Monday, July 27, 2009

Catch up for 2009

It has been so long since I've written on here. I am doing REALLY WELL. No sign of the cancer. Already fooled two doctors that told me in March of 2008 that I only had 6 months to live. It has been 17 months since my diagnosis. I still have no expiration date. Thanks to my higher power and prayers from family and friends. I am going to try and write on here more often.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Can you believe I'm back?

I AM IN REMISSION SINCE MY LAST CHEMO ON AIUGST 5TH. Had a CT on Sept 10. It was clear. Had a scare in late Nov and had another CT on Nov 21. It was clear too. My next one will be in February sometime. I still have a few side effects but I feel WONDERFUL. I lost a total of 25 lbs but have gained about 12 lbs back. I was bald as a billiard ball but my hair is growing back. It is a little over an inch long and very curly. Imagine me with curly hair. Don't know if it will stay curly but it is fun for now.

It is so good to be through with chemo. I had almost every side effect listed for my type of chemo drugs. Fatique, loss of concentration, thrush, (sour mouth) peripheral neuropathy, (tingling & hurting in hands and feet) I still have that a little but it is much better. Vision problems that were really weird. At the beginning of my chemo I would go outside and the trees were all blury.I really thought that the cancer had gone to my brain but didn't say anything to the Drs. Really dumb huh. It only lasted a few days then went away. Another time (you probably won't believe this one.) My Dr had a name for it but I don't remember it. Anyway! I was in the kitchen and bent over to pick something up and when raised up I was facing the front windows and everything YES everything outside was different shades of pink. Even the sky. I turned to look out the back window and it was pink also. Eddie was outside and I thought I'd better tell him. When I went out it was really strange as he looked pink also. Then the color started going away. It made me kind of giddy because it was so strange. I really didn't think anyone would believe what I saw. Nausea, three bladder infections, diarrhea caused by the meds used for the bladder infections. That caused a lot of weight loss. Hands swollen, and loss of hearing. I still have the loss of hearing and have to have the head phones that allow me to hear the TV. Dr Fig. says don't rush out and get hearing aids because this will probably go away within a year. As for the rest of the side effects you'll have to ask Eddie.My short term memory is shot too.

We went to my Mom's for Thanksgivng. Mike, Tanya, A.J. and my cousin Terry were there also. we had a really great day. The day after, Eddie and I got up early and headed for San Diego. We hadn't had a vacation for several years and besides we have a six month old beautiful granddaughter we hadn't seen. Her name is Sophia Grace Rose. She was so much fun. Oh yeah we saw her mom and dad, Erik and Kirsten also. Erik and Kirsten live about a mile from the stadium so we walked to a Chargers football game and I loved it. I had a portable oxygen concentrator with me and I did really good. Eddie kept telling me to slow down. We were down there a week and visited with Shannon and her new husband, Marcus also. It was a wonderful trip. I think thats where I gained some of my weight.

Well I think I shall retire for the night. We are going to spend Christmas eve at my granddaughter Tara's house, and Christmas day and my daughter/neice Monica's house. Her oldest son Ronnie just got home from Irac. Thank you Lord.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and thoughts. I know that is the major reason I am doing so well.

Oh I almost forgot. For those of you that don't know we have our house on the maket. Eddie wants to get me closer to my family. We are looking at property in Lake County. Pobably won't happen for a year or so. We just have to take it one day at a time just like the cancer. I love you all and wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. Karen

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good nausea meds sure make a difference with chemo.

Today is Monday and I had my last chemo on Friday and the follow up shot on Saturday. The Dr. changed my meds for nausea and what a difference. I am a little tired and a few aches from the shot but this is so much easier than I thought it was going to be. I now only have six weeks left (2 treatments). I am so excited to think about being done with it. Oh..... the doe had her twins. We saw them for the first time yesterday. She had been out of site for about a week and we thought she would come back with the babies. They are so tiny and cute. She is keeping her distance from us at the moment but last night they slept in the horse stall. That is great because it is where she was sleeping before. Lots of fires around and really smoky at our house. We were a little concerned yesterday when we could hear the planes not far but they must have done there job because they went away. Well there isn't much to report this time but I am tuely feeling much better. Love you all K

Monday, June 16, 2008

The cycle continues and I am so GRATEFUL.

