Brain MRI Update

I was concerned about this MRI because it was to determine if I would be having brain surgery in May.  One 3mm lesion is gone.  Others have decreased in size.  The one that was most concerning has grown a little.  My board of doctors met and decided we should do scans again in two months to see if it changes.  The hope is that it’s brain necrosis and not a tumor.  I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon next week.  I think it’s good to be prepared for anything.  I feel better knowing I have a plan if something doesn’t go my way.

I’m happy with these results. I’m excited that summer is on the horizon! Time to make some memories!

I have to share a few memories from the past month!

My precious grandson turned 3!  I’m so blessed to be here to  get to know him!

He saw Spider-Man at the circus and asked him to come to his birthday party. 😍. Spider-Man came and was awesome ( Thanks Chris)!!!!

I kept Little Miss Evie for the first time.  This is a big deal, she’s a Mama’s girl!

CA5FF73D-CA8C-4881-8A35-E6123621E17D

Jax and I usually paint rocks.  Last week we made our own teepee.  He loved it.

Next week Miss Evie will have her first birthday party.  Here’s to more memories, get out and make some!💕💕

All my love to you guys!  Thank you for the love and prayers! 💕

 

 

 

Advertisements

Another Weekend In The Hospital

Let me start by telling you I told my Javiee last week that I was craving mashed potatoes and meatloaf. I never eat that! You’ll understand why I told you this soon. On with my story. I received a call from my cancer center telling me they were now doing special chemo drugs and they wanted to send me my Xeloda instead of it being shipped from out of state. I agreed, it sounded like a good idea. I started my 4th cycle of Xeloda last Sunday. Monday I started feeling weak and it worsened as the week went on. I figured it was my 4th cycle and it would get harder with each cycle. Thursday I received a call from my cancer center saying I had an appointment Friday. I said no, it’s next Friday. She looked and said your right, I don’t know what happened but your also scheduled for this Friday. I decided to keep the appointment and cancel the next one. My mom picked me up and drove me to the cancer center. I was too exhausted to drive. By the time I made it from the car to the door of the cancer center I was out of breath and couldn’t walk. My mom wheeled me up in a wheel chair. They checked my heart rate and sent me straight to the hospital. My room was waiting for me when I got there and my heart rate was over double what it should have been. I went straight to CT. They were looking for a pulmonary embolism or a clot in my lung. There was nothing. When I got back from CT my hospital food tray was waiting for me. It was meatloaf and mashed potatoes. ( I was right where I was meant to be). They stabilized my heart and told me to stop taking Xeloda. I went to my purse and my Xeloda pills were scattered in my purse and the bottle was closed tightly. Not taking those! I’m home now and feeling like I should be. My heart is stable and I will go back on Xeloda, but from the original pharmacy. There was something going on with the pills from the cancer center. We’ll find out more about that this week.

I give God the glory…..

The unexplained appointment ( I was told if I had waited another week I would have had a heart attack)

The pink Xeloda pills in the bottom of my purse and don’t forget…….

The meatloaf and mash potatoes….yes meatloaf and mash potatoes!

God is Good!

Now for some pictures from the weeks before this mess!

At the Circus…making memories 💕💕

T.J’s now playing tennis……

Good food and beautiful faces….

D35FB796-58E7-4E87-A86F-9FB6C8194E60

You never know what tomorrow holds!  Get out and make some memories!  I love you all!!  💕💕

 

New Brain MRI Results

I love my radiation oncologist, Dr. Smathers.   When it comes to living with cancer  the most important things to me are quality of life and honesty.  I don’t want anything sugar coated!  She understands and that’s what she gives me.  I love to see her walk in with a smile.  I didn’t get that last month.  I got it today!  My scans showed nothing new.  It showed the little brain mets were no longer there.  The belief is that Xeloda took care of them.  The tumor in my left frontal lobe has grown 2mm.  Her hope is that Xeloda will reach that tumor and shrink it.  We have a new brain MRI scheduled in two months unless I start having symptoms.  The most common symptoms  would be dizziness, headaches and nausea. That’s the plan as long as I feel good.   If nothing changes on the next scan we will consider adding Methotrexate.   If it continues to grow brain surgery is my other option.   It’s another wait and see.

I give God the glory.  Five tumors gone in a month is amazing.  Thank you all for your love and prayers!  They mean so much to me!💕💕

I’m grateful for another month and for more memories!

057EA0B1-3739-4E0F-887F-9ABDFF7EF2DA

We taught Jax how to play Candy Land.  He won his first game!  I love being a glamma!

1A524C05-32DC-4D4E-8EBC-B030E7A9E30F

I had another Valentines Day with my sweet Javiee.  This man is my rock!❤️

CA0004DD-9392-4ABD-A3AB-6F9CE20B378B

T.J. joined ROTC (Air Force).

This has been a month full of memories!  Some deserving a title of their own.  I’ll add them soon!

