Thursday, March 27, 2014

Port Day & 1st Chemo Treatment

 Okay so about 1 hour after my last post, Mom called me and said there were a change in plans.  She no longer qualified for the trial study.  They took the Ovarian part out of the study..... *humph*.... BUT thankfully Dr Huh still was such a fan of the study that he wanted to do it himself with the same medicines, she just wouldn't be in the study.  *yay*!  So he wanted her to get her port Monday (3/24) & have her 1st treatment Tuesday (3/25).  That pepped us up pretty fast :)!  Plus it would be the 1 day treatment.

She had to be there at 6 AM Monday morning to get her port.  So Sunday afternoon she, Tyler, Heidi (since SB is this week) & I took a roadtrip and stayed in Birmingham over night. 

I was glad Heidi could experience some of it with us :).

Mom's Sinus' were acting up bad, so she didn't feel real good.  PLUS we were in hospital admissions at 5:50 A.M.  So we were all tired, but especially her.

Goofing while we waited for her to go back.

Heidi is just like her Daddy.  She was peeking at everyone out the curtain.

Once they took her back, we were able to keep up with her progress by this screen.
 Thankfully it only takes about 20-30 minutes to put a port in.  Here is what it looks like:

The port is in!  Since she was starting treatments the next day, they left the needle in.
 She felt good after getting the port and wanted something yummy to eat :).  So we went to our favorite Birmingham spot.... The Cheesecake Factory. 

She LOVES her Uncle KyKy!!
 We came on home after we ate.  Mom didn't have to be in Birmingham until 10 A.M. Tuesday so she wanted to get a good nights rest in her own bed.

My Uncle Sonny and I took her Tuesday.  We were all so ready to get things started... especially Mom. 
 We went back pretty quick.  Thankfully, as long as the chemo rooms aren't too full they will let your family go back with you.  So we got to be there with her the entire time (minus us going to the cafe for lunch).

This was the blanket that Southside Baptist Church's quilting ministry gave her.  She LOVES it! 

 They really make you as comfortable as they can while you are getting treatments.  They will provide blankets (Mom just wanted to use hers), pillows, snacks, drinks, we can get food for her (as long as it isn't too strong smelling), etc.  Plus I need to add that everyone is so very nice.

Uncle Sonny and I went exploring to the cafeteria and while we were gone she and Tyler facetimed :)!!  He took this beautiful picture and sent it to me..... he was so disappointed that he had to work and couldn't be there with us.

We brought her some yummy soup back with us.
 She did great.  They give you so much nausea medicines, steroids, Benadryl, etc.  as they administer the chemo to help with the side effects.  Thankfully Mom was a TROOPER!  She is so strong... it amazes me.  We made a successful trip home (successful= no sickness) and got back about 5:30.

We did stop for a bathroom break on the ride home oh and Walmart to get some vitamins that she needs to take.  Anyway, I told them that she is proof that you really don't know what people are going through or have been through by looking at them.  No one we came in contact with knew she had just had chemo.  Ya know?

So far she is still doing well from it.  She was jittery yesterday, face flushed, and tired.... but YIPPIE for no  nausea or sickness.

Thank you for all the prayers, calls, texts, messages, cards, etc.  Means so much to her and us!  I'm going to leave you with Heidi's prayer journal she made last night.  I couldn't help but have tears fill my eyes.

We'll go back in 19 days for the second treatment.  That tumor and cancer better beware!  Mama has her fighting attitude and face on and she is ready to show it who's boss :)!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Update on Mom..... Getting Started on Treatments

I have to start first by saying how much these bracelets mean to me.  The one in the top picture is the one Mama bought for me (silver one).  The clasp is straight and for some reason it comes out easily.  I was in our local grocery store one day and I noticed when I got home that it was not on my wrist.  I happened to be on the phone with Mama at the time I noticed it missing and went in a slight panic mode.  She said, "It's okay"... but to me it wasn't.  I cherished that bracelet.  I called the grocery store and told them if they found it to please let me know.  No more than 3 minutes later they called to let me know they had found it.  I almost cried.

