Mom was doing pretty well on her treatment. It's been so nice to have "her" back and then she started experiencing chronic pain in her leg. It's always devastating to get results and hear of cancer growth. Mom and Dad planned a trip to Arizona to see Troy and Sabra and Mom started another round of radiation when she got back to help with the pain in her leg. She then developed chronic pain in her upper body and started having symptoms like, dizziness extreme pressure in her head, not steady on her feet, memory loss, confusion, temporary loss of vision, headaches, can't seem to follow a thought process very well, looking at a clock and not being able to tell wheat time it is. Yesterday we got the news that we had all been dreading yet expecting to hear. "The cancer has spread to her brain and it's pretty significant."
Tears! SO MANY TEARS!
The plan... finish up this set of radiation on her leg then do another 12 on her head to help relieve some of the pressure.
We are devastated! That's all I can say about it right now.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
It’s not that we try to keep you uninformed, to be honest; it just gets hard to write these updates sometimes. Sometimes it just feels like one turn of bad events after another, but today while I’m feeling pretty positive I wanted to keep you all in the loop regarding Mom and her treatments.
Mom’s cancer had grown in her lower back so they switched her treatment again. They can’t seem to find one she can handle, well other than the “red devil” but she can’t have that one anymore due to the great risk it is to her heart. So, her last chemo treatment was a fairly new drug they thought would do well. With it comes a 60% chance of neuropathy. She received her treatments every week and this drug was scary! I can’t speak for her, but I would say this has by far been the worst! Mom was in so much pain due to the spread of cancer in her back (still is). And of course Mom ended up getting neuropathy, her hands and feet are numb and while she was on it this chemo treatment her whole body was numb, her mouth had lost feeling and she even mentioned losing her sense of smell and taste which she said was possibly a “blessing in disguise.” She was also really tired and really weak and back to having blood transfusions. We were all pretty worried about her. She couldn’t finish the treatment. She honestly physically could not and we were all relieved when her Dr decided to take her off of it.
Mom needed a few weeks off to recover and build a little bit of strength back and also let her Dr do some research and hopefully come up with another chemo option. This was good, but scary because the cancer grows while she’s on a really strong chemo so no one likes to think about what it is doing off of chemo. But she truly needed the break. The neuropathy has not gotten any better. This is probably the hardest part for her. It makes it hard to walk. She mentioned going somewhere in flip flops and completely walking out of the shoe and not even knowing it until she looked down. She has also described it as walking on marbles. It is my sincere hope that with time she can be relieved from some of this. She’s still in a lot of pain. Probably mainly the cancer growth, but also due to a crushed vertebra.
Mom started radiation on Monday. She will go everyday for at least 10 days. This may or may not help with her pain. She decided to go for it because really, it’s her only option. She will start another chemo when she is done with radiation, but for now she is on a chemo pill. It’s less effective, but still chemo none the less. She still goes to the cancer center every Tuesday for fluids. She’s pretty busy and the running around is hard on her, but she remains so positive!
Keep her in your thoughts and prayers. God is good.
