Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It worked!

Happy day!  All three markers showed up on the scan.....I start next week!  And I found health insurance, even better than my last plan, thank you Brent!  Yeah!  And the soccer trophies got done in time for the last game, and Nancy is bringing dinner tonight, thank God, cause I have been at the Cancer center since 10:30 and still waiting for my last appointment.  Mason is warming to the word cyberknife, but that is because Nolan says it CONSTANTLY to scare him.  Gotta love brothers!  So when I was with Hank this morning, I said, "So, this works.  What do I do then?"  "We go the remission schedule.  I see you once a month and scan every three." he replies.  Unprepared for the simplicity of it all, I said, "Remission by Tuesday after next.  (pause) I think I can do that.  Yep, I am available."  Love, Ang

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wednesday went well

but we will not know if it worked until my CT scan on Tuesday.  So, Wednesday was the placement of my gold markers on the outside tissue of my left lung.  This will be how the cyberknife tracks the location of my tumor.  The other spot, or tumor, will be tracked by my spine.  There was one little slip up on Wednesday and they nicked my lung causing a small, and I mean small, pneumothorax or hole in my lung.  It hurt and I had to stay and have three chest x-rays until 4:30 in a room with a TV with no sound and I had nothing with me.  Mom got there at about 3:00 thank God to relieve my boredom and I didn't do much that night or Thursday.  So, grateful to eveyone that helped me with the kids and Beckey even kept them until bedtime and put them to bed.  I am feeling much better and we will see if it worked on Tuesday.  Prayers and crossing of the fingers and toes gladly accepted.  Love, Ang

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Surgery day...

This morning I am going in for outpatient surgery.  They are putting in my markers for the spot in my upper left lung.  In the flurry of trying to get me scheduled and me saying I am flexible they called me one Monday and said,  "Hi, my name is so-and-so.  I am calling to ore resister you for surgery on Wednesday."  "Okay, great.  Do you happen to know at what time and where that will be?" I reply.  "I do not, but we can do this anyway."  "O-K-A-Y."  So, that is how it started.  She told me a nurse will call me on Tuesday about my medications.  I was thinking that is not going to work with my blood thinners.  Emails and calls were flying by the afternoon.  One doc said, "Just don't take it on Wednesday morning."  I was like, "That doesn't sound right."  (I stopped taking them on Monday morning.  Just in case.)  Finally, the edict came down - NONE UNTIL AFTER THE PROCEDURE.  Now, that sounds right.  Oh, and I also found out when the appointment was.  Then, my emails started flying.  A neighbor is coming over in a few minutes to get the kids up and ready.  Lunches made, homework done.  After school care arranged because it is early dismissal all week due to parent teacher conferences.  Beckey will pick the boys up, so I have all day to focus on this and get myself together before the kids get home.  Great week for Grant to be in San Diego, but that cannot be helped.  Last night, I told the kids what the schedule was and what I was doing.  When Mason heard Cyberknife he started to cry.  I explained that this was the beginning of the end of active treatment if all goes well and that we should be happy, but apparently just the word, "Cyberknife" was scary to him.  I got him better and we put the tooth under the pillow that he lost at school today.  He said, "I hope the tooth fairy knows it is under my pillow."  I am thinking, "Yeah, I hope she remembers it is under the pillow!"  Mason came in later with a bad dream, the cats followed him and everyone EXCEPT Nolan was in my bed.  Hanna June was sleeping right up against my back where the tumor is that they are going to work on - Africa used to do that. I cried a little, fell back to sleep, and woke up to be a very happy boy with his tooth fairy money. Wish me luck, Ang

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Best flippin' news I have gotten in a long time....

So, after last week, more cancer in my world, not so sure on my scan - blah blah blah, and pleurisy  I was like a little lack luster showing up to my oncologist's office (Hank)  to discuss things.  But things started to turn around......I told him that I talked to my lung surgeon on Friday and he was like, "REALLY?"  So, then I told him about the pleurisy while he was on vacation which he quickly passed over when he learned I had a chest x-ray.  "Where is the chest x-ray - I want to see it!"  Some people like candy, so people like chest x-rays I guess.  As he was searching for the x-ray, he said, "Well, then you know that they want you to go over to cyberknife first."  "Yes, less damage, and good results in my particular case."  Then, I respectfully requested a different cyberknife doc.  I explained I liked the one I consulted with last year, but he was very by the book and quite cautious.  I explained I am pretty sure I didn't get here by staying in the box and not going ball to the walls ALL THE TIME and that is reflected by my team of docs.  Not very passive those guys.  Most of them are like, "Hit her as hard as we can for a long as we can."  Luckily, the surgeons that I have had are not that way, but aggressive and creative (hence I am not pooping in a bag....yet).  So, Hanks makes a phone call...mumble mumble mumble, I correct one thing......mumble mumble mumble......"Can you see her right now?"  "Yes.".....mumble mumble mumble.  Hang up.  "Okay, off to Cherry Hill with you and her name is and he rattles off this name and spelling.  I look at him like, "Don't have a pencil.....might want to slow down."  I get the name and off I go.  I know EXACTLY where it is.  I visited Shelly there once for her treatment and the snuck me back to see the machine and everything.  This  is before I was being considered.  I just wanted to see it.  It is SOOOOOOOOOOOO cool.  I go directly to the office, I meet her and she says, "Have you seen your scans?  You are going to laugh.  The spots are SOOOOOOOOOOOO small."  So, she went through everything with me.  We had  four (last winter), then six (in March), and now since chemo we have two remaining and they are the perfect case for cyberknife.  "I can help you and you will be done."  Odds?  90% chance that they never come back.  Treatment?  I will need some markers, so I have to wait four weeks after my last treatment with Avastin (10/1).  After the markers are place next the one spot, the spine will act as the marker for the second spot, I wait a week, get a CT scan, wait a week to calibrate the REALLY COOL LASER MACHINE, three one hour appointments per spot, and DONE.  Side effects - fatigue 0-60 days out that will last 60 days from onset and maybe, by rarely, a cough.  Things that can hold this up - insurance.  Yeah, but I have done that dance before!  DONE.  Remission by Christmas.  DONE.  I know there is still a 10% chance it won't work and I know one of those 10% people, but it is the best news I have heard in a while.  Happy Happy Day!  Love, Ang