I decided to keep the bracelet in a safe place until Kyle could get home and help me "fix" it.  A very sweet lady at church that has become very dear to me had no clue about my bracelet stories.  She lost her mom to Ovarian Cancer, so she sticks by pretty close and keeps a check on Mom.  She gave Mom and I both the silver bracelet that you see in the next picture.  Thankfully it stays on.  So it has become a new cherished jewel.
I took this picture last night on our walk. Top one says, "No One FIGHTS alone".
Okay, so since our last UAB visit that I blogged about Mom had to have a CT scan of her whole mid section.  Dr Huh wanted to do it to make sure what was "in there" since he didn't do the surgery.  Unfortunately, almost a week later he called her to let her know that a new mass had grown.  It was approximately 2 1/2" in size which means it grew about a centimeter a week.  It was in the same area that her other tumor was in.  Once again, we all felt as if we had been "sucker punched".  It had only been 4 1/2 weeks since her surgery and it had grown that fast that quick.  We knew it was aggressive just didn't realize THAT aggressive.

With that being known, the original attack method of the IPIV method would not work.  We found out about the growth on a Thursday and the team of Oncologists were to meet on Monday (this past Monday) to discuss what to do next.

Now in the mean time of waiting, we have had numerous people coming to us and asking us what was taking so long.  Why haven't they called you?  You need to be calling them.  They shouldn't take this long.  Call The Cancer Center of America.  Call this doctor or that one.  The thing is, it was really stressing all of us out.  We felt at peace when we went to Birmingham.  And people were making us second guess several things.  The cancer mom has is not a "generic" cancer.  The rarity of it is an issue.  There have only been 300 cases of this type since 2006.  That's not many folks.  Also, because of the surgery she had being such a major procedure, no doctor would start anything for 6 weeks after surgery.  She and I were talking one day this week and you know people tell you how important attitude is.  It is hard to keep a good attitude when you have LOTS and LOTS of opinions coming your way.  People mean good.  We know that, but sometimes it was doing more harm than good.  Some cancers they can remove and people start treatment the next week.  Not the case for Moms cancer or surgery. 

She heard from Dr Huh on Wednesday.  He said she had two options.  One was to remove the tumor which was another major surgery and would put her out 4-6 weeks before being able to start chemo.... AND there was the chance that it would grow back like it did this time.  The other option is to do a trial chemo.  He highly recommended the trial, but wanted her to come in Thursday (yesterday) to sit down and discuss it to  understand it better.  They sent her a 23 page report on the trial chemo, so we all read it Wednesday.  She made several copies & I took a red pen to mine and underlined, circled, wrote down questions, etc.  My head was spinning.  I was confused.  I was angry that it had grown back and we were having to decide on a new attack.  I was overwhelmed.

Mom came over and we talked about it for a while.  And then we went to My Uncle and Aunts later to talk about it.  I was too emotional and a mess on the inside to go to church.

Since Kyle wasn't home, but was coming home Mom and I decided it was best for me to not go with her this time.  I would have the kids here and there and then have to get Kyle's mom to get him and Karter would have tball and having to make sure he got there, etc.  So My Aunt Becky, Aunt Donna, and Uncle Jimmy went with her.

The excitement in her voice when she called me to tell me how ready she was to start after talking with the research nurse is a conversation I will never forget.  She felt so good about it.  This trial is designed specifically for MMT (Moms rare Ovarian Carcinoma).  They had been administering it for a year now and have success stories.  It is randomized (which scared us to read about Wednesday).  BUT what that means is her blood levels, and all of her other testings are put into the computer system and based on several different things the computer will decide the best trial treatment for her.  With 1 of the trials she will go and have an all day treatment and then not go back for 21 days.  The chemo is so strong that they told her it takes that long for your body to recover.  The other trial she will have to be hospitalized for 4 days to receive that treatment.  And then go back 21 days later for the next one.  She will have to take the treatment for 6-10 months.  She will have scans every 6 weeks and weekly blood testing to see how the treatment is working.  Once the 6th month is over, they will evaluate her and see if she needs to continue with it.  If they see during it that it is not working, they will stop and decide something else.  She goes Monday to get her port *yay*!!  She will get a chest port now like most cancer patients you see. 

