Friday, July 24, 2015

Doxil Intravenous Cousin to "The Red Devil"

 Wednesday morning My Mom, Uncle Sonny, and I loaded up bright and early to be in Birmingham by 8:20 A.M.

I love this picture :)
 We got in "our meeting room".  The room that we are ALL TOO familiar with.  The room you never get excited to be sitting in.  Like my Uncle said, our demeanor completely changes from the waiting room lobby to that roomThat room holds so much power.   

We only waited a few minutes before Dr. Huh came in.  Mom was a nervous wreck.  She was continuously fidgeting with her neck pillow that she had in her lap.  

He once again confirmed that the fluid was malignant.  (Side Note: although you already know it, it NEVER gets easier to hear.  EVER!) He said she had two treatment options.  Now I will tell you that Mama has always said that she would NEVER again take the chemo that she had the very first time.  And honestly, I wasn't sure that I ever wanted her to take that again.  IT. WAS. AWFUL!  She would try so hard to be brave and strong, but it was easy to see the pain on the inside.  It would leave her in the bed for about a week at a time.  She couldn't eat, she hurt to the touch, sick, sores, it was just bad.  Really bad.  

So back to what he said.  Option one would be the chemo she had the first time.  My eyes immediately filled with tears.  I was dreading watching her go through that again and I was dreading hearing what her response to that would be.  Option two is a combination of some drugs and one of them she hasn't had.  It is Doxil Intravenous aka Doxorubicin which is a cousin to the chemo drug, "The Red Devil".  Sounds ridiculous right?  He said some people have no major side effects and then some have it pretty bad.  Also her CA125 will go up with this drug before they come down.  So there really is not a way to know if it "is working" until about the 3rd or 4th treatment.

Here are some links to it....

If she chose option two she would only get it once a month.  Her face lit up when he said that.  Either option would take about 6 hours per treatment.  She decided to give option two a try.

They took her to do her usual lab / blood work that she has before her treatment.  Her port was not working properly so they had to put a medicine in it to get it going and thankfully it started working. 

 Go figure..... this chemo is indeed a cousin to The Red Devil.... it is red, too.  Her urine, sweat, and tears may be an orange/red color.  FrEaKy

We were watching the red go in.
 She slept through majority of the treatment, but felt okay afterwards.

Yesterday she would tell me she was, "okay".  By that, I knew she wasn't feeling very good.  We mostly talked on text and then when I talked to her on the phone I knew her speech wasn't just right.  She was working on stuff at the school, so the kids & I took supper to her and helped her finish up some things.  As soon as I saw her I could tell she wasn't up to par.  Her face was very flushed, she was still talking funny, and seemed very tired.  She said her mouth felt funny and nothing was tasting right.  (Oh No!  Sounds like the first chemo already).

While we were eating and going over her medicine list, I got to thinking that maybe she was feeling so bad because she didn't have her day or two before chemo medicine that she is supposed to take.  There was no way for to take them because they weren't sure which option she would take.  This is the snap I got of her while we were eating....

Praise the Lord she is feeling better this morning.  Hopefully that was the reason she was feeling so bad.  She said her coffee tastes better so far than it did yesterday.  So we shall see if it continues to be a good day :)!  With the first "oh so bad chemo" she started feeling bad on day 2-3, so when she was feeling bad on day 1 we were getting a little scared.   

Now I guess it is a waiting game.  Just living each day like it's our last and making memories along the way.

My friend, Ashley, sent me this and I had to share :).... so much truth to it....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mom's Continuous Cancer Journey

I am not one to hate anything, but I hate cancer.  

It is a never ending battle.  I know it isn't like that for some people, but for us it seems to be never ending.  Sometimes I want to ask God questions like....
Why can't she be cleared and us go every 6 months for scans?
Why is it a constant battle?
Why couldn't we have gone through this when she was older? Much older?

I know there is a reason that she is going through all of this, but that does not mean it makes the road any easier.  I am thankful for each and everyday we have together. 

 I think it is safe to say that anyone that has been in our shoes and anyone that has lost someone they deeply love would ask the same questions.  
My Mom, Aunt Becky, and I went to Birmingham this past Wednesday to meet with Dr. Huh, her oncologist, and to have fluid removed from her lung cavity.  She had been having some pain and had several scans done which resulted in the finding of fluid build up.  

This was us before meeting with Dr. Huh.
As usual, Aunt B and I waited in the lobby until they called us back to meet with Mom and Dr. Huh.  Sadly, this was the first time they did not call us back with her.  When she walked out the door and into the lobby, my heart sank.  She was upset. She was heartbroken.  She didn't want me to see it, but sometimes you just can't help it.  I didn't know what to say, or do.  In the moment I didn't even know why she was upset.  He told her that they were going to drain the fluid and send off, but he was pretty sure it was malignant.

I was trying so hard to hold my emotions in.  At that time, I felt that I needed to be strong.  

He felt it was malignant because of how fast the fluid built up and because her levels were steadily rising.  
June 3rd it was 60; June 25th it was 170.9; and July 15th it was 400.1.
To most of you that doesn't mean much.  The normal CA125 level is less than 35.  Anything over that number is a trigger that something is going on.

We made it to The Kirlkland Clinic where she was going to have the procedure done.  
Like you are NOT ever recommended to do, she googled the procedure.  