Until then……Get out and make some memories!💕💕

 

Wednesday…Mammogram Day..Feb 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 I hit my five year mark. Five years living with metastatic breast cancer. Being diagnosed at Stage 4 means I’d unknowingly been living with cancer for a while. This was just the day I first heard “you have cancer”. I’ve been blessed the last five years with so many memories. Tonight, in reflection, I’m going back to my first ever blog post. I actually started the blog for my sister who lives in North Dakota. It grew into so much more. You all have become a huge part of my life and I’m grateful. 💕💕💕

Tammy Carmona

Today’s Wednesday. I love Wednesday, it’s my favorite day of the week. My Javiee is off on Wednesday, so it’s always a special day for us. We go out to breakfast on Wednesday, then we go shopping and get what we need for the week ahead. I know it sounds pretty simple, but it’s our time and we enjoy every second of it. Today’s a little different. Breakfast and then a mammogram (I found a lump in my left breast). I’m thankful my Javiee is with me for my appointment. I wasn’t really worried, I thought it would be nothing. The lady doing my mammogram was so nice, but when she saw the image and said wait right here a minute while the doctor looks at this, he may want to do an ultrasound , I knew there was a problem. Ten minutes later another lady is doing an ultrasound…

View original post 219 more words

An Update

I’ve  had so much going on lately!  I feel like I just can’t keep up.  I didn’t even mail Christmas cards this year!

I finish my second cycle of Xeloda tomorrow.  I can’t really complain with the side effects, I’ve dealt with worse.  I’m exhausted and my feet and legs hurt.  It’s like walking on pins and needles.  I’m handling it and praying it works.  After my first cycle of Xeloda (14 days) my tumor markers jumped from 263 to 968.  They’ve never been so high.  I have new blood work next Friday and I’m hoping to see a drop.

I had a tumor removed from my neck two days after Christmas.  My doctor was concerned that it was lymphoma.  It turned out to be breast cancer.  That was good news.  Now I have two new tumors in my neck and one on my jawbone.  The one on my jaw bone has caused numb chin syndrome.  It’s just like it sounds.  My chin and botttom lip are numb.

Last week I woke up vomiting.  It turned to blood and I ended up staying in the hospital for a few days.  They sent me home saying it was diabetes.  The truth was the vomiting is what made my blood glucose rise.  They sent me home and then called and said I wasn’t supposed to be released because my oncologist had ordered scans.  I told them to just schedule me for the scans and I would come in for them. I’m home now and resting.  I have three different scans scheduled for next Monday.  I will get the results of the brain scan on Wednesday and the throat and body MRI results will be Friday.  Until then it’s another wait and see.

I want to thank you all for the love and prayers sent my way.  You all make my life a little brighter!  💕💕

Get out and make some memories!

What Living With Advanced Breast Cancer Looks Like…A Healthline Article

I was in Mexico when this Healthline article came out.  I was one of the women featured and I wanted to share it with you.  I especially loved what Mary Gooze had to say.  It mirrored what I said.  💕

Here’s  the link…..

http://www.healthline.com/health/breast-cancer/understanding-and-managing/this-is-what-looks-like

Thank you Healthline for continuing to represent the metastatic community.  I have lost so many friends to this disease.  We need to talk about it.  We need funding for research.  We want to live!💕💕💕

 

Scan Results

There are a few impressive words on my scans this month.  My favorite is STABLE!  It says I have widespread bony metastases that show NO PROGRESSION since 02/06/17.  I’ll take it!

So where are my mets?

In my T3, T5, T6, T7, T11 and T12 vertebra.  There are multiple mets in my lumbar spine.  L3 is the worst and it hasn’t grown in the past three months.  There are multiple mets in my sacrum, iliac, pubic rami and my right femur.

Are they painful?

Yes.  Some more than others.  There is one on my spine that causes shooting pain if I move a particular way.  It’s close to a nerve.  I take hydrocodone and get on with life.

I also had brain mets and I have a brain MRI scheduled the first of June.  My last brain scan was clear.  I’m praying for the same result!

Remember the tumor in my lung?  Well, there is stable scarring in the left upper lobe.  No evidence of lung metastasis! Wow!

The pea sized knot in my neck seems to be my immune systems way of dealing with allergies. Good News! Gotta love it!

It’s always good to hear stable and nothing new!   What’s a girl to do?  I’m off to Mexico soon with my Javiee.  He’s working two jobs to pay for our trip (imagine not seeing your family for 11 years!).  Our tickets have been purchased and we’re going no matter what my brain MRI shows.  Time to make some memories!!    I love you guys!💕💕💕

 

New Scan Results

My latest scans showed progression to my ribs, spine and pelvis while I was on Ibrance.  I have multiple new pelvic and femoral lesions.  My spine has many new lesions (T5, T7, T8 and T12).  The good news is there was no new growth in my organs and the tumor in my lung is 2 cm smaller. My tumor markers are also still dropping.  I’m at 132 now!😀

I have a lot of pain in my hip.  My oncologist was concerned and thought I may need a pin in my hip. He referred me to an  orthopaedic oncologist, Dr.Gajewski, I loved him!  He’s a great addition to my team.  After x-rays and an exam he said no pin!  The pain is muscle and nerve pain from my spine.  I aggravate it by driving a five speed.  I guess it’s time to get another car.  He also said yoga will help.  Time to start a yoga class!

