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.