Psalm 118:17

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There is a light at the end of the tunnel! I had my Herceptin infusion today and then saw Dr. McKeen after. My cancer markers are way down, almost normal and I am done with chemotherapy! That was the best news I have heard in a long time. She is going to keep me on Herceptin once a week for the next four weeks and then if I am stable, I will just get it once a month. I will probably have to get it for the rest of my life, but it does not make me sick and it only takes about an hour from start to finish. I can live with that. They have very good results with this medicine and she said it may be all I need. I will have a petscan in about four weeks. I am believing that there will be no cancer on that scan and I will be in full remission. My echocardiagram of my heart came back good. My heart is in good shape. We think the palpitations may be from the steroids that I am on. Today is the first day off of them.
My God is so AWESOME! Mckeen seemed to be surprised that the cancer has gone away like it has. She said if I do good deeds that she thinks it might stay away. I know better than that. It's by grace that I am healed and my physician is my heavenly Father.
Please continue to pray for total healing. I am so ecstatic with the news today that I want to shout it from the roof tops and give credit where credit is due!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have been having palpitations lately and Thursday was pretty bad. I called Ian to come home from work because I was home alone with the kids and afraid something would happen. Of course I didn't want to go to the hospital. I'm a nurse you know, and a cardiac one at that, and nothing is supposed to be wrong with my heart. Further more, I am sick of going to the hospital. Ian made me call Dr. Mckeen and I did. They of course told me to go the the ER if it continued. It didn't and I didn't have to go. But, they scheduled an echocardiogram and an EKG of my heart. I had to have it done at the hospital and they made an appointment for today. I had to check in with the ER patients and there were people vomiting and really sick in the ER waiting room. I just sat there praying that the Lord would put a hedge of protection around me. My immune system is weak and I just got out of the hospital. I don't need to catch anything else. So, please pray that I was not exposed to anything. I waited two hours for a scheduled test because they couldn't find my prescription. I was a little irritated. But, it was finally done and now we wait for results. The main side effect of the Herceptin that I am still getting is cardiac problems. I'm praying my heart is strong and that the chemo nor the Herceptin has not affected it in anyway.
I brought Maddie with me and we went and had lunch together before the test just to spend some time together alone. On the way to lunch, she started asking me alot of questions about how much it had spread. We told her it had spread, but she never knew all of the places it had gone to. I felt the need to be honest with her and so I told her everywhere it had gone. She has been so strong this summer and has been such big help to me. She has stood by me when I was home alone with my kids and held my head when I was vomiting. She would rub my back and say it's ok Mom, let it out, I'm right here. She would get a cold washcloth for me and clean out my bucket of vomit. Make sure I had something to drink and make lunch for Parker. And, today, she finally broke. She burst into tears in the car and said, Mom, I've had enough! I'm tired of you being sick and all summer. Why does it have to be you? This is what I hate the most about this! When it hurts my little girl, Momma bear comes out. But, I stayed calm and told her we will never know why and it really doesn't matter. I told her mommy is doing better and we know the Lord has never left us through all of this and mommy is going to be better again real soon. I was so glad she was finally honest with me, but my heart is broken tonight as I picture her little face fall apart. I know everyone will say this will make her stronger and who she is today. Well, that's great, but I bet it's not what you would want for your child. I know she will be alright and it will make her stronger. It just wasn't how I would have done it. But, I know she is in God's hands and he can take better care of her than I can. So, just keep her in your prayers as she walks through her feelings.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I had my Herceptin infusion on Tuesday, but no chemo. She is holding chemo from week to week right now until she makes a decision as to whether I need to go back on chemo or not. I'm praying that I don't have to. Mentallly, I am not ready to go back on right now, so if it comes to that, I will need lots of prayer to mentally prepare myself again. But, for now, I am going to enjoy each day that I am off of it and try not to think past that. I do pretty well with the Herceptin. It seems to be upsetting my stomach, but is tolerable and only lasts a day or so. For the most part, I feel much better, just very weak. When you feel better, you want to do so much more and then I end up over doing it. It is amazing how weak you become when you are in bed for so long. One day at a time, right? I continue to pray for total healing and believing it has already been done!