December 21, 2007

#5 is through!!

Now I have 3 more treatments left. My pet scan on Wednesday was long but well worth it. I reviewed it with Dr. Kanard yesterday before my treatment. I will post pictures of the last pet scan verses this one. She said that there are now no sign of the tumor!! But only a certain size will show up on the scan; so there could still be small cancer cells around so that is another reason it is best to do as many treatments as possible. She also said that I will be doing the Retuxan every 6 months and not every 3 and there are 4 of those treatments that are 3 hours each. So in two years I will be done with that. I also asked her "what if it comes back?" If it comes back within 2 years we will have to have a bone marrow transplant; if after we will do R-CHOP again. So now I really need your prayers to make sure it doesn't come back.

Thank you all again for all of your love and support! I love all of you!!

December 11, 2007

The reason for 8

So I talked to an oncology nurse yesterday that my insurance had set up for me. I asked her why I have to do 8 treatments now. She said that it was because I was doing so well with the treatments. She said 6 is good but 8 is better and the doctor will always try for 8 if you are tolorating everything well enough. Derek was saying that it's like having to have 6 spankings and since your not crying yet you get 2 more.

December 2, 2007

One way of learning patience

I talked to the doctor before the Chemo on Thursday. I actually remembered to ask her about what will happen after the tumor is gone. She is planning on having another Petscan the week of the 17th which is right before the next chemo. She expects the tumor will be a lot smaller if not completely gone; still Dr. Kanard said that I will most likely have 4 more Chemo treatments instead of the two I was expecting, yuck; so, all in all I will go through 8 treatments instead of 6. I will see her every 3 months and have a pet scan every 6 months. Every 3 months I will have a treatment of Rutuxion which is the R in the RCHOP. The Rutuxion won’t hinder my hair to grow back, or have that bad of side effects, but it is the 3 hour drug! She said they do that because the Rutuxion and the extra treatments will help make sure that the cancer doesn’t come back. I don’t know how long I will have to have the Rutuxion, but hey it can’t be forever, I hope.
I didn't pray for patience, but it looks like I need to learn it. It seems a lot harder to keep enduring knowing that there are more treatments that I have to go through. I did find that there is a clinical trial that is like a immunization shot for kids. It would help my immune system fight the cancer if it ever came back. I think I am going to try to learn more about it.

November 28, 2007

Chemo #4

So tomorrow is the next chemo treatment. I will go in at 10:50 a.m. and probably leave around 5:00 p.m. I am so not looking forward to it but oh well. Tammy (my sister) is probably going to come with me (she might be a little sick so I am still hoping she can). She is going to teach me how to crochet. I did not get to ask the oncologist about what to expect after treatment because she wasn't there the day before Thanksgiving. Well the boys are getting a little wild in their room. They still have nap time and if they don't sleep then it becomes quite time; which usually isn't so quite; imagine a slumber party everyday.

November 19, 2007

Half way through!!!

I am halfway through!! My next Chemo is the 29th and it will be #4 and more the halfway over! My nurse also said that sometime in December we are going to have another petscan between #4 and #5; to see how much the tumor has shrunken. I am going to ask my oncologist what the procedure is after the last Chemo treatment this Wednesday; so I'll let you know.

Last Monday was day 5 and my mom and I got a 24 hour flu. It was so not fun. I figure it was like what everyone thinks that I go through after every treatment.

November 7, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I decided that I should list the things that are a blessing about this tumor to brighten my spirits later on; I'm sure that I will add more as time goes on and I think about it more. I figure the bad is pretty much already known and stated; and the ugly well it just makes the title better.

The Good

  • 2 minute showers are really 2 minutes
  • I don't have to shave my legs!
  • I don't have to shave my underarms!
  • Lizzie can't pull my hair; she just might pull off my "hairstyle" as Ethan and Isaac call it
  • I can play the Cancer card at any time, (ask Derek)
  • I'm actually starting to wear makeup and earrings more often
  • Lizzie's birth (If we had waited to have Lizzie we might not have been able to have her at all)
  • I dont have to worry about getting my hair all over the place or in my face
  • Growing closer to my Husband and appreciating him more
  • Appreciating time and what I do with it
  • The support we have from Family and Friends
  • The prayers
  • Growing closer to Heavenly Father
  • My faith has grown stronger

The Bad

  • Having cancer is pretty much not so good
  • No hair on top gets a little drafty especially in winter; and the hats & scarves usually cover my ears so it is harder to hear

October 29, 2007

Halloween ; Helmet Head

Here are some pictures of Lizzie and my Halloween costumes. Derek's mom painted the broncos on my head and I made Lizzie's football costume as a swaddle blanket and my sister made the hat. Doesn't it look like a swim cap? The boy's costumes will be on the family blog.