I will say she did call The Cancer Center of America Wednesday to see what they had to say.... and to make "everyone" else happy that she did.  They said they couldn't see her for 2 weeks and then they would have to evaluate her, her scans, meet to decide treatment, etc.... before starting chemo.  So she would be looking at an even later start.  The lady also told her that she wasn't sure that they had even treated someone with Malignant Mullerian Mixed Tumor.  So she knew that she was at the right place with UAB.

So.... she'll get her port Monday and find out next week which trial treatment she will do.  She will then start treatments the next week.

Please continue to pray for strength, guidance, and good attitudes.  We are all so ready to kick this cancer in the butt!  I am not ready to lose Mom and I am going to do what it takes to keep her strong and positive through this.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St Patty's Day, Dentist, Usual Walk & More

 This post is completely full of randomness.  

We have eaten lunch at Papa & Nana's the past two days.  While Dad was doing laundry Monday, Karter & Sophie thought they needed to play "peek-a-boo" with the laundry shoot.
This years dance recital theme is "A Year of Dance"... that's why Heidi's costume looks like Ms. Clause :)!
 After dance, we ate supper at MeMe's.  She is always so creative... so she had green juice and jello ready for the kiddos.

Sophie doesn't take many "normal" pictures haha!

I am really amazed at Sophie's drawings and how well she writes her name.  She left these notes for MeMe :)!

On the way to school yesterday
 This week is the letter K.  I forgot Monday until we were walking out the door, so he went as himself.  I was like... "K for Karter... you the object".  :)!! He loved that. 
He took our Kansas state from our US puzzle.

... and a picture of "Kyle" :)!

All of our kids have always loved the dentist.  You all know Sophie has had her fair share of "sugar bugs".  They have always been able to fix them with no problems.  Yesterday morning was a different story.  She had a total melt down.  They were able to do 1, but not both.  She was just in a mood and wasn't wanting to be there.  So we get the pleasure of going back to get the other one fixed.

I just have to share this because it reminds me of how children's minds are constantly thinking and learning.  Soph was washing her hands and noticed the soap dispenser and said, "triangle".  I had never really looked at it that way. 

Here she was a little later being a silly willy.  She is the sassiest 3 year old I have ever met.  I really don't know how her mind comes up with some of the things that it does. 
 We ate supper at the Mexican Restaurant with Yana and Grandmama and before heading home we had to stop by to see the snakes for the 1500th time. 

 When we got home we went on our usual afternoon walk/run/bike ride.  I took the wagon again this time.... and Sophie's silly self was acting like she was sooo tired and waiting for me to get there with the wagon.... so she was waiting.....
 .... and waiting.....
 .....and then decided she still wanted to run.  I love getting out and doing this with them.  When we got home there was still a lot of day light left, so they played outside until it turned dark. 

And lastly.....We have a U.S. puzzle that they love to do.  Sophie is obsessed with Louisiana (because she knows that's where Papa works and where Daddy goes to get on his boat) and Alabama.  She always burst into song when she finds Alabama.... "SWEET HOME ALABAMA"....  This morning she took a picture of the two states and told me to send it to Papa :)!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fun & Entertaining Few Days....

I know Karter looks scared.... he was cold he said.  But HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY!!
 Thursday Dad & Yana came by to see if K and S wanted to ride with them to do some running around.... of course they did :)!!  They even had a yummy lunch at David's Catfish....
 That afternoon when I got Heidi, she rode her bike and I walked (while pulling the wagon so I could pull the babies back) to Moms work to see her and then to Dad & Yana's. 

 Dad decided to walk back with us :)! It was a great afternoon for it. 
 After tball practice, Aunt Becky and Mom came over and brought supper.  We had a nice night.  Jody came and ate, then Jamie came later.... and Amanda :)!!  Fun night.

