I need to eat. I don't know what I would do without her. She is the best mom ever. She just knows what I like and doesn't even have to ask me. It's nice not to have to think about all of that part of this. My next treatment will be friday at 8:30am. Keep the prayers coming.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What an awesome night tonight with family and friends. There was standing room only at my parents house. I feel so loved and overwhelmed that all of you came to pray for me as we leave tomorrow. I am so blessed to call you friends. Thank you for all your words of encouragement. I will remember things that each of you said tonight as I am gone these next two weeks. I feel that I am ready to go and get started with this journey. I know, I've already started the journey. But, the second part is beginning. I'm so greatful that my Mom and Ian are going with me. I wish everyone could be there. I have some of the greatest sisters who made food for tonight and put everything together. Thank you to Robyn, Jamie and Jenn! I love you all more than you know. I wish you could all come in my suitcase with me. I will be taking my computer with me, so I can keep up my blog. My treatment will be at 9:30 Tuesday morning. I will let you know how everything goes. Just continue to keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today has been a low day for me. I woke up just feeling down in the dumps. I had errands to run, the kids were in school, so I got myself dressed and went out. I seemed to be doing ok for a little while and then my pain started. I constantly have pain across my whole chest and around my back. It's uncomfortable, but usually tolerable. Today it got so bad. I got in the car from leaving Walmart and burst into tears. Why was I in so much pain? I didn't know if I was going to make it home. When I got home, Ian happened to be there waiting for the water guy. That was a blessing. No kids, so I just let loose. I layed on my bed and cried and cried. Why am I hurting so bad? Please, give me relief I cried out to God. Ian just sat with me and comforted me. I took a pain pill and it slowly began to ease my pain.
It was by no mistake that we were to eat dinner at my parents house with my family. They wanted to pray over me tonight. We thought about cancelling and staying home, but I knew that would be the worst thing for me. We went over to my parents and by the time I got there, the pain was starting again. It was obvious that someone didn't want me there for a reason. We ate dinner and then my family sat around me, even the kids, and prayed over me. Before they started, I told them that I had a rough day today and was believing lies that were going on in my head. The worse the pain gets, I think to myself, the cancer is getting worse. Sometimes being a nurse is a detriment to me. I start trying to assess myself. Before we prayed, my Dad asked if anybody wanted to say anything and my little girl spoke up. She told everyone how her and Grammy had been looking up a new verse each week to help them get through this and writing it down in her notebook. She didn't have her notebook with her, but she could remember each scripture. When she was done, she looked over at me and said, "I know my mom can do this, because she did it before". Nothing like my 9 year old to trust that the Lord is going to heal me. Then my family began to pray. We held hands and we cried and my Dad said that we would come against this as a family. I'm not sure how people get through this without the Lord and the support of their family. I have to say that unfortunately, for the rest of you, I have the best family! Sorry, but they take the cake. Once I got home, I was tired and just wanted to go to bed, but again the pain was too bad. So, here I am writing to all of you knowing that I can have a bad day and my family will be there to pick me up and remind me to rest in my heavenly Father.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

All went well with my surgery yesterday. I now have matching scars on both sides from my ports. I had it done at Palm Beach Gardens hospital, which is where I work, and had excellent care. I had my co-workers/friends around my bedside the whole time. Shelby even went in the OR with me. It was so comforting having everyone there. And they kept my Mom entertained as well. I have such great friends that I work with.
All the arrangements have been made for next week. My mom, Ian and I will fly out Monday night and have treatment 9:30 Tuesday morning. We will return the 26th of March. Everything is moving along and Monday will be here before we know it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sorry it has taken me so long to write. It has been a whirlwind weekend. And then I came home to Maddie sick. She has bronchitis. As if my plate wasn't full enough. Off to the doctor again today, except, not for me this time. Hopefully she is on the mend.
It was a full weekend, but a very productive one as well. I came home exhausted, but with peace. I have changed my course of treatment. Thankfully, I will not be doing the strong chemotherapy. I will however do a lesser treatment called ITP therapy. Let me back up and explain a little bit. I am going to do a combination of conventional and alternative treatment. I have started on a no sugar, no carb diet. Very little animal protein. Mainly, fruits and vegies. The object is to starve these nasty little cancer cells of their favorite food, and mine, SUGAR! I am also taking a whole truck load of natural supplements to help get me healthy. This is where the ITP therapy will come in. They will give me insulin to drop my blood sugar and then hit me with a low dose chemotherapy. The point is that the cancer cells are starving and they go after the chemo thinking that it is food. And will they be fooled! There is not as many side effects to the low dose chemo. Yeah! I will be receiving my first treatment this coming Tuesday. The first two weeks, I will get a treatment twice a week and then it will go to once a week for a couple of weeks and then hopefully once a month for a while. Ian, myself and my mom will be heading to Texas this Monday. We will stay there for two weeks and then I will go back and forth for the remainder of the treatment. There are only 10 doctors in the USA that do this treatment. We do have one here in FT. Lauderdale, but we just felt more comfortable with the doctor in Texas. My sister, Jamie and her husband Stephen will stay at my house with my kids. Two weeks is a long time to be away from my kids. So, please pray for them that the time will go by fast for them...and me. After meeting with the doctors out there, Ian and I for the first time felt a sense of peace. All the other doctor appts. were a death sentence for me and we were given hope out there. They are all believers and this is a spiritual, emotional and physical battle. We just feel we are right where God wants us to be. After the turmoil I have been in for the last two weeks, peace is a wonderful feeling.
Tomorrow I will have a surgery to have a port placed for my chemotherapy. The chemo is just to hard on my veins and this will help make it easier for me.
Continue to keep us in your prayers as my battle will really take off this coming week. Pray for safety as we travel and are away from our kids. Pray that I tolerate the treatment well. The words of encouragement from all of you have been so comforting. I love reading your comments and am excited to keep you up to date on my progress. I am going to prove all these doctors wrong! I wasn't born feisty for no reason!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I went to another oncologist today for a second opinion. There was good and bad. Bad is that she puts me back to stage 4. Although, she doesn't have all my paperwork yet. She was waiting on the PET scan and Bone scan from the radiologist. So, maybe when she sees that, she will change her mind. Once she gets that info, and if she agrees with my oncologist, then she chose the same chemotherapy treatment. That was the good. It just confirmed to me that I would be getting the correct treatment. She is leaving for Harvard tomorrow and is going to take my case to be reviewed. Again, she has said that I am a very difficult case. At least my case is being taken to all these cancer institutes for free. And I don't even have to go. I choose not to believe that I am stage 4 and told myself while I was sitting there that I would not let my emotions control me. She did'nt have all her information, so I'm not going to waste tears. She did say that if it is stage 4, that I would be on a "marathon" so to speak of chemo. Basically I would constantly be taking some type of chemo to prolong my life. She said that we would stretch it out and try to get 15 years. I didn't like a number to be given to my life. When I talked to Robyn today,, she said, see Kelly, this disease is not going to take you because I believe the Lord will come back before then. I agree! I told Ian last night that wouldn't it be awesome if the day I started chemo the Lord came back! Woo Hoo! She did say however that this chemo regimen would be difficult and asked me if I had lots of help. So, I would ask for prayers for strength and perserverance through this battle. I had a hard time last time and this chemo is stronger. I will get a concentrated dose every other week. I don't have any other appointments before we leave on Wednesday for Texas. I will let you know how that went as soon as we get home. We will be back on Saturday. Love you all!