October 24, 2007

Day 7 of Round 2

So I am hoping the second hurdle is over, well at least with the headaches, bone aches and fatigue. The thing that is more challenging is to wait until the next Chemo and hope that I don't get sick until then. It seems like the more I go out of my way to avoid getting sick the more it happens.

I just figure I should continue to make life as normal for the boys as possible but I don't think that is working as well as I would have hoped. I don't know if it is just them being 3 and getting older and into a different stage or if it is because of what we are going through and the lack of mommy's hair; but they just seem to be more defiant and whiny then they use to be. They will start to whine and cry at the drop of a hat right now. Don't get me wrong they are wonderful little boys but it's getting to be a river of tears over here. And yet It is so much fun to listen and watch them playing together now. They love Scobie Doo and they will play act Scoobie and Shaggie and rescue each other.

Lizzie is such an amazing baby! Last night she slept 8 hours again. This is her 4th night in her 7 week life that she has done that. She has been cooing and smiling a lot lately. She started about 2 weeks ago but she has really hit full bloom now. I don't have that many of my own baby pictures so I don't really have a comparison to see if she looks more like me now. I have to admit I have been greatly blessed with my family. Even with the whines they are so wonderful and I couldn't have found a better husband (just don't tell him I said that).

October 19, 2007

Gone is the hair and the 2nd Chemo

Before Picture



As I wrote before we shaved my head on Monday and the boys helped daddy do it; well they held on to the clippers for a little time while he actually shaved it. He left hair for a mohawk but as you can see it wouldn't spike very well and a lot of hair was coming out as I put the gel on it; so I decided we should just shave the whole thing. Later I shaved it like Derek's face; but I now have a huge selection of hats and scarves.

Yesterday was the 2nd Chemo treatment. It only took 6 hours this time as apposed to the 8 hours it took the first time. When I got home I felt so tired. I feel tired today but hopefully that will clear up soon. I also got a flu shot on Tuesday along with the boys to help us not get as sick. The next Chemo is November 8th, I believe. After that I will be half way done!!!

October 15, 2007

Hair today gone tomorrow

How cheesy am I? I just had to write it. Anyway, today is the day that Derek is going to shave my hair. I am finally getting use to myself with this short haircut. At least one of the wigs that I have is pretty similar to what my hair looks like at this length, but straight. After I wrote last my hair started really coming out. I would run my fingers through it and get at least 15 hairs. Now it's more, and when I woke up this morning my pillow was full of hair. I am also shedding every where especially on Lizzie; I keep finding my hair all over her. I think it would be harder to see some bald spots and some hair. So, tonight for Family Home Evening Derek is going to shave my hair into a mohawk and the boys hopefully will have fun with Mommy's funny hair for a little while.

Lizzie's blessing was great. We had a lot of our family and some of our friends come. She looked so cute in that dress! Too bad after sacrament she had a very bad explosion in her diaper, the good news is that she had a onsie underneath so it didn't get the dress.
So the next time you see me I will be a bald lady. But hey at least I don't have to worry about curling doing my hair! (To see more pictures of everyone see our family blog)

