Beyond Time for An Update.

Beyond Time for An Update.

I have been home a few days now. I’ve spent the last 10 days or so in the hospital. Unknowingly, In the hospital. I honestly thought I had been kidnapped. I know it sounds crazy but it’s not. My Mom and my husband were trying to get me up from my bed at my house. I would vomit every time they tried. I couldn’t speak to them. I couldn’t walk. I was completely unaware. They called an ambulance, if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here today. It seems to be the chemo therapy I was on caused Cancer-Related-Hypercalcemia. My calcium levels were so high, I was literally out of my mind. I’ll follow up on this later. Right now I’m just trying to give you an idea of what’s going on.

Though my brain looks better, I’m actually doing worse than I’ve ever been. I now have leptomeningeal metastases which have spread to my meninges and spinal fluid. It can’t get much worse for me. I have two more days of radiation. I don’t know what’s after that. So far I’ve heard there is nothing else to do.

Right now my plan is to rest and get through my last two radiation appointment’s. My doctor has said I can have no visitors until she sees me next week. The least little germ could kill me right now.

I’d love to see you guys, I just can’t. I saw my kiddos the other day, so I have a few pictures. For now that’s really all I know. I have to give this to God right now. I’m serious when I say I can’t even walk alone. My mama and my Javiee have been doing everything for me. Stop and think about that. It’s so hard, but I’m so blessed to have them here right now. I will update you all as soon as I know more. I love you all! Thank you for the love and prayers. Get out and make some memories!💕💕

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Dropping Tumor Markers!

After one triple dose of Paclitaxel my tumor markers have dropped from 1615.9 to 999!  It wasn’t easy, but so worth seeing such a big drop after one treatment!

I was down for a while and was extremely weak.  I still managed to have a day out with my grandbabies Sunday.  My legs were still weak.  I sat down with Evie and T.J. had to help get me up.  First to my knees, then to my feet.  Exhausting but so worth it!  Here are pictures….

Then they spent the night with me on Monday!  I miss them so much after chemo!  Jax always has to have a pizza party in our bed and Evie wasn’t feeling well that night.  I was just so happy to spend time with them!  More pictures…

Now I’m off with my Javiee to see Lynyrd Skynyrd this weekend in Atlanta!!  I come home to port surgery on Tuesday and chemo on Wednesday!  At least I’ll have a good weekend before!

I love you guys!  Get out and make some memories!💕💕

Paclitaxel (Taxol). Back where I started.

I’m back in the chemo chair. I’m revisiting Taxol, the first chemo regimen I ever did. It worked the first time so I’m hoping since it’s been 5 years it will work again. I’m doing three rounds at once every three weeks instead of one round every week for three weeks. I was told the side effects would be harder but liked the idea of only going once every three weeks. I’ve had and I’ve recovered from round one. I actually like doing three rounds at once. I was exhausted for eight days. I even fell when I stood up to get out of bed because my legs didn’t hold me. It left me with a nasty rash that cleared in a few days. My port has been removed because it had cracked. We went into a vein in my arm which was a mistake. It burnt my arm and my fingers. I’m having a new port surgery before my next round. I had a little nausea and the skin is peeling off every one of my fingers, top and bottom. It’s not painful, just ugly. I can deal with these side effects. I’m just praying it works! Here are some pictures of what round one left me with……

I should be having my next treatment this Tuesday. I’m putting it off for a week because my aunt and uncle gifted me with Lynyrd Skynyrd tickets for next weekend! I grew up with that band! Not missing that!

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Thank you Aunt Cindy and Uncle John! You couldn’t have ever given me a better gift!❤️

Last week my sweet mama drove me almost six hours to see Kris. We talked and had an 8 hour food fest. She’s doing so good! It made my heart so happy to see her! We had pictures made. They will be here soon and I’ll share them then! I love you mama! Thanks for always being there!

Here’s the cherry on top! T.J. started 10th grade! He was in 4th grade when I was diagnosed. I cried like a baby once he left for school. I’m so blessed!

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I love you all! Thank you for the love and prayers! Thank you for sharing my life with me!❤️. Now get out and make some memories!💕💕💕

Sharing My Family Vacation!!!!!!!! …………………………………………………………………………………… We just spent a week in North Myrtle Beach as a family. It was the best trip ever! 
 I was worried if we would even make it there. My arm was in severe pain and I was doing radiation treatments until the morning we left. I was in radiation at 8 am and we were on the road soon after. Thank you mama for driving! My oncologist prescribed me steroids and morphine to keep the pain flare ups away, it worked! Thank you Dr. Smathers! You know I adore you! The afternoon before we left I was going to let T.J. drive me around town ( He got his learners permit!!). My car wouldn’t start. I was devastated because it was after hours and no shop was open. A few years ago we went on a Little Pink Houses of Hope beach trip. I ended up in the hospital with brain mets. We planned a trip to the beach at Bear Island the next year and I ended up in the hospital with treatment induced diabetes. Was it going to be my car this time? I asked God “Why can my family not have a beach trip without something happening.” My Javiee happened to be at Auto Zone when I called to tell him the car wouldn’t start. He met a mechanic that said he would come to my house and look at it. He came out and put a new starter on my car and didn’t even try to overcharge us! Change of perspective……”Thank you God for letting this happen before we left on our trip and for putting that mechanic there”. I knew this trip was blessed! Here are some pictures……
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That’s my Javiee and I with our grand babies. Then my son, Kori, his wife, Emily, and our grand babies. Then my sweet mom and I. The next one is my oldest son, his wife, me, my mom and my youngest son.