Posted by Shelley at 11:03 AM
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
So much has happened in the last few months. Mom had been doing well on the "Red Devil" but because it can be so hard on your heart they had to switch her to a different chemo. The "Red Devil" truly was an angel compared to this new crap. I dont even know what it is called but one of the biggest side effects is that is causes neuropathy some of which can even be irreversable when she goes off of the drug. Her hands and feet feel wird, almost numb all of the time and even her mouth is tingly and annoying all of the time. It also makes her wound up and restless so she cant sleep at night and sometimes she feels so agitated and cant do anything about it. On top of all of that her red blood count has been low and despite blood transfusions , my mom pretty much is literally worn down to the point of nothing for energy. She cannot walk across the room wihtout feeling drained to the point of tears. It has been up and down emotionally which is totally relavent with being so wiped out and miserable all of the time and not being able to do anything. I hate being at work without her and nothing else in our world feels like it did before it all changed a year ago. Its not fair, I want my mom back. I want her to have HER life back !! When i asked her if she felt mad about choosing from one crappy thing to the next but only having crappy options to choose from she said no. "getting mad wont help or change it" I admire her for being strong and positive but for now i cant get past being jaded to Cancer and how it alters EVERYTHING. I know it could be worse and i know im so lucky to have my mom still here and im so greatful for her that i cant even think about it withourt crying because i am selfish and i want and need her here forever, and that is what scares me and makes me jaded ! As Shelley previously posted we had a surprise party for mom Last weekend to acknoledge the last year and let her know she is not in this alone even thought i know sometimes she feels like the world is falling on her. It was so nice to just feel like things were almost normal for a minute just having our family spending a Sat night having a bbq and laughing with each other. If Troy had been there if would have been awesome, and i found myself watching my mom laugh so hard when we were teasing one of the grandkids and i wanted to just freeze time and in my heart i was praying that for even that moment my mom felt "normal " again. I wonder if she ever does at all anymore or if its even possible ? I know once a while back i commented that we were just going to have to find a "new normal " well its really hard to find when every week or at least every 8 to 12 a chemo drug decides for you what that will be. Mom has 2 more weeks of this chemo then they will do scans again and see how it has effected the cancer and then another un normal, "normal" starts for mom. As part of our one year party for mom we all wrote her a letter of some sort and all of the grandkids did a card or a letter or something for her also. When i was sitting with Karson helping him spell what he wanted to write he got all finished up and came back in the room about 5 minutes later with a little envelope he had made to put his card in. He explained that he made the matching envelope so grandma could keep it on her table and just slide the card out and read it whenever she wanted. Then he said to me... " and when she is all done having cancer she can keep it in her drawer in her bedroom where she keeps that kind of stuff." I simply hugged him and told him that it was perfect and that grandma was going to love it, and then i walked away and sobbed. Because we need a miracle to put that card in the drawer. For now it will have to stay on the table, but miracles happen right ? Why not ?.....
Please sent her a note or give her a call and just let her know your thinking about her, she needs it and it means so much to all of us !!
Please sent her a note or give her a call and just let her know your thinking about her, she needs it and it means so much to all of us !!
It's been a very long, yet very short year since Mom was diagnosed. The days go by so fast and each day is truly a blessing yet what she has endured for the past year is unimaginable. None of us can begin to comprehend all that Mom has been through this past year. Her latest treatment has taken nearly every ounce of her energy. Although we will never fully understand the way she is feeling, we will always be grateful that she's fighting for us. We just wanted to let her know that we love her and remind her that we are here for her.
Posted by Shelley at 8:01 AM
Monday, February 13, 2012
It has been quite a while since I talked with most of you and just want you all to know how I am doing. It has been 10 months but the time really has gone fast and I am doing ok, so grateful to have had the past 10 months. I am now on my 4th type of Chemo which is a very strong one, which is good to help fight the cancer. I have really done well with it compared to the last two I was treated with. I now even have some hair, even though it does not look like me when I look in the mirror. Short, very short and very gray and curly, very strange but it looks better than bald. I even have eyelashes again and that is so great. After tomorrow I will have another week of the "red devil" and then more scans and tests. This is always a anxious time but treatments can not continue or be changed until this is done. Because this treatment can be so very hard on my heart I will probably have to have a different type of chemo. A little nervous