October 12, 2007

Day 16

Well, I have been waiting for day 15 and it came yesterday. The reason is because Eliza, a new friend who went through breast cancer with twins, told me that she started losing her hair on day 15 after the first chemo treatment. Yesterday was my day 15 and I had a few more hairs then I would have liked come out after my shower when I was rinsing out my hair. Also my scalp feels like I had my hair in a ponytail for a really long time and I just let it down; it's also very itchy. I don't know if it is just me being paranoid.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the cancer center for my second CBC (cell blood count). I saw Dr. Kanard and she was very optimistic, except for my hair. She said after pulling a clump out that I will probably want to shave it in a few days. That makes me a little nervous! Lizzie is going to be blessed in church on Sunday and I am hoping that I will still have hair and not just in some places. Lisa, one of my nurses had cancer and lost her hair but she didn't want to loose it so she said after the 3rd treatment she had so few long hairs that she looked like Smegal from "Lord of the Rings".
Anyway, my white blood cells are good 11.4; and my hemoglobin count is 17 something. I also found out that I can get a flu shot as long as it is before next Thursday which is my next Chemo treatment. Dr. Kanard and the rest of the nurses were really funny because they told me that next time I needed to bring Lizzie with me because most patients at the Cancer Center were old and they rarely see babies. She said that if I didn't live so far away she would have made me go home to get her. I told them that it's a good thing that I'm not saying who is looking after the kids (my mother-in-law, who lives about a minute, if that, away). They laughed and said that I better bring her next time.
I think that is about it for this week. So far as you can tell the hardest part about this whole experience is thinking about loosing my hair. It's a weird thing how we women are so attached to our hair; but it is apart of who we are. I think the other thing that is so hard to think about and picture for that matter is loosing my eyebrows and eyelashes. Their both black and it will be so weird to have to draw eyebrows in.
I still feel so blessed everyday to have such a wonderful support system. My patriarchal blessing says that I will have people who love me wherever I go. I know it is true now. I also think it is such a wonderful thing to have the comfort of the Holy Ghost. To know that there is a plan for me and that I was probably a part of it and to look at this from a bigger perspective it makes all of it easier to deal with. I love you all and I thank you for looking over me.

October 3, 2007

Day 8: CBC

Well I made it to day 8 and I am not feeling as horrible as I thought I would. I had a slight fever that made my hands swell on Saturday night but it went away pretty quickly. I have not been nauseas or have had diarrhea which I guess are things that you usually get from the Chemo. I did however come down with a cold along with Isaac and Lizzie. Lizzie has been sneezing and coughing and when she is awake she is not so happy; which is not typical for her. Isaac had a runny nose and his voice is even deeper than normal.
Today I went in for a white blood cell count and the nurse said it looks good. She was actually amazed at how well I am doing; based on the fact that I just had a baby. She gave me some antibiotics to make sure that I don't get anything worse from Isaac and Lizzie's colds. So because of the cold the cough that caught the whole thing is back and not very friendly. I did find out that I can take Sudifed, so hopefully that will help. She also said that since my white blood cell count was not bad and they are not worried about me being anemic this week so I am not on restrictions as of this week. I guess each week they will tell me if I can go out of the house. The nurse also said that the way that I reacted to this treatment will probably be the same way that I will react to the rest. Hopefully each time I will only be tired and have some cold symptoms. The worst part will probably be the hair loss but that's okay because it will grow back. So yea, thank you for your prayers they have definitely been working.

September 29, 2007

1st Chemo; and doing well

Thursday I had my first treatment of Chemotherapy. It was almost 9 hours, we got there at 8 a.m. and left at 5 p.m. First they had to get blood work done and give me Benadryl and I had to take a pill for nausea. Then they gave me the first Chemo med that took 5 or 6 hours because they had to slow it down because I had a slight reaction to it; my tongue and throat were itching. It was fine after they slowed the drip. The rest of the medications didn't take that long. So luckily I had my wonderful husband that kept me company and got me lunch. It was still boring sitting in that green chair for so long. The next day I went back and got an Saline drip for 2 hours and a shot behind the arm that helps my white blood cells increase.
They also warned me that days 3-5 are going to be my worst. So today is day 3 and I feel fine! I've got a slight headache and a very stuffy nose from the increase in white blood cells but that is all. I will have to update you later about the next few days. I also decided to take some pictures of the Chemo room so that the boys and you can know what it looks like.

September 26, 2007

1st Chemo treatment

It's been a very long week, and there's way more to come! Monday I had a bone marrow biopsy. It wasn't so much fun, but hey at least it's over and Dr. Kanard said she won't do more bone marrow biopsy's unless absolutely necessary. Yesterday we had a small scare. My step-sister Mindy came to visit this weekend and when she got home she found out that her son had gotten strep. She didn't know he was contagious while he was here. So I took the boys with me to my doctor's appointment and then I took them to their doctor to get a strep-test. Good news is that they are fine and we can continue as scheduled. It just shows me how hard it is going to be to keep everyone healthy this winter. Last night, I went to my friend Megan's house and got my hair cut short. It's very curly as it is short but it kind of looks like Meg Ryan in French Kiss, yet of course very dark. After I took a shower today Ethan looked at me and asked, "Why's your hair on backwards mommy?" I don't know if he likes it this short. I was told that my hair will start falling out around 7-15 day after Chemo. Today I had an out patient surgery to insert a port into one of my veins so that they can easily get the Chemo meds to me without an IV. It took 3 hours and most of it was waiting; the surgery only took 16 minutes. Tomorrow I am starting the Chemotherapy treatments. As far as I know, I go in for 8 hours and sit in a recliner and pumped full of cancer fighting juices; (that makes it sound better doesn't it). Friday, I go back and get more stuff injected into the port to higher my white blood count, so I hopefully won't get as sick.