 

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My grandbabies at the beach. My mom and I with T.J. at one of his favorite places. That’s me. Then my daughter in law, Emily, my mom and me again.

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That’s my mom and I, My Javiee and I, My youngest, T.J and I, My oldest, Kori, and I. Then Kori and I with my grandbabies.

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My grandbabies! I love being a glamma! That’s Jax and I at the pool. Then my favorite! This little lady has sas!

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My mom and granddaughter. My daughter in law, Emily. My oldest and youngest boys. My grandbabies at the beach. My mom and I in a shark head. My guys going on a helicopter ride

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That’s my Javiee and I on date night in a helicopter. I love this man!

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For our last laugh we stopped at Dicks. The food was horrible but it was so much fun to laugh at each other.

I love you all💕 Thank you for your love and support!   Summers almost over!  Get out and make some memories! 💕💕

MRI Results and A New Treatment Plan

What a week!  I’m exhausted, mentally and physically.  I had an IV steroid treatment last week to reduce the swelling in my head.  I was then put on an oral steroid that I am taking two times a day.  I’m not a fan of steroids.  I hate not feeling like myself.  They make me irritable and nauseous.  They make my blood glucose out of control.  They have relieved my headache, but I have decided I’d rather deal with a headache.  I quit taking the steroids yesterday.  Today I slept until 1 p.m. and I’m feeling a little better.

I saw my radiology oncologist, Dr. Smather’s, last week.  I really love her!  We went over the results of my Brain MRI.   She is confident that this is something we caught early and can control.  There are tiny spots all over the cerebellum (the back of my brain).  It’s almost as if someone has taken a Clorox bottle and sprayed it on my brain from behind.  Because these spots are scattered our course of treatment will be WBR (whole brain radiation).  I have always known I didn’t want to do WBR.  However, this is the plan.  This is what I will do.  My youngest son is 13.  I cannot discount any treatment.   I will do whatever I have to for the chance to see him graduate high school.  So, here’s the plan…

15 days of WBR starting this Thursday.  The following Friday I will leave radiation and then go over to the hospital to have my ovaries removed.  While all this is happening I will also be adjusting to the new chemo I will be starting this week.  When WBR is completed we will do a new MRI and decide if we can do targeted radiation to the tumor behind my eye or if we will gamma knife it.  Geez!   I believe this is going to be a hard month!! (understatement of the year!)

My doctors are confident, as am I.  I have so much left to do and so many more memories to make!  I am hopeful that this is just a temporary setback.

Thank you all for your love and support.  I will do my best to keep you updated.💕💕

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Here’s a picture of my Javiee and I on our latest road trip.  I’m focusing on a family cruise when this mess is over!  Take time to make memories!💕

Happy New Year To Me!

A year ago today my Javiee and I were standing in a parking lot hugging and crying. We had just been told I had breast cancer. This has been the hardest year of our lives! I’m so grateful to have made it through this year! Happy New Year to me! May I have many more!

5 weeks after chemo…

I’m five weeks out of chemo and my hair is slowly coming back in.  For the past three weeks my Javiee has called me his little Cocoliso.  

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That’s a picture of Cocoliso.  He says I now have to much hair to be called Cocoliso.

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Here’s a picture of my hair! Not the long blonde mane that I’m used to but it’s a start!

 

My last post was on the horrible hot flashes that the Tamoxifen was causing.  I have to say it has gotten so much better!  I’ve been taking it for four weeks now.  The first two weeks were horrible!  I guess my body has adjusted to it well.  I’m only having a couple of hot flashes a day now.  So much easier to deal with!  It’s still scary for me to think that I’m only battling this cancer with a tiny pill.  After so many rounds of chemo this pill seems like nothing!  I go back to my oncologist this Friday for blood work.  Then I’ll know how well it’s working.  Fingers crossed!

 The leg cramps that came with Taxol are still really bad.  I’m taking pain meds daily to deal with them.  Good news is they work and I am enjoying my days!  I can’t say that life is back to normal.  I can say I’m beginning to find my “new” normal and I’m thankful for everyday that I have!  

 

Last round of Taxol today!