I remember a few years ago starting a grateful journal. I didn't get very far and didn't continue. It seemed such a chore to come up with five things a day that I was truely grateful for. Now it is so easy.

Yes the week after chemo sucked big time. I was still depressed, nauseated, in pain and most awful, unable to eat. Most days I don't think I was able to get down more than 5 oz. Eddie did everything he could to entice me to eat. I lost so much weight even I could see it. I finally called Dr. Fig's. nurse for help and am now on Megase. A wonder drug in my opinion. Doesn't make me feel hungry but I can't seem to get enougt to eat. If it doesn't move and tastes good I'll eat it. I have also figured out which nausea drug works in the mornings when I wake up. I took it regularly three times a day along with my pain meds for about a week and now mostly take it when I wake up. I don't seem to need it as often. Pain meds are seldom needed now.

I have found a new lease on life. The day after starting on Megase I got out of bed and the only time I get back in now is to sleep at night. I am eating like a horse, sometimes to the point of being uncomfortable. I think another factor in my improvement is that my meds for depression kicked in about the same time I started on the Megase. I now have some energy part of the day and can do a few chores. The laundry may take all week to get done but at least I can do it. I planted petunias accross the front of the house yesterday and that is something I didn't think I'd be able to do this year. I am trying to walk each day but spend most of my days under the canopy Eddie bought me. Eddie has been working his tail off mowing and weed eating and Roseglen looks like a park. We have deer that live on Roseglen and one of them is expecting any day. Because it is her second yr she should have twins. We are truely looking forward to watching them bouncing and playing on the lawn. Speaking of babies Erik and Kirsten now have a new baby girl named Sofia Grace Rose. She is beautiful and we can't wait to meet her. Life is GOOD for now and I am grateful.

Grateful for the Drs. and nurses, at Cancer Care Consultants, my good friends at Hayfork Pharmacy for their patience and friendship, the staff at Hayfork Clinic, all the friends in Hayfork that give us encouragement and prayers daily. A special thanks to Janelle Wingert who being, in our opinion ,. one of the best of cooks, has dropped off dinner several times.Also Betty Scott for coming over and spending the whole day with me when Eddie had to be out of town. She brought me home made brownies and a new hammock. We had a great day catching up. Out of town friends and family that take the time to call. Some every few weeks and some every day. They spend bunches of time listening to me moan about my plight.I can't tell you how much you all mean to me.

I am also grateful for feeling good 90% of the time. To be out of bed, to be smiling, able to feel tuely happy even when doing nothing except being outside on the lounge. Eddie is usually close by working on something or sometimes just sitting and being with me. Our dogs, cats and even the parrot spend time out there with us. I have had people ask me in the past why we live to far out and in Hayfork. The answer is so simple. It's beautiful , the people are honestly wonderful and our Roseglen has turned into my healing place.


Wearing scarves, hats and whatever is fun. I have wigs but haven't worn them yet. I really don't mind being bald but it is shocking when I glance in the mirror. Eddie hasn't complained at all when I am just exposing my baldness for comfort.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

