Psalm 118:17

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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I am so excited to tell you all, that Maddie's birthday party was a huge success and I was able to participate in the entire evening without my oxygen! Woo! Hoo! The girls started out with swimming, then dinner, dancing and on to the spa party. Aunt Robyn did everyones hair, Aunt Jamie and Aunt Jenn painted nails and toe nails and I did make-up. They looked so beautiful when they were all done! We had the most spectacular cupcakes that Aunt Jamie made that were rings, nail polish, mascara bottles, q-tips and high heel shoes. She did an excellent job and the girls thought it was great! They then watched Girls Just Wanna have Fun and moved on to Truth or Dare! They had to run around the house in the dark, eat dog food, wake up Aunt Jamie by tickling her nose and finally ended up in the pool at 1:00am. Finally at 2:00am they were all tucked in and all the adults crashed. I'm not sure how late they stayed up whispering and giggling. Everyone was up at 7:00am and Grammy had cinnamon rolls made. One more dip in the pool and by 10:30am everyone was gone. Phew! I made it! I spent most of the day in my Mom's chair with my oxygen and completely exhausted, but filled with joy that I made it through the night! She will be officially 10 years old on Saturday and I am so thankful for those 10 years. When something grips a hold of your life you begin the look through different eyes. I watched her all evening and just soaked in her sweet smile and thanked the Lord for giving me a chance to be her Mom. She kept kissing me all evening and telling me how happy she was that I was there. My eyes spill with tears as I sit here and write this. I am thinking that two weeks ago I was in the hospital fighting to breathe and have been so sick since I have been home. But, the Lord has come through as He always does and given me the healing and strength to be there for my little girl. I was not able to shop for one thing for this party. My Mom took care of all the food and decorations, Jamie took her shopping for the gift bags, invitations and made all the cupcakes and Robyn took her shopping for snacks and fun things for the party, bought her gifts from me and Ian and spent alot of time on hair last night. I am so grateful for each part that they played to pull this party off. I just had to show up.
As far as my progress goes. I will have chemo on Tuesday. I had this week off, which was also a blessing. It worked out perfect for her birthday week to not be so sick. But, I am back on for the next three weeks in a row. I then see the surgeon on Thursday to evaluate if I can have the tube taken out of my lung. It is not draining any fluid and I am doing pretty well without my oxygen. I gain strength little by little each day and feel like I have turned a corner. I will let you know as the week unfolds as to what happens next with my appointments.
I know this was a long one tonight, but was so excited to share my joy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Everything went well at the Dr's office today. She can hear a little fluid in the bases of my lungs, but nothing much. She said that when the lung slowly inflates like this and having all the fluid that I had causes there to be some junk left in my lungs. That's part of why I keep coughing and getting stuff up. There may also be inflammation from everything. So, she started me on a steroid regimen of 12 days to reduce the inflammation and help the cough go away. I also told her that I getting very sick vomiting on every Saturday since I started the chemo. She gave me a new anti-nausea med that I am going to take Friday night and Saturday morning to see if that helps. All in all the nurse practitioner and Dr. Mckeen were very pleased with my progress. They both said my lungs sounded good, the ascites was hardly there anymore and the tumor in my breast has significantly shrunk in size. I'm going to keep taking the antibiotic and start the steroids in the morning and hopefully that will take care of the fever and the cough. And most importantly, I will be with Maddie for her party! I actually decorated cupcakes with her and Jamie this afternoon. We had a great time!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today started out going OK until this afternoon. I was able to not throw up and was able to get food in me. Around 4:00 this afternoon, my eyes started burning, so I took my temp. It was 100.8. I have to call the doctor if it goes above 100. So, I did and she wanted me to go to the hospital. I begged her not to go, so she called me in an antibiotic and I have to go in the morning. I was supposed to get herceptin tomorrow anyway, but that may change. Maddie's birthday party is Wednesday night and her birthday is Saturday. I am going to be so upset if I miss this birthday party. This is just like Satan to use my kids to get to me. I started crying hysterically when I hung up the phone and blew my nose, of which is very sore, and started a bloody nose. It got all over me and I got even angrier! Well, he got the reaction he was hoping for! I fell right into his trap. There, now I admit it and that's all he's going to get out of me.
