Posted on April 26, 2014
Posted on April 26, 2014April 25, 2014 (sorry this is lengthy, just keep reading, I eventually get to the medical portion of update :-))I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter Holiday! He has risen! My children and I had a wonderful Easter service, followed by a picnic, egg hunt, and walking the trails at Kiroli Park on Sunday. Thursday, Pilots for Patients flew me home in time to see my oldest son, Garrett, go to PROM with his beautiful date. I'm so blessed to be present for this. My initial diagnosis was April 14, 2011, when I had Stage 3 invasive Ductal Cell Carcinoma. I prayed back then & especially now with this Stage 4 recurrence that I live to see Garrett, 17, graduate, go to Prom, see Meredith, 15, become a bride & a mother one day, to see Haden, 13, rodeo, run track, & graduate high school, and little Austin, 4, I hope to take him to Kindergarten next year-2015, and see him play football, baseball, soccer, & track. He LOVES sports!
God willing, I will beat cancer & do these things & help other women, and men, live a better quality of life with cancer. That's why I started this foundation. I do need a lot of financial assistance now as I battle this ugly disease, but my long term goal is to utilize my nurse practitioner background, my athletic & healthy living knowledge, and pair it with my 2 battles with cancer to assist others in looking better, feeling better, in order to have a better quality of life. With Jesus Christ as a center, goals can be set, a plan formed and implemented. Any way, this is not just about me, but about getting myself well, glorify God, spend time with my kids, and help others beat cancer!!!
Last Monday, the weather wasn't safe for flying, so I flew Tuesday to Houston, and had to be NPO, so I was very hungry by the time my contrast CT scans were performed at 5pm. Wednesday, I had 2 doctor appts, my oncologist discussed my results. My metastatic bone disease is stable, meaning I still have a great deal of diseased bone, but cancer is not spreading, yay!! My liver, however has sever spots that radiologists says could be early metastasis. My oncologists says he feels they are cysts? The areas are too small to biopsy. We will get a special liver MRI in July, along with CT scans & bone scan. My tumor markers are essentially stable. They did rise slightly, but they were last checked following the radiation treatments in January, so that may be the reason for this mild rise. My CTC (circulating Tumor Cell) went from 0 to 3 (
Posted on April 10, 2014
Posted on April 10, 2014April 10, 2014 Good morning! I hope everyone is enjoying Spring. We have had many storms here lately, but God always comes through with Sunshine to follow. Speaking of storms, I've been in many storms over the last few years with my cancer battle. In life, we are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or between storms. I hope to be coming out of a storm over the next year. :-)
I think as long as I stay positive, avoid negative people & situations, and continue my walk with Jesus as I get healed, I will be just fine.
Let's see, I've completed 6 months of chemotherapy, Abraxane & Avastin, as well as Zometa to repair my bones. I'm going to the dentist today. A major side effect/potential complication of Zometa is "jaw bone necrosis", and I'm aware of several people who experienced this & were taken off the drug. So, I have to keep my teeth, gums, etc free of infection & in great shape. This can be challenging since the chemo & radiation I had several weeks ago cause mouth sores, a very tender tongue, and sensitive teeth. My toothpaste from my dentist is $20/tube, but it's great! Pain medications also can contribute to dental caries. Ok, enough of that, lol. Monday, after I sign Austin up for pre-K 4, I'm flying to Houston, if weather permits-bad weather is forecasted (of course). Tuesday 7am, my day starts with lab work & an IV for my CT scans & full body bone scans. This will take several hours, since they are performed with & without contrast. Wednesday, I will see my oncologists, meet with the researcher regarding the cancer vaccine clinical trial, & get the results of my scan. I'm praying the aggressive cancer has stopped spreading and there are no new fractures. I feel positive, however, by biggest struggle is when my pain is bad. Negative thoughts & fears try & many times do creep in :-(
I've been very accurate with diagnosing my fractures before I'm even scanned. I think I'm 100% on them. My last prediction was my left posterior rib (left shoulder blade area in February. Report stated there was a fracture with callus formation which means it healing. My prediction for next week.... Um, my right hip/sacrum area refractured. It was damaged in either the Oct or Dec scan. I've had a lot of trouble with it lately, but my worst pain, especially the last 10 days is my cervical spine (upper neck). It has been terrible!! I continuously rub Biofreeze gel on it. I still use icy hot patches on my back & hip, & ribs as well. I love those menthol patches, but they get expensive.
Please keep my kids & I in your prayers. We appreciate each & everyone of you who follow my progress. Ladies, get your mammograms, and please pray for other women who are going through this terrible disease. I'm praying for my new friend, Jodi Pipes, stage III & my friend Laurie Burkett, who is stage IV, and going through this as well.
Posted on March 21, 2014
Posted on March 21, 2014March 21,2014. I apologize for it being so long since I posted an update. so to catch up, I recap the past few months. Oct 30th, scans showed ALOT of bone disease (cancer)-ribs, spine, pelvis, left femur, hips, neck, skull. Oct 31,3013-started chemotherapy. November, a 2nd chemo drug, taken off the market for approval in breast cancer treatment, was started on me. I've also received Zometa monthly to repair damaged bones. Then Dec 22, scans repeated. I didn't say much about those. Tumor markers actually rose somewhat. There was a little change in CTs- cancer seen in my sternum & both femurs,and an area of concern on one of my left lung (my breast cancer was on my right in past), but in essence, the aggressiveness of my cancer was slowing on the films, so I was thankful for that. So, much prayer from everyone, prayed for at several churches in West Monroe took place. I had 3 weeks of daily radiation to my neck, lower back, & top of left femur to prevent predicted future fractures. Then Feb 18th, nuclear bone scan & CT scans repeated-reveal stable metastatic bone disease, a new fracture on my left posterior rib near my scapula (shoulder blade), some "cysts" ? on my liver, but too small to biopsy, lungs look ok, other than radiation scarring pneumonitis. Tumor markers dropping finally!!Chemo continued, taking neurotin for my numb, yet painful fingers, remain on Zometa to repair bones, and managing bone pain as much as possible. Then March 19th, saw Dr Alvarez, he says I'm looking better, tumor markers dropped a little more-PRAISE the LORD! We started my 6th month of Abraxane & Avastin, continues Zofran for nausea, Zometa for bone repair, said need to increase blood pressure med (side effect of Avastin), and wants to repeat my scans April 15th. I'm pretty sure I have 2 more fractures. I've self diagnosed each one without an X-ray. You just know. He also wants me to meet with a researcher & enter another clinical trial for my type of cancer. I would be getting a cancer vaccine!! So, thank you for your prayers-they are working!!! on another note, I've been very blessed in other areas of my life due to the goodness of others friends & people in my community. I still, have zero income other than donations! I honestly do not know how I would have survived with Jesus & the love others. Disability will start in May, hopefully, but it is not enough for 1 person to survive on. Have a great weekend-loving this Spring weather :-) Phil 4:13