After First Chemo Treatment

As you might guess Karen is not feeling well so she ask me to let ya know what's been going on lately. First though, I'd like to thank everyone for your kind words concerning the loss of my sweet sister Claudia. We will all miss her terribly. The last time we saw her was when Karen was in recovery from her surgery. Three of my sisters , including Claudia, came to visit . Claudia was giving K a scalp massage while Joan was rubbing her feet, Juanita was being in charge. lol
Anyway,,,,Karen had her first chemo treatment on the 29th. We arrived at the center at 8:30 am and left at 6 pm. The whole thing was a bit surreal. The treatment room reminded me of someones family room. There were about 10 or 12 others there. All in soft leather recliners with their individual iv's going. The treatment is basically pain free, so everyone was talking , joking ,reading, etc. I brought the laptop with a couple dvd's , but the atmosphere was such that comraderie with the other patients seemed more appropriate. No one was outwardly sad or depressed, more like encouraging each other and sharing their stories. The next day we had to go back for the follow up injection of a drug intended to stimulate white cell production. Then the fun was over.
Karen has been alternately nauseous, lethargic, in pain and weak for the last week. Food is something she must force herself to eat. Not only does it not taste right, but she doesn't know which bite will make her nauseous. I spend a lot of time running back and forth to the market trying to find something she can eat and more importantly keep down. She has zero appetite and only eats for survival. We called the Doctor yesterday to get a prescription for something that will give her some appitite. I will pick that up as soon as the pharmacy opens this a.m. She has already lost more weight than she should at this point. As you know she didn't have much to spare before this all started.
Even with all this she does have short good spells. I bought one of those fold up awnings and put it in the front yard. Put a chaise lounge and a little table under it so she could be outside enjoying the scenery, critters, birds and all those things she loves so much about living where we do. Yesterday she was out there for awhile and the next thing I noticed , she was snuggled under the quilt you folks from the quilting guild made her, sound asleep and peaceful. Of course the lounge was being shared with three or four of her animals. Don't try to convince me that the cats and dogs don't know something is up. I think this will become a daily ritual for us.
Hopefully Karen will be able to personally update this in the near future. Until then I'll try to keep you up to date.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Beginning of Chemo

Last weekend we had some terrible news through Eddie's family. One of his sweet sisters passed .Not what we wanted to hear. Claudia brings sweet memories to me and Eddie. When we graduated from Grade School, she let Eddie and I cruise up and down main street in Potter Valley in her car before the dance. She of course rode with us and my parents stood on the sidewalk watching until we returned. We will miss her for sure. The last time I saw her she was in my hospital room at Mercy giving me a scalp massage while her sister Joan gave me a foot massage. All of Eddie's sisters are a healing part of my lifescycle as are you all. Tomorrow May 29, 2008 is my first chemo. Up until this morning I have been scared to death. The difference is that this morning we called the oncology nurse and asked her again to explain what I am to expect. Not going to be fun but I think I can do this. Last Friday Eddie took me in to MD Nuclear and they inserted what is called a porta cath high in my chest . This small disk is inserted just under the skin and has a small tube inserted into the jugular vein, this then goes through the heart and into a vein. For chemo a needle of sorts is inserted into the cath and the chemo in administered through it. Tranfusions can be done this way as well as many other procedures. As my veins are very fragile this will be a saving grace for me. The chemo is administered every 21 days and takes about six hours each time. The day after chemo, each time I return to Cancer Care for a shot that will boost my bone marrow to help make white blood cells that will play a large part in helping me stay free of infection. A big part of the time envolved in the six hours is concentrating on hydration. I am very anxious now to get the first one over with and see how many of the side effects I can avoid. Most of them I hope. The worst thing possibe happened to us today. We ran into a very dear friend that has been so supportive to us and they think she may have the same thing as I do. I am just sick for her and us. We are praying for her and her family as well as ourselves. I love you all and will let you know how the chemo goes.K

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Well I'm back again. Since my last entry I've spent the most of my time in bed with nausea and what {I think) was a deep depression. I didn't sleep, just laid thinking about what lay ahead.The nausea was (I think) what the books call anticipatory nausea. Dr. Fig. said I am going to have it from the chemo so I just decided to start early just from thinking about it. Thanks to those of you that call just to listen to me cry and feel sorry for myself. Don't know what I would do without all of you and Eddie helping me make my way through the maze of emotions that engulf me daily. I have never in my life spent so much time crying. I am though, out of bed as of yesterday afternoon. It feels so good to think I might be on my way back.

I love you all K