Please pray that all goes well at the doctors office tomorrow and that I am with my little girl on Wednesday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yesterday I woke up with a low grade fever and just felt yucky. I don't know if it's the chemo, or if I am run down from going out on Wednesday. I am still running a fever today and Parker is also running a fever, so I don't know if we picked up something. I was bummed because I had such a good day on Wednesday and then have felt like I had the flu since. On a positive note, I have been going long periods of time without my oxygen and have been able to keep my oxygen level high enough. If I try to do too much, it drops. But, at least I've made some progress. I'm happy with that. I will be happy to get rid of the oxygen all together. Please pray that the fever goes away and I continue to gain strength.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Robyn took me to chemo yesterday which went well. I saw the doctor first and she finally gave me some good news. She could hear breath sounds in all lobes of my lungs. I looked at Robyn and we both began to cry. I was so afraid that she was going to tell me that my left lung was now bad. She thinks the constant coughing is from the tube irritating my lung the way it is rubbing against it. I was just happy it wasn't fluid making me cough. Finally some good news to lift my spirits. Each day I get a little more energy and am feeling better. Today I actually went on an outing. My sisters, mom, aunts, gramma, cousins and their kids all met at the little water park in gardens and Jamie picked me up and took me. I went with my oxygen, which I hated, but it was better than sitting at home. As soon as I got in the car, Parker said, mom your going too. He was so excited that I was going to be with them. They have constantly been doing things away from the house to let me recuperate. He's not used to me going anywhere with them lately. Both my kids kept kissing me the whole time I was there and just so happy. It made my day! I love my two precious children so much and have missed such valuabale time with them lately. That's what I hate so much about this disease. I am completely worn out tonight, but it was so worth it to be with my kids today. I just keep praying for strength each day and that I can get off this oxygen soon. The home health nurse has been coming every other day and draining my lung. Surprisingly, there has not been much fluid! Praise the Lord! Hopefully my lung is healing and is not going to produce much fluid anymore. Thank you for continued prayers and all your words of encouragement! I value all of you as you walk with me through this journey.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Well, a lot has happened this past week. I went for chemo on Tuesday and while I was there Dr. Mckeen listened to my lungs and decided I had to have it taken care of immediately. So, I finished my chemo and was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital. I was met by a Dr. Scoma who is a cardiothoracic surgeon. He sent me for a CT scan to see how bad my lungs were and gave me my options for surgery. The original plan was to have a surgery that drained both lungs, re-inflated them and to put some kind of powder in there to stop the fluid. It was a big surgery. I would have to be in ICU for the next 48 hrs. to control the pain. I was to get an epidural to help control the pain. I was scared to say the least. But, the next morning, Dr. Scoma came in and said there was a change in plans. Unfortunately my lungs were in worse shape than they thought. The cancer has penetrated the right lung and he was afraid that he would not be able to get me off the ventilator after surgery, which I could then get pneumonia and it would be a downhill spiral. On one hand, I was glad I didn't have to have the surgery. But, this was not good news. I took it very hard. I finally went down for the alternate surgery. Basically he put a tube in my right lung and it will remain there for 4-6 weeks. I will drain it at home as needed and eventually the fluid will stop and the lung will re-inflate. He decided to just do the right side, but we may need to go back and do the left as well. He said it's uncomfortable to have two at the same time. I was still nervous about having this done because I would be awake during the procedure. But, I got down to invasive surgery and the nurses could not have been nicer. I quickly found out that my nurses daughter, Stacey, works in ambulatory surgery which is where I used to work. She said to me, what can I do for you honey. I told her I was scared and she said, enough said, I'll take care of that. She gave me fentanyl and versed and I do not remember a thing until I started vomiting in recovery. I was very well taken care of and so grateful that she was with me.
I came home Thursday night and have been recuperating at home. My family never leaves my side and I don't know what I would do without them. My pain has gotten a little better, but the coughing is still there. I'm wondering if my left lung is going to have a tube placed as well. The coughing gets me vomiting and I'm having a hard time keeping food down. My mouth is full of sores from the chemo, so it makes me not want to eat anyway. I need prayer for my appetite to increase. I've lost about 30lbs now and really can't afford to loose anymore. I need nutrition to heal and get better. I never thought I would be drinking ensure, but mom is getting it in me as best she can. Pray that the cancer responds well to the chemo. Dr. Scoma and Dr. Mckeen say the cancer in my lungs responds well to chemo. It's not one big tumor, but just haziness on my lungs.
I continue to ask for prayer and a miraculous healing that only my God can do!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I kind of had a rough weekend. Friday and Saturday I was just wiped out from the hospital. But, on Sunday I started vomiting and got worse as the day went on. My mom thinks I was dehydrated and started trying to get fluids in me. I actually had to drink boost. The diet I have been on has been no protein and I just don't think it is good for me right now. I have lost a lot of weight and my body is looking for protein in my muscles. I am slowly trying to get nourishment back in me and today has been much better. I only vomited a little this morning from coughing so much. I think my lung has already filled up again. I go tomorrow at 11:30 to get chemo again and I'm a little apprehensive as to what Dr. Mckeen is going to say about my lung. I know I'm going to have to have it drained again and I'm dreading it. Please pray that chemo goes well tomorrow and I have a peace about everything.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I was able to breathe easier last night with the oxygen on, but still was very restless anticipating today. Fortunately, today went well. It was not near as painful as the first time. They gave me some IV sedation and numbed my lung more. The pain is when my lung starts to re-inflate as the fluid comes out. He didn't take the fluid out so quickly this time and would stop it all together when I started coughing so much and couldn't catch my breath. I never realized how I took advantage of every breath I took with ease before all of this. Not being able to breathe is such a horrible feeling. You can gasp all you want and it doesn't help you get a better breath. It's a scary feeling. Just glad today is over and I still have no side effects from the chemo. I am considering having a permanent drain placed in my lung so that I can drain it myself as needed. Dr. Faro, a surgeon at my hospital, said my lung is inflamed and with inflammation there is fluid. He said draining it more often and a little at a time will help the lung heal the inflammation and eventually stop producing fluid. I will have to see how fast this lung fills up again or if it does and then make my decision. Going to the hospital once a week to have it drained is just too much.