As of February 8th I have lived with metastatic breast cancer for 4 years.  Though I’m sure I had it years before I was diagnosed.  I find it sad that I was told I didn’t need a mammogram until I was 40.  I can’t help thinking at 35 I would have caught it before it spread.  It is what it is.  I’m thankful for the past four years.  Even during treatment, my days have been filled with memories.  I’ve had more time with my family.  I’ve watched T.J. grow into a young man.  So many special people have come into my life the past four years.  I am so grateful.  Let’s not forget….I became a glamma!  I’m so in love with little Jaxon.  He is perfect.  In May I will be a glamma again!  To a precious little girl.  I hope she looks just like me!!😂

Living with metastatic breast cancer isn’t easy, but I’m living!  That’s all that really matters. Get out and make some memories!  I love you all!💕💕

 

Look at my new wig my sweet Javiee bought me.  I love it!  My hair is beginning to come back on the sides.  The top is still bald.  I call it a nohawk.

image

Tumor Markers

There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to tumor markers.  My first oncologist tracked my markers and believed that they gave her an idea of how my treatments were working.  My new oncologist doesn’t worry about them as much.  I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones that can follow tumor markers.  When taxol failed my tumor makers rose.  We changed treatment and they dropped.  The same goes with Femara.  I went to Ibrance and my tumor markers climbed to 694 (CA 15-3) and 410 (CA 27-29).  My markers have never been so high!  We changed my treatment to Afinitor and they dropped.  I’m at 189 now.   That’s still not a good number.  I want to see it under 30 again.  For now I’m grateful to see such a big drop!

I’m scheduled for a new bone and pet scan the first week in February.  I have a lot of pain in my lower spine and my neck.  I know there was progression when I was on Ibrance.  The question is how much.  Back to waiting!

Until then I’ll keep taking my pain meds and enjoy some time with my Javiee (he’s off for a few weeks!). T.J. is keeping me busy with wrestling matches.  I walk into a match with no energy and leave as the cheering mom.  He’s doing really well.  I won’t miss a match even if I have to drive an hour to get there.  I’m just so thankful to be here to see him participate.  There’s no way I would miss one!

Ok, one more story to share!  My favorite Christmas song is The Christmas Shoes.  I play it every Christmas.  This year for Christmas Kori gave me Christmas shoes and had the song playing when I opened them.  I cried and cried.  It was a special Christmas full of special gifts but this one made my heart smile.  I know this song will always make Kori think of me.  Memories, the only thing that will outlive us!  Get out and make some!  I love you guys!!💕💕

 

I have to include a picture from Christmas!

image

My CyberKnife Experience

Just hearing cyberknife and knowing it was for a tumor behind my eye was beyond anything I could imagine.  Then I was told it would take 3-4 hours and I would be awake the entire time.  This was not an appointment I was looking forward to!

I have to tell you it sounds worse than it is.  It actually doesn’t even involve a knife.  It’s a robotic radiosurgery system that delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy.  No cutting and no pain involved.  I was fitted for a mask the week before surgery.  For me, this was the only uncomfortable thing about the surgery.  The mask is screwed into the table and it’s tight.  Here’s a picture of my mask.  I see a Halloween costume in T.J.’s future, it’s scary!

image

They gave me an Ativan before the surgery.  I was worried about being awake during this.  If they had said we give you ativan before we start I would have had no worries.  I remember my mask being attached and getting up.  That’s it.  I won’t have a new brain MRI until the end of October.  I’ll update you when I get results.  Waiting is always the hardest.  I just try not to think about it and go on with life.

This is a picture of the Cyberknife System.  The robotic arm moves to hit targeted areas.

cyber-knife

Now for the aftermath.  I vomited for 2 weeks and lost 15 lbs.  I couldn’t eat.  Everything I tried to eat tasted so salty and I would get sick to my stomach instantly.  The medical term for this is Dysgeusia.  I ate chicken nuggets for two weeks.  Now I’m eating fish, rice, cantaloupe, chicken nuggets, cheese on unsalted crackers and cheesecake.  My Javiee is still making me juices and I’m keeping them down.  I do miss his cooking!  Chocolate and red meat are the worst right now.  I never thought I’d see the day that I turn down chocolate!  I still have days when I’m just completely exhausted.  On those days I celebrate going to the grocery store! On the bright side I’m having more good days than bad now!  That’s really something to celebrate!

 

I have to end with a picture of T.J. holding my grandson Jax.  I think this is the first time he held him since the day he was born.  He was completely uninterested in holding him during the slobber and spit up days.  I honestly didn’t think he’d hold him until he was out of diapers.  I was so proud of him!

cyberknife3

Get out and make some memories!