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm home! Dr. Mckeen came in around 5:00 last night and said my CT scan had improved since Monday and I could go home. She feels like this may have all been caused by the chemo. So, she will not be giving me chemo for a while. I will just get Herceptin for now. She said many women do very well on just the Herceptin. She wants to research a little more and see if this is truly from the chemo. There is another woman in Boston that is receiving the same chemo as me and has the same symptoms, except she is worse than me right now. The doctors up there are trying to decide the same thing, whether it is a side effect of the chemo. Dr. Mckeen is going to recommend that they not give her the chemo again because of the similarities of both of our cases. My CT scan was so good that she feels comfortable not giving me the chemo right now. She said that I could be close to being in remission. We will see how I do with just the Herceptin and let my body heal from the pneumonia and mouth sores. Then, she will probably order a PET scan and we will know for sure whether I am in remission or not. I was overwhelmed by these results. There are a few benign lesions in my left breast, there does not appear to be any cancer in the lung, and there is still some fluid in my abdomen, but my abdomen looks unremarkable. I was brought to tears! My God is so good! He's still good even when I doubted Him at times. That's my kind of God! Always faithful! I am home now on antibiotics and healing. Weak, but doing well. I am thrilled to not be getting chemo for a while so that I can get my strength and energy back. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Feeling better as far as the aching and fever goes. And my breathing has gotten a little better. I am still on the oxygen, but I know it is temporary until I can get my lungs cleared up. It appears to be a very bad case of pneumonia. My left upper lobe and my right middle lobe are completed solid with gunk in them. They are trying breathing treatments on me to try and loosen them up and get stuff up, but, we have had no luck. It just gets me coughing and then I start vomiting. I just had another CT scan today ordered by Dr. Mckeen to see if this is being caused by the chemo. Apparently this could be a side effect of this type of chemo. Depending on the results of the CT scan today will decide whether I have to have a bronchoscopy tomorrow. They will go down my throat and into my lungs and take a biopsy of what ever is in there. Then they will run tests on it to see exactly what it is. I am so ready to go home, but I'm glad they are being thorough in getting to the bottom of this and where it is coming from. I will let you know when we have results and what the game plan is next.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I slept good last night, but woke up and could not do anything with exertion even with the oxygen on. I called Dr. McKeen's office and they wanted me to come in. Ian had to go rent a wheelchair for me because I couldn't even walk to the bathroom because my oxygen would drop too low. Maddie had meet and greet day today. So Ian took her to that and my Mom took me to the doctor. She looked at my CT scan from last week and saw a spot on my left lung that had changed. I asked if it could be progression of the disease and she said possibly. She said it could also be a mucus plug from a fungal infection which would be treatable. The good news is that, my tumor markers have gone from 1790 to 400. So, she decided to admit me to Good Samaritan Hospital. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy. Although, I get panicked when I can't breathe, so it is probably a good thing. I saw the infectious disease doctor first and he ran a battery of tests. And then, Dr. Scoma, my lung surgeon came in and ordered another CT scan to see what has changed from Tuesday. He said either it is fluid again, a pulmonary embolism or infection. I got the results pretty quickly and it is pneumonia. The good news is that the fluid has not changed and he said the cancer has improved since the last CT scan I had several weeks ago when I was here having surgery. I was so happy to hear that. They have started me on strong IV antibiotics and will be here a few days. He said it will probably take a good 48hrs. to feel any results. I'm praying that the breathing gets better before then. If I lay still in bed them I'm fine, but if I do anything, I can't breathe. I hate being here when my kids start school tomorrow. But, they are home with my Mom and Ian is spending the night with me. I don't want to be alone because I get so scared when I can't breathe. I talked to the kids tonight and they sounded fine and are excited about school tomorrow. They are always fine with my Mom. I am just thrilled it's pneumonia and not anything worse. This is treatable and then I can get off the oxygen again. Yeah!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I woke up this morning at 7am and felt like someone was smothering me. I could not breathe. I started grabbing Ian to wake him up and he was scrambling to get my oxygen on me. When I checked my oxygen, it was 68. It should be above 92. I went to my sisters last night and when I got home, I told Ian that it was the best I have felt in a while. Then I wake up to this. It scared me to death. I have tried all day to get off the oxygen and as soon as I take it off, it falls quickly. I will call the doctor tomorrow and see what she says. But, I am very discouraged. I did not want to have to be on this oxygen ever again. I don't know if it's fluid again or if I have an infection because I am still running a fever. I am praying that it is not fluid and maybe I just need a stronger antibiotic. Please pray that it is nothing too serious. I am anxious to know what is wrong. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still running a fever today. The doctor said to give the antibiotic another 24hrs. or the fever may be a side effect of the chemo. I remember running a fever for 21 days straight the first time I went through chemo. They tested me for everything, ended up pulling my port out and canceling my last two treatments of chemo. Nothing ever showed up positive for any kind of infection. So, it may be a side effect of chemo. In any case, it's not fun. The fever makes me feel like I have the flu and keeps me in bed. I'm tired of being sick! My mouth sores have on the other hand gotten much better, and I am able to eat now. My mom asked them on Tuesday if they had ever had patients with sores this bad and they said no, this was the worse case. I seem to react violently to chemotherapy. I have never had a strong immune system, and I'm beginning to think that has alot to do with how I tolerate chemo. I'm trying to hang in there, but sometimes it just seems so hard. Ian is trying to keep me positive and my head up. That's a big job for him right now. Maybe you should be praying for him instead. Anyways, that's whats going on now. Hopefully, the fever will go away soon and I will start to feel better soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No chemo today! I woke up with a fever of 101.8 and could barely get dressed. It was all I could do to get my clothes on to get to the doctors office. They tested me for everything under the sun and decided that I was too sick to get chemo today. They gave me IV antibiotics, lots of fluids for dehydration and of course my Herceptin. They sent me home on antibiotics and medicine for the sores in my mouth. They are actually a little better today and I was able to eat a little food. Hopefully they will continue to get better and not come back. Now hopefully I will feel better soon and have another week to recover.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Running a fever today and still can't eat because of the sores in my mouth. I am scheduled for chemo tomorrow and I am very anxious about getting it. I just don't feel like I am strong enough to take another hit yet. Please pray for strength and healing to get me through this week. This is my last week home with my kids before school starts and was hoping I would feel better. Praying that the days will get better as the week goes on.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I went to Palm Beach Gardens Hospital yesterday to have my port checked and unfortunetly, it had a leak in it. This meant I would have to have this one removed and a new one put in. Fortunetly, since I work there, we pulled some strings and got one of the surgeons to take care of it for me while I was there instead of having to come back for another hospital visit. So, Dr. Faro took me to surgery and replaced my port and also took out the tube in my chest. I got a two for one. Instead of having to go back in the hospital next Friday to have the tube out, he said he would just do it for me now and eliminate that visit. So, I now have no tube in my lung and I am hopefully done with hospital visits for a while. My mouth is still in very bad shape from the chemo. I am trying some new medicine that we picked up yesterday, but have not seen any results yet. Please pray for healing in my mouth so that I can eat. As of right now, everything burns and I can hardly eat food period.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I saw the surgeon today and he said my lungs look good and I am getting the tube taken out next Friday. The tube is in my right lung and the fluid is gone there. There is still a small amount of fluid in the left lung, but not enough to put a tube in. It has stayed the same amount and will hopefully go away as it responds to chemotherapy. I will be happy to have this out. He was surprised that I never drained much fluid after he put it in. I was having it drained once a week and getting over a liter of fluid. Then he puts the tube in and it stops. I think it was a God thing! The sores in my mouth are so bad today that it has been difficult to eat or drink. Tomorrow I am sampling a brand new medication for this to see if it will work. It is for severe mouth sores from chemotherapy. Everything I eat burns all the way down my esophagus. Unfortunately,this is the main side effect of this chemo. Please pray for my mouth to heal and not be so painful. I am also having a study done on my port tomorrow. It is not working properly and I need if for the chemo. I can only use the veins in my left arm and they will not last through chemo. It will burn them and then I'm in trouble. Please pray that they will be able to fix the problem tomorrow and not to have any kind of surgery.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chemo went pretty well yesterday. I saw Dr. McKeen after treatment and tried to get alot of things squared away. She changed alot of my medication and started me on new things to help with the side effects. She put me on a appetite enhancer and hopefully this will all help. My mouth is what is so painful right now. I can hardly swallow anything for the sores and it's just raw skin. I can't taste anything, which makes eating not even enjoyable. And I love food! Jamie brought me home from chemo and I slept for a little bit. Woke up feeling weak, but not nauseous. Later last night I started to feel the best I have in a while as far as my body goes. No aching and all that. I did not sleep again last night, which still seems to be an issue, but I'm feeling ok so far today. Just pray that my mouth gets better and I am able to get food down. I need nutrition to get my strength back and that is a real battle for me right now. I also got my CT scan results. My lungs looked very good, the cancer had not progressed any further in my lungs. It seemed to stay the same. But, she said that was to be expected until I get more chemo. The fluid around my heart seemed to be a little less as well. She also measured the tumor in my breast and it is down another inch from last week. So, every little thing I hold on to and take it one day at a time. I'm thankful for good news this week. I see the surgeon tomorrow about the tube in my lung. It is still not draining anything, so hopefully I will be able to get it out. Keep the prayers coming and I ask for strength to keep my head up. I've been struggling with being sick for so long and trying to remain positive. I am also having self esteem issues. My hair is on it's way out and I am trying to hold on as long as possible. My sisters say it's not as bad as I think, but I just don't look like myself anymore. I have lost so much weight and I just don't feel like me anymore. It is hard to look in the mirror at times. This is just another level to this disease and I will work through it. I did the first time, it just takes some time. The Lord has fearfully and wonderfully made me, Right?