September 21, 2007

Birthday Diagnosis

To start the rest of this blog I thought I would give you some resources that I found helpful about the cancer at and; both can go into great detail about all types of cancers.
We were suppose to find out on Monday what the results of the biopsy were but we didn't get it until Tuesday afternoon. I had a appointment scheduled with my Oncologist Dr. Kanard at 4. She came in and said, as we knew before it is a cancer and if your going to get cancer this is the best and most treatable one to get: She said that with about 6 treatments of the Chemo it should just shrink to nothing and it usually doesn't come back.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually aggressive (fast-growing). It is the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and is marked by rapidly growing tumors in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, or other organs. Other symptoms include fever, night sweats, and weight loss. There are several subtypes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

We don't know what stage it is at yet so today I am going in for a PET scan to see where it might have spread if it has. Monday I am having a bone marrow biopsy to see if it is in the bone marrow.

PET scan (positron emission tomography): PET scans use a form of sugar that has a slightly radioactive atom attached to it. The sugar mixture is injected into a vein and travels throughout the body. Cancer cells take up the radioactive sugar. A special camera can then spot those areas.
PET is useful to look for lymphoma all over the body. It can tell whether an enlarged lymph node has cancer in it. It is also used during and after treatment in helping to decide whether an enlarged lymph node still contains cancer or just has scar tissue.

So that is the diagnosis. The hardest part will probably be the boys questions about mommy being sick and having no hair; but it will grow back and I will heal. They are young and they will probably not even remember this, which is a blessing within itself. We are taking family pictures tonight while my hair is still long so that we can document this time. I wanted to take pictures after Lizzie was born anyway, so what a great excuse, huh. We will probably take at least 1 family picture during and after. For Halloween Derek thinks our family should shave their heads and paint broncos helmet on them. I was thinking then I could get a cute cheerleader outfit for Lizzie.

I want you all to know how much I have been blessed through this. I know that my heavenly father loves me without a doubt and I know through this whole time and through Lizzie's birth he was watching over me. We have had so much support and love from all of you and I am so very grateful for you!

Next post will be pictures!! I promise...

September 20, 2007

And so it Begins...

Derek asked me to start a blog about the cancer so that everyone can be updated easily. So here goes...
This was last blog that I posted on our family's blog about the cancer just in case you weren't able to read it.

With the highs of last week we found the lows this week. All of that stuff about I should have done a c-section again, I was wrong. A Vbac was the way that I needed to go. All that said here is what happened this week... Tuesday I went to the lung doctor early because I couldn't breath well; especially while laying flat. I also had extended veins in my neck and I could hardly blow out air without coughing. Anyway, the doctor admitting me to the hospital (Medical center of the Rockies) for testing. That's not what I wanted to hear. But I went and had X-Rays, CAT scans, and several other tests. The next morning (Wednesday), Derek and I were awaken by an oncologist who let us know that a growth had formed behind my breastbone and was pressing against my lungs which caused the shortness of breath and other discomforts. She said that it was most likely cancerous and she wanted to do a biopsy. Later that afternoon, that happened. The surgeon who performed the biopsy said that from his experience and knowledge, he believes the growth to be cancerous. But until the biopsy has been completely analyzed, we won't know exactly which kind. They decided to start radiation treatments to start to shrink it to improve my breathing. On Thursday, we took a very expensive taxi ride (an ambulance) to and from the Cancer Center of Mckee Hospital in Loveland for a radiation treatment before returning to MCR. Liability reasons wouldn't let us drive ourselves those 3-4 miles. That night, breathing seemed slightly better and doctors are very encouraged by that fact. Today, they discharged me and we went over to McKee again for a second treatment. That went better for me than the first day. On Monday, we should hear results from the biopsy and make more plans for treatment. There will probably be both radiation as well as chemotherapy over several months with a possibility for a surgical procedure to get rid of it. Doctors are very optimistic that this is a curable cancer and that everything will be good in the end.