about that but it will be ok, glad there are other options out there. As I go each week I sometimes wish I was somewhere else ( anywhere else) but then I realize how nice it is to be able to have treatments and have them close to home. The cancer center is a wonderful place and helps lots of people, I have become so close to some of the other patients and am so grateful for them and their strenghts and positive attitude. There is one dear lady there who has been having chemo for five years every week and she is so sweet and positive with everyone, she says she is a five year cancer survivor , she is so awesome. Some days I wish I could see places I have not been to or do things I have not yet done, but I then realize that here is really where I want to be, with my family and friends and the beautiful valley we live in. My kids are wonderful as ever ( sounds like a Mom) I am so very thankful for all they do for us on a daily basis, and our grandchildren, what can I say except I am so very blessed. They make me want to have more time, hope and faith, they really are the light of my life and each one of them and their sweet spirits and crazy little personalities get me through some kind of scary days. Randy is so great, so very patient and kind never complaining and worrying along with me but so strong. What would be do with out wonderful families? I am still working but only a few hours a few days a week but so grateful for that also, great boss and friends to put up with it all for this long. My Mom is also a great strength and so concerned and loving. I have always been kind of strong willed ( stuborn) and also pretty positive, guess this is a time that these "gifts" are helpful. I do have lots of hope and know that because of who I am the Lord knows I can do this even though it is hard, everyone has hard things and we can handle hard things when we have to. I am not a writer like my daughters but just want all of you to know how very much I love each of you and appreciate every thought, kindness, prayer, card, dinner and encouragement that you all give to me and to my family as I am certainly not going through this alone. It has been very hard on my family so thanks you and love to you all.
Posted by Shelley at 11:16 AM
Friday, December 16, 2011
So I haven’t posted FOREVER and I’m sorry, but it has been on my mind. I sit here today and listen to people coming and going from my office. Most bid farewell with some sort of, “Have a good Holiday”or “Merry Christmas”. However what I hear the most of is “are you ready for Christmas ?” Someone asked Mom that question and she said, “Well, it will come and go either way.” It got my wheels turning, what does “Ready” mean when you’re referring to Christmas? Obviously when people ask that, you assume that they are talking about the presents, decorating, shopping , food, cards sent etc. But really why do you honestly have to do to prepare for Christmas ? Don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty and anyone regarding wanting to shop and feeling like I need to “ get ready for Christmas.” Wanting to do things for people and have our home feel and look festive isn’t wrong or bad. I just think that when your life and future have been altered you rethink what you need for Christmas. Deep down everyone or “most” people anyhow, know and acknowledge that Christmas or the Christmas Season in general is a time to show love and kindness to our fellow man and to reflect on your spiritual beliefs whatever they may be. However I sincerely cannot imagine Christmas existing if we did not spend time with family and having a family to spend Christmas with is all we need to be “ready” for Christmas. Like Deb said, it will come and go no matter how many presents we buy and how much wrapping paper is on the floor Christmas morning, but if we did not have people we loved and people who love us we would not need presents, treats or paper anyway. Life is short and all the things we establish and our “normal life” can and will change at any given moment on any given week or month or year. I am so greatful that I have the people I love and that I have the people who I know love me. I realize I sound like one of the cheesy people always preaching how short life is and because I feel this way I may also be considered selfish in that I believe it is short so live it and love who you love because they may not be here next Christmas. My mom received what I consider great news this last week. The results of her latest scans ALL came back as showing no new cancer growth or spreading ! Obviously nothing, NOTHING would be better than to have them come back miraculously cancer free. However, finding out that the chemo drug she has been on and able to still have a life is holding the cancer at bay is wonderful. My biggest fear was that not only was the cancer still spreading, but that it would again force her to try another chemo drug that could be as bad or worse as the one that was literally killing her about 5 months ago. My mom is so strong and courageous, always bearing her burdens and still trying to carry everyone else’s on top of her own if possible. She is as beautiful, classy and incredible as ever and I love her to pieces ! Thank you so much for all of the people who check on her and bring her dinner and keep my parents in their thoughts. You literally will never know what your support has done for all of us !! “This the Season “ for MIRACLES and having her as my mother and sharing Christmas with her and the people I love is all I need for Christmas. BTW I love my Dad to pieces too !! Merry, Merry Christmas to all !
Posted by Shelley at 11:40 AM