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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to regular life

Mom starting doing so well, I forgot to post anything. She tolerated her treatment well and was able to complete it by mid June. For the first few weeks after the chemo and radiation ended, she was not feeling well. This was to be expected according to Dr. Whisenant. Eventually, her strength came back as did her energy. She now has more energy and feels better than she has since this whole ordeal began.
She had a CT scan at the beginning of this month. The tumor is considerably smaller (which she already knew because the pain was gone). With this news, her doctors are just going to wait and see how things go. They are hoping not to do surgery. She will have another scan the first part of November. That scan will test for cancer as well as measure the size of the tumor. They are in hopes that it will be smaller or at least not any bigger and of course, not have any cancer left.
Other great news, her last check up showed she had, in fact, gained 7 pounds! This is a big accomplishment. She has had such a difficult time getting the nutrients and calories she needs. Instructing her body on how to digest her food worked really well. She only had to concentrate on it for a couple of weeks. Now it does it on it's own. She still has to eat smaller portions, but it isn't such a chore.
So, life is back to normal. Both mom and dad are working at the Draper temple several days a week, If you're friends with them on face book, you may have noticed the pictures of them remodeling the house. They are doing most of it by themselves! It's a big project, but they're doing great.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You never know

Monday was a long treatment day. First to radiation and then to chemo treatment. As always, mom carries around a little fanny pack that administers chemo therapy treatment directly into her pic line. Every Monday she goes in to have it refilled. Every other Monday (and this last Monday was one of those) she gets a 4 hour infusion of a different type of chemo therapy. This one really wears on her. Monday, she was tired, but seemed OK. Tuesday morning she was a little tired, but not doing too bad. By afternoon she wasn't feeling well and Wednesday, she was just sick most of the day. Of course, it doesn't help that her sleep patterns are off. Either she doesn't sleep at all, or she sleeps really well for a couple of hours and then wakes up and can't go back to sleep, Her pain levels go up and down and since we're nearing the end of her treatment, the radiation is really taking it's toll. Even though heating pads help with discomfort in her lower back, the radiation has made adding heat to that area really uncomfortable. So, she just has to endure it. Of course, taking medication can help, but as in all medications, there are undesirable side effects. So, she has to chose which is worse, the discomfort or the side effect.
The good news is, her radiation doc said she can stop her radiation at 29 treatments instead of 30. That means she will end on Friday the 17th instead of Monday the 20th. Even though it's really only on treatment day, it means treatment ends 3 days early! She's really ready to have this over. It's just so hard to make plans if you never know how you're going to feel from one day to the next. Of course, as always, she's a trooper and willing to do what ever it takes to make herself well.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Such a difference from the last round

Another week has past. Mom seems to be tolerating everything fairly well. Of course some days are better than others, but for the most part, she is doing well. As we think about where she was last time with these treatments, she is doing remarkably well. She isn't sick all the time; Her energy level is way better than the last round, and she seems to be remaining healthy. Of course, she has those days one in a while where it's difficult to leave the house and sitting for long periods of time is not the best thing, especially on hard surfaces.
While her pain seems to come and go, she can usually keep it at bay with tylenol. Once in a while she needs something a little stronger, but not often. Another difference about this round of treatment is her weight. We were all worried that she would have to go on a feeding tube again just to maintain her weight thru all of this. But, she has been able to eat well and her food seems to digest better these days so she has actually gained a pound or two instead of losing like we feared. All in all, she is doing great in comparison.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This week was ok. Some things are better, some things are worse. Mom hasn't seemed to be as sick as last week, although some days were much better than others. She is experiencing less pain in the area she was having it before, and more pain in other areas. Just when we get one thing under control, another problem creeps up. She was able to attend a family gathering today where she got to see all of her living siblings. She really enjoyed visiting with them again. She was pretty wiped out afterward, but I think she thought it was worth the effort it took to go. Hopefully this next week will be even better than last. She's pretty excited to go three whole days without radiation. Since Monday is a holiday, she won't have to go back in until Tuesday.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ups and Downs

Mom has been faithfully attending her radiation treatments every afternoon. The appointments aren't very long, but her energy seems to get zapped along with the cancer. She has been sick to her stomach off and on throughout the week. Some days are really good, then others she can hardly get out of bed. We are working on figuring out what the triggers are so we can avoid them when possible. The days she's down, she tries to think of the better days and remember it won't be this way forever. Of course, she keeps her positive attitude as always.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mental Control

Mom has been doing well so far this week. Her energy levels are good and she seems strong. She discussed some of last week's issues (lack of energy and sick to her stomach) with the doc yesterday. The oncologist's office said they will try and adjust the levels for her chemo infusion for next week to see if that helps. We'll just have to wait and see.
This past week, her digestive system seems to be improving as well as her pain levels. I attribute this success to her ability to instruct her body on how to function.
Once she found out what the problem was with her stomach (it was not squeezing and contracting to help digest her food), she was able to talk to her body and instruct it on how to function. She does the same thing with her chemotherapy, radiation treatments or even when she takes medication. She instructs her body to utilize these treatments in the areas they are needed and leave the rest of her body alone. Hopefully, eventually her stomach and the rest of her body will start to function automatically as it is designed to do; but, in the meantime, she is able to mentally control some of those functions so she can get the calories and nutrition she needs to keep her healthy as well as the medication she needs to kick this cancer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A New Week Begins

After having some rough days last week, she finished up with a bang. Friday and Saturday, mom felt really energetic. Most of the time, she didn't have to have any pain medication, including Tylenol or Advil, Today, again she felt so good, she decided to walk to church with dad. Unfortunately, that was probably not the best decision. By the middle of Sacrament meeting, she was hurting pretty bad. She also started feeling kind of icky. She came home, got some Aleve on board and took a hot bath and a nap. That made her feel much better. We'll have to wait and see what the night brings. Hopefully she will wake up feeling refreshed and invigorated and ready to start a new round of treatment.