Please continue to pray without ceasing. I still believe my God will heal me!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

As far as treatment goes, it went well today. I have not gotten sick from the new chemo, which is a blessing. The bad news is that I was so short of breath while I was there. They checked my oxygen level and it was 79. It should be above 90. It was later in the day and they wanted me to go to the hospital and get my lung drained again, but when we called the hospital, it was going to be a long wait. We decided to wait until tomorrow and they ordered oxygen to be delivered at home. I have been so discouraged and have done a lot of crying this afternoon. It has only been a little over a week since I had it drained. I was hoping that it would have lasted longer. I had a difficult time the first time I had it drained and am scared to have it done again. Having oxygen delivered to my house was a low blow. I never thought it would come to this. I guess I have to admit that I am a little angry. When is enough, enough? Please pray for a good night sleep. I am so anxious about tomorrow that it is going to be hard to sleep. And please pray for a miracle!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I have made my decision to go forward with the chemo. I am scheduled for 11:00 tomorrow. The side effects are suppossed to be minimal and I am told that I will start to feel better pretty quickly. I have a peace about my decision and am ready to move forward and begin to feel better. I am in bed most of the time right now due to pain.
Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I begin my new treatment tomorrow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Friday's Herceptin infusion went well. I actually vomited before the infusion. I think from the pain medicine. Robyn had just gotten here to get the kids and they were all in my room when I started. So, out the door they went and Robyn stayed with me until I was done. I felt bad for the kids. I don't like them to see me like that. They went off to Calypso Bay with Robyn and Mom took me to get my infusion. I still have not made a decision regarding the chemo that Mckeen wants me to have. So, I told her I needed another week to make a decision. While we were still at the office, Mom could just tell that I was in turmoil as to what decision to make. She asked me how I felt about having people come over and pray tonight and I agreed. I told her who I wanted and Dad made the phone calls. Not one of them said no and rearranged Friday night plans to be at my house at 6pm. It was awesome! I felt so blessed after the prayer meeting and felt the presence of the Lord.
Earlier in the day, Mom called the Dr. in Miami and made an appointment for me to get his opinion. He is an MD and also practices alternative medicine. He was actually willing to see me on Saturday. So, Mom and Ian took me down yesterday. He was very nice, but could not seem to answer our questions and all three of us did not feel good about it. I was glad that we were all feeling the same way. We were glad we went though, because we feel that the Lord has closed that door. He continues to close certain doors and it feels like He is directing us in the path He wants us to take. Time is of essence right now and I need to make a decision this week. My tumor markers came back and they were 9,000. They should be below 50. That painted a clear picture of what is going on inside my abdomen.
I am now confident that I will make the right decision no matter what, because ultimately the Lord is my healer.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tuesday morning I called my doctor to let her know that I was extremely short of breath. I thought it was my abdomen again that needed to be drained. So, she sent me to the hospital to have it drained and to have a chest xray. It ended up being a very long day. After many xrays, they decided there wasn't enough fluid in my abdomen in one spot to drain. The risk of hitting an organ outweighed the benefits. There seemed to be several small pockets of fluid and by draining one of them was not going to give me any relief. We moved on to the chest xray, which showed that my right lung was pretty bad. So, they decided to drain the fluid off my lung. I went in for a thoracentesis around 4:00 on Tuesday and they drained a liter of fluid off my lung. No wonder I was so short of breath. I'm just praying that the fluid stays away and does not come back. I do not want to have to go through that agin. It was quite painful and very scary. As my lung began to re-inflate, it feels like you can't breathe. Nothing worse than not being able to breathe. It lasted about 30 minutes and was finally over. Darlene, my coworker and friend, was in with me the whole time. I was so thankful to have her there and try and calm me down to slow my breathing down. It's a whole different ball game being on the other side. I had a hard time keeping my oxygen level up after the procedure,so we were there for a while. They put me on oxygen to give my lung a little help and after about 2 hrs., it finally was able to hold.
Yesterday, I stayed in bed most of the day. I woke up feeling like I had been run over. My body just hurt everywhere. The emotional part takes a toll on you just as much as the physical part.
Maddie, came in my room last night and had a long talk with me. It is finally beginning to take a toll on her. She told me that it is scaring her that it has spread everywhere and that there is no cure for cancer. I reminded her that I am believing the Lord is going to heal me and she agreed. She began to tell me about all the stories in the bible of when the Lord healed people. She said, remember the one that died and then he raised him from the dead? I said, yes honey. And she said, He might even do that mom. He might raise you from the dead. You might get to see what heaven looks like and the streets of gold and then come back and tell us all about it. I told her that I hoped that wouldn't happen. She said she misses spending time with me and that she prays all the time that I would be able to walk a little further or stand just a little longer. It was a very hard conversation, but one I will never forget. She is a special little girl and I know the Lord is going to do something out of all of this.
Please continue to pray for my complete healing! And keep my family in your prayers as well.