 Babee picked the girls up some new soft curlers, so we were trying them out....

 Curlers did great.... we'll get better with practice :).... but still did good.....
Curly Sue
 We love seeing Heidi when we go make copies :).... 
 Friday after school they wanted to go see Babee again. 
She was checking out a wig someone had given her...

I love this picture.  Wild thang aka Sophie.... had snuck out side at the school and was sitting on the bench.  She was pretending like she was being picked up from school.
 Friday night the girls wanted David's Catfish.... Dad & Yana were nice enough to go 2 days in a row :)!  While we were waiting on our food, Karter was doing his "eyes moving" again..... and wanted it videoed.
 You all know that no trip to David's is complete without pictures in the big rocking chair :)!

 The kids haven't stayed with Mom since her surgery because she couldn't pick them up, etc.  She was going through withdrawals and they were too.  After we ate supper, we went to Babee's so the kiddos could spend the night.  I stayed pretty late... as late as my eyes could hang. 

Saturday morning I met them at Hardee's for breakfast :)!  Of course they still weren't ready for me after we ate, so they went with Mom and Tyler to take Oscar to the vet and they went to the cattle sale and looked at all the animals.  I had plans to mow the yards and do some much needed yard work.  Unfortunately, the mower battery was dead.  I had it charging and in the mean time my sweet Daddy insisted on coming and weed eating.

I went and got the kiddos in time for Karter's tball practice.  Dad and Yana went too :) and Dad was able to help them coach.  He loved it!!  Brought back sweet memories.  He coached me and Tyler every year that we played. 

That's Kman in the blue shirt.
 I had beautiful selfies on my camera roll that someone took while her brother was practicing :).

 Thankfully the mower cranked after practice was over.  I was able to do all the mowing and Dad came back and finish weed eating.  He also blew off the drive way..... and the kids loved playing "hurricane" with the blower....

 ..... and then we just hung out and played.....

 The girls being silly.....

 Saturday evening Mom texted to see if we wanted to ride with her and Tyler to Lowes and to eat at our favorite burger joint.... Eds.  Karter didn't want to go, so he went home with Dad and spent the evening with he and Yana.  He had plans to spend the night, but got to missing us :) so we picked him up when we got back in to town. 

I am proud to say that the girls and I got showers, blow dried our hair and got ready in 45 minutes.  Mom and Tyler were ready and waiting when we got there :).

 They LOVE their Uncle KyKy!

He took them all through Lowe's while Mom and I looked at the plants :).

Kman had plans to sleep in the tent (in the game room) , but then decided it was a little scary and he needed me :).

Y'all know I rock these sweet kiddos every night.  Kman was out before we knew it.
 Oh boy.... yesterday was very interesting.  I knew it was supposed to storm, but still planned to go to church.  I had the kids all buckled in the car and I ran in to grab my jewelry.  Before I could get back outside the tornado sirens were going off.  The sirens are pretty common here, so before we get too panicked, I usually check the weather channel to see where it is.  I went out to check the kiddos out and the weather and then came to see where it was.  Thankfully it was not near us and I knew we were heading in the opposite direction.

So off to church we went....
 Before we knew it, Sunday School was letting out early and we were all against the walls in church.
 Church let out early.... and when we got home, there had apparently been some pretty heavy winds.  We have had heavy winds before and the football/soccer goal has never collapsed before.

And then I noticed the playhouse was blown upside down into the fence....

And our neighbors tree had split and fallen in their yard.
 And then one of our other neighbors trampoline had flown into The Bradley's back yard and landed up next to their back door. 

So needless to say we had a lazy Sunday afternoon.... until Sunday night church.  Thankfully the weather had calmed down for us to go :).

 For supper I sauteed me some squash and zucchini.  So yummy!
 Heidi bug had 2 omelets :)..... the other two had spaghetti and vienna's LOL!  What a supper combination between us all.
By the way.... just a note to end on.... do you know how paralyzing Life Time is?  We watched 2 movies yesterday.  See how lazy we were?