Friday, October 12, 2012

After a morning at Swedish....

I have pleurisy again in my right lung.   It is amazing when you call on the way to the office with no appointment and your oncolgist is out for he weekend, that within 90 mins, you have a chest X-ray, talk to your lung surgeon from two years ago, have to nurses who know me determine pluruirisy and I am on the way home by 10:45.  Gotta love Swedish.  Thanks guys.  At least it is not a hole in my lung (that is where we started!). Still hurts like a mofo.  Love, Ang

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Life moves on....

Today, I took my kids to school.  I don't normally, but Beckey had to work early, so I took them.  At the last moment, I put real clothes on, but it is not like I was put together - no make up and I forgot to brush my teeth - I know GROSS!  As we pull into the school for drop off Nolan little voice says, "Mommy can you park and go with me?"  My heart melts and I say sure.  Thank God I put on real clothes and I wasn't in my pjs.  Really should have remembered to brush my teeth!  Mason, of course, does regular drop off.  Mason NEVER has had a problem with going to school.  He hit those Kindergarten doors three years ago and NEVER looked back.  Nolan, my tough guy, turns out is a bit of a softy.  I walk with him and drop his backpack at the classroom door.  I tell him that I want to see what he does in the morning.  So, he shows me and then, like a light bulb going off in his head, says, "You are not suppose to be on the playground!" and physically pushes me back through the doors and we go back to his classroom.  Some of his classmates show up and want to play tag, but you can only do that on the playground.  Torn, Nolan drags me to this area where the parents are standing BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE watching their kids on the play ground.    So, picture this, our elementary school has 737 students.  Average is 450 in Kent.  All I can see is my little toe head bobbing up and down and OPPS way down!  He fell and, of course, did not want the playground teacher, he wanted me.  After we patched him up, the first bell rang and I walked him to his class.  He hugged and kissed me wiping his little eyes and telling me he would miss me.  I told him I would see him after school and not to forget that his goal is to get a blue card (Kids are issued cards at the end of the day based on their behavior - blue is the best.  Nolan wants a blue.).  The announcements started as I left and it threw me back to elementary school.  I always wanted to walk and Mom always wanted to drive me.  I did not quite get it until now.  I never remembered the problems that we must have had as a family.  For example, I have lost my insurance yet again.  The company is leaving the state and because of my situation, my options are limited, but not impossible.  Problem is finding it.  I have been working on this all week.  I just also found out about a person very close to me not telling me something that I, of all people, could help them with.  They should have told me.  While I was helping all these other people, I should have been helping them, but they didn't want to burden me.  Really?  So, now, more than a year behind we start.  In addition, I got my scan results.  No some improvement in some spots, less in others.  Chemo next week is canceled.  Back to the drawing board and consults with surgeons to see if we can get it out or change chemo.  Oh, I am making cards with Trina at 1:30 and then again tonight when the boys are at soccer practice.  Thank God Dawn is bringing dinner.  Have I eaten?  Make cards, get call from my oncologist while I am her bathroom having an attack, take notes, get out, work on cards, go get the kids from school, call in the parking lot to get appointments for my "new project" because let's face it my name opens up some door in certain places, hang up, need to cancel chemo next week and advise my team they are off the hook, get out of the truck and feel mentally exhausted, pick up Nolan and Mason.  (pause)  Nolan got his first blue card.   Still in the same "real clothes", no shower, did I brush my teeth?  No, I don't remember any of the problems my parents had when I was young, but I know that they were there to hug and kiss me when I reached a goal.  Maybe somedays they forgot to brush their teeth.  I never noticed.  I hugged and kissed Nolan and we went to get Strawberry Sundaies at McDonald's.  Soccer tonight with Dad.  I am going to do cards.  And life moves on. Love, Ang