It would be something like....


..... And then..... she came across a you tube video.  We all sat there silent as we watched it.  I got a picture of the two of them watching....
It made her more nervous, but ready at the same time.

Before long they called her back.  They were able to drain some to send off.  
That began the once again dreaded wait.  They said it would be 2-3 days before we would know anything.  Thursday rolled around, Friday, and then yesterday.  

We had gone to Marvin's when Mom got off because she needed some things for some rentals.  We were on our way to check out at approximately 6:45 and her phone rang.  It was Dr. Huh.

The fluid was malignant :(.  It's almost like a dream that doesn't end.  If you count her initial time (Feb 2014) finding out that she had Ovarian Cancer, this makes the 4th time hearing that news.  With it being malignant it means it is in her lung cavity and is aka pleural effusion.  This does not mean it is in her actual lungs.  

The praise in it all is that it has not gotten in any organs thus far.  

She will go to Birmingham tomorrow morning to meet with Dr. Huh and to start her new chemo.  We aren't sure what the new chemo will be, but he said it will be an all day treatment and will discuss it with her in the morning.  

Cancer is an emotionally and physically draining journey.  Mostly for the patient, but also for the family.  Until someone has been through it, they truly do not know what it is like.  It is a constant haunting and it sadly controls your life whether you want it to or not.  

I will still do posts periodically as we know more.  I want you all to know that I don't just do them for you all to read, but I do them for ME.  It is a way for me to vent.  It is also something I have to look back on and read about.  All of my posts from last year are already timehop memories.  
I'll leave you with this......

Last night on our way to Marvin's (before she had talked to Dr. Huh), Karter out of the blue said, "Babee..... you won't have cancer when you get to Heaven".  
When we don't even realize it, it affects our children's emotions as well.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Celebrating Abby, Locked in Rabbit Pen, Easy Bake

 Last week we celebrated my cousin, Abby, passing her FINAL law exam making her officially, Dr. Abby Daugherty.  All the years of hard work in pharmacy school paid off.  YAY!!!

We enjoyed a yummy steak dinner :)!  

Heidi's daily selfie at Aunt Becky's house after Mom fish tailed her hair....

I was too slow in capturing their hug, but we are all so very proud of her.
 LOVE LOVE LOVE spending time with family. 

Jamie sent this snap of Kyle and I playing what seems like our daily game of tag/hiding go seek.
 Heidi has had a loose tooth FOR MONTHS!!  I knew Kyle would pull it when he was home.  It is NOT my cup of tea. So before we left Aunt B's house, he pulled it.
 Thankfully I got it ALL on video :)......

Hard to see, but it is one of her bottom teeth....
 Kyle had a doctor's appointment with his allergy specialist in Pensacola.  We had to get some stuff for Piper, MeMe's parrot, which gave us a great excuse to check out their amazing pet store.  They will let you hold and play with pretty much any animal in there.  We had a BLAST! 

Kyle wants a bird so bad he can't stand it.......

I forget where we were driving to, but the kids sent this snap from Kyle's phone to me in the front seat.  Made my day!.......
 ..... and....... okay........

Last week we were at Mom's most of the day.  Kyle was working on some rentals and we just hung out.  When it was getting close to dark Heidi and I came on home to feed the animals.  I went in Buttercups pen to take some water and I noticed that he nudged the door open and hopped out.  By the time I saw him hop out I was on my way back to it to take food.  I thought........ well I'll put the food in the bowl and then get him.  


I went in and miraculously (still no clue how this happened) the door shut behind me.  Heidi had to go to the bathroom so she was already inside.  Kyle has a string inside that "lets you out" if this happened.  Well, it had gotten stuck and there was no getting out without me being destructive.  

I admit I had a slight panic moment.  I was stuck in the pen.  It was dark.  I was alone.  I did not have my phone.... and the rabbit was.... gone.  

I was calling Heidi, but she couldn't hear me.  Turns out she went to her room after she used the bathroom.... so I was in there about 10 minutes.  I really thought I would be in there until Kyle, Karter,and Sophie got home.  Thankfully Heidi came outside looking for me before he got home.

Heidi and I had no luck finding Buttercup.  We looked and looked and looked and then when Kyle got home we found him within 5 minutes. 

 .... I couldn't help but think if I was home alone and that happened.  I would have had two choices.... stay in, or mess it up. 
 He was fixing the door :-)!!!
 I was embarrassed to say the least.  

Anyway, on to happier thoughts *ha*!

Sophie finally got to bake a cake with her new easy bake oven.  The Tisdale's gave her a Lalaloopsy one for her birthday and we have been so busy that we haven't had a chance to play with it. 
She was so happy :)!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Their Favorite Part of the Day..... The Pool

 This past Saturday we spent pretty much the entire day by MeMe's pool.  

I am so thankful that all 3 of our kids love to swim and I have to say, they are really good at it.  I found myself at times just going under and watching them. 

Now I will admit....... 

Having Kyle in the pool AND the kids.... was almost more work than just me playing with the kids in the pool.  He is such a kid at heart and everyone that knows him knows that he is a huge aggravater.  The kids loved having him throw them.  Karter even learned how to tuck and flip as he threw him.

Such a great day!

LOVE this!

Heidi and MeMe dancing :)

Every good and perfect gift comes from above. James 1:17