I go in for my last round of Taxol this morning!  It’s hard to believe I’ve made it through 16 rounds of chemo!  After four rounds of AC I didn’t feel like celebrating because I knew there was more chemo coming.  Today I celebrate!  This has not been easy, but I did it!  I will have a new PET scan next week and the results will decide my future treatment plan.  I’m not going to worry about that today.  It’s been a long six months!  Today I celebrate!!

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One more round of Taxol to go!

It’s Monday and I’m feeling good!  I did round 11 of Taxol Friday.  I go in this Friday for round 12, the last one!   I remember the day my oncologist told me I was going to do 12 rounds of Taxol.  I was devastated!  Twelve more weeks of chemo!  How was I going to make it through that!?  Well, I did it!  One more round to go!  The inner strength you find when dealing with something like cancer is amazing!  The strength and love that the people in your life give you is also amazing.  I couldn’t have made it through this part of my journey without all the support I’ve had.  I have to say thank you to my sweet Javiee for taking such good care of me.  For working all day and coming home to make me yummy dinners and yucky juices!  For telling me I’m beautiful when I just don’t feel beautiful!  He is always there for me, he’s my rock and I couldn’t do this without him!  My kiddos have also been so strong.  How unfair is it that they have to deal with this!!  They also give me strength.  I fight for them!  To all my family that came a thousand miles to visit me ( Daddy, Joyce, Laura, Betty, Diane, Danny & Patsy) Thank you!  It was so good to have company, even when I was feeling my worst!  To all my family at Denny’s,  Arvin’s and Noah’s Ark, you guys have made this horrible time so much easier for us!  For that my family thanks you!  We love you all!  Then there’s my mama who has been with me every step of the way.  She took so much time off work to be at my many appointments.  I couldn’t imagine having done this without her!  I am thankful to have such a great support system!  I am a long  way from home, so I know a lot of you can’t visit and you follow me on my blog or my facebook.  Thank you guys for all your support!  It means so much!  You encourage me daily!

As far as my treatment goes, I will do my last round of Taxol this Friday.  The following week I will have another PET scan.  That will show us if the past five months of chemo has gotten this cancer under control.  The results of the PET scan will decide my future treatment plan.  For now, I’m just praying for good scans!

On a happy note, my son, Kori, turned 21 this week!  21!  He’s making me old!  Happy Birthday Kori!  I love you with all my heart!

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That’s my oldest, Kori.  Happy Birthday Kori!  I love you!!!

 

Death and Denial

As I had expected round eight of Taxol had me in the bed most of the weekend with horrible pain in my legs.  After a while I just get tired of watching Netflix.  It’s then that I turn to my iPad  to see what’s going on with my fellow bloggers.  Their posts bring a break from my boredom.  Leave it to me to come across the post that takes me to the place I try not to go.  It was titled Death and Denial on the Cancer Ward:  Refusing to accept reality can be shattering to family.  Here’s the link,  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/14/death-and-denial-on-the-cancer-ward/

It was disturbing to me as a mother.  Initially when I was told I had stage 4 breast cancer I thought I was on my death bed.  My local thrift store benefitted greatly from my despair.  I went through my closet and got rid of almost everything.  It’s practically empty now.  My thought was, how hard would it be for my family to have to go through my things and get rid of them.  I couldn’t imagine, so I did it myself.  I cleaned out my kitchen, all those cute little Tupperware molds that my husband would have no use for are now gone.  The little useless nick nacks that I had sitting around are also gone.  It was a devastating time for me.  The shock of a stage 4 diagnosis is crippling.

Once my treatment began and I had spoken to other women who where living with stage 4 breast cancer my attitude changed.  I realized this cancer wasn’t going to kill me immediately.  It’s true, I will probably die from breast cancer and maybe I won’t live to see 50.  But for now I am living and I feel good.

I was honest with my children from the start.  I told them I had stage 4 breast cancer and that they say it’s treatable but not curable.  My youngest, T.J. is 10.  He has type 1 diabetes and takes insulin daily.  I told him my cancer was in a way like his diabetes, I would always be on some type of treatment for it. Now I wonder if that was the wrong thing to say.  It’s hard to think about dying and leaving your loved ones behind.  I’m 39 and I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to go through my twenties without having my mother around.  I have noticed myself trying to make my little one more self sufficient.  I have always been so overprotective.  Last year if he would have asked to walk  to his friends house alone I would have said no.  Friday I said yes, but call me when you get there.  I guess in the back of my mind there is the thought that maybe I won’t be there to protect him and maybe it’s time I let him be more independent.  It’s so hard to think that way!

My Javiee and I had a discussion about this last night.  He hates to see me cry.  Last night we cried together.  He can’t fathom the idea of me not being here.  He says he has faith that God will get us through this and give us our time together.  As for me, I have faith, too.  I have been through a lot in my 39 years and now I am truly happy.  My life is good! I feel so good!  I’m going with that!  If there comes a time when things are looking bleak I will be honest with my children.  In the meantime, I will treasure my days with them and work on making them independent individuals.  I guess that’s what we should all be doing anyway.