Thursday, August 8, 2013

Getting Better


I hope this finds you and yours all well. Sorry I haven’t posted for so very long. It’s been so difficult to post when all I could do was whine and complain about my health but I am doing a bit better now.

Most people go thru treatment and suffer all the side affects of the radiation and chemo at the same time. Of course I’m one of the odd balls who didn’t suffer much of anything until after it was all over with.

Until a few weeks ago I was really sick. My hair was falling out, I couldn’t walk without a walker, Jim had to help me with everything and I do mean everything. Two weeks ago I got a couple of units of blood for anemia and suddenly things started to turn around a tiny bit every day. Hair stopped falling out but I had lots to spare so it’s not really noticeable although I am sure only the dark hairs fell out because I‘m way more salt then pepper now :) . My legs got stronger and I am doing well without the walker. Jim and I do our best to care for one another. I’ve been doing all the cooking although Jim is still doing the clean up. I am doing the laundry but Jim still needs to carry the baskets for me. I still have a very LONG, long ways to go but at last I feel like I’m healing and I am getting a little stronger each day. I am positive the cancer is gone, I just need to survive the cure and praise the Lord I’m sure I finally am.

At the moment my biggest problem is a dreadful cough. I’m told the radiation caused a sore on my lung. As a result I am coughing up a lot of mucus as it tries to heal. Coughing and lack of sleep is exhausting. Also quite odd is I’ve developed a sweet tooth and have been eating like they are going to ban food (especially sweets and fruits) at any moment but I can’t seem to put on an ounce. I have five doctor appointments in the next three weeks so maybe someone will be able to explain what is going on.

Jim fell and hurt his back, broke a vertebrae, plus he has osteoporosis and arthritis. No cure, just pain meds and he just had to suffer until it improved on it‘s own. Poor guy it’s been such a slow recovery, still has a ways to go but he really is doing well now.

Thank you to anyone who has donated blood.  Over the years I tried to donate but have always been turned away because they said my BP was to low.  I've had four units in the last two months and believe me I feel as though they have brought me back from the brink each time.  My heart is full of gratitude and love to those who donated it. 

Thank you to those of you who have continued to send me cards. I love each and everyone and it seems they always arrive when I need a lift most.   Thank You also for the e-mails and comments I’ll never be about to tell you how much they are appreciated.

Take care, be well.

Love, Hugs & Blessings


Friday, May 3, 2013

Fabulous News!

Hello Sweet Blog Friends

I’ve learned my tumor has shrunk 50%!!!!! Praise God !!!! I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to see my old and new CAT scans side by side. I was the one to say it shrank 50%, doctor said it could even be a little more and it’s more then likely it will continue to shrink over the coming months.

I am sorry for being gone for so long and not responding to e mails. No one tells you that your treatments will affect every system in your body. I didn’t realize it until I began to recover. I feel like each system is slowly coming back on line one at a time. Internal organs first. I can tell you I am happy to finally have my blood pressure at a normal level. Mine was dangerously low for quite a long time. Happy to report I am eating well and have put on a few pounds. At the moment my nervous system is trying to heal it’s self, I have the shakes, not a nice feeling. My vision has been affected as well. I have tried to keep up with your blogs but can only stay on line for brief periods before my vision gets blurry. I think the last to heal will be my skin. The radiation burns have healed but the rest of my skin is so very, very dry.

Although I don’t think I look at all well, my family, friends, neighbors, the nurses and my doctor all tell me I look so very much better then I did when this all began. I am slowly getting better but doctor says it’ll take quite a bit longer before I feel my old self.

I will have more blood work and see my oncologist in a week, and learn if I’ll need more Chemo or not. God willing I wont. If I need it I will of course take it but I’m only just starting to feel well and sure would hate to have to start over again besides I‘d really like to be able to create again.

I’ll be back next week to report if I do or don’t need more Chemo. I thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Be well, take care of yourselves.

Love, Hugs & Blessings


Thursday, March 28, 2013

I HAD Cancer

Hello Sweet Blog Angels

I finished the standard treatment for lung cancer this past Monday. Actually I’ve had more as Doctor gave me 35 instead of 33 radiation treatments and 7 instead of 6 Chemo treatments. From now on I am saying I’ve HAD cancer. By the grace of God I am healed and I am claiming that healing, I’m owning it, it’s MINE. I’m a survivor.

It will be six weeks before I go for a CAT scan to see if the tumor has shrunk. I’m told they wait because the tumor can continue to shrink for up to two months after the last treatment. I will return for a CAT scan every three months there after to be sure the tumor doesn’t being to grow again. I will also have lab work done to look for cancer markers. In reality I don’t know for sure that my cancer is gone but I continue to be positive and will claim that I am healed until I‘m told differently.

As a result of my treatments I am exhausted. I’ve never felt so tired in all my life, I have no energy whatsoever. My skin is 'sunburned' due to the extra radiation. Small price to pay.

If you’ve been following me along this journey you know I’ve not been happy with my oncologist. At my last visit with him he said I would need two more months of Chemo. I asked if this would be weekly or daily. His response was he would inform me at the right time. WHAT??? His nurse then gave me a schedule stating I was to start Chemo in two weeks. REALLY!!! I don’t know how he determined I need more Chemo as he has not communicated with my radiologist, nor have CAT scans or lab work been done yet. I now have a new oncologist, I am very, Very happy with him. Although he says my treatments up to this point are the same he would have ordered he will wait till all my tests are done before determining if I need more treatment and if I do what kind of treatment that will be. Keep praying please.

Jim and I are delighted that we will have (at the very least) a seven week brake before anything, if anything, more will happen. My tank is empty. I need to get some rest, to build up my strength and put on some weight before I stress my body anymore.   Thankfully my appetite is improving and I have gained 5 pounds in the last two weeks. 

Jim is exhausted as well. Bless him, he has driven me to every appointment. He has done all the shopping, banking, cooking and laundry; all the things I once did. He is my rock. 

 Hopefully it wont be long before I regain my strength and energy. Jim says he’ll know I’m my old self when he sees me in my craft closet again. Gosh I wonder if I still know how to make a card.

Be Well.



Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women’s Day!

Hello Sweet Blog Angels
WOW can you believe it’s March all ready. WOW can you believe it’s Only March. I can’t believe so much has happened this year. On the other hand I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get this far. The good news is as of today I  have only 10 radiation treatments and 1 Chemo treatment to go. I’ll be done in two weeks!!!  Hopefully test result will show the cancer is gone and I’ll be feeling my old self soon.

Jim and I had a few fabulous days. We got to go shopping and out to lunch a few times and breakfast once. We didn’t go anywhere special but we put all our troubles aside for a while and enjoyed each other‘s company.

Seems not a week goes by that something doesn’t go pear shaped for me. Prior to all this I drank ice water 24/7, I just loved the stuff. I never dreamt Chemo would make water taste horrible but it does. As a result I haven’t been drinking enough fluids and got myself dehydrated. My BP dropped down to 66/52. NOT Good. I needed an IV to bring it up. Doctor noticed my heart has begun to skip beats so he ordered an ECG. A nurse told me it’s all good but the print out says ‘Abnormal ECG’ I’m not sure what that means. I’m working hard at drinking enough fluids. The good news is I’ve been able to hold myself at a steady weight.

To add insult to injury I’ve somehow hurt my back. Thankfully I have the best chiropractor on the planet. If you live near Yakima and need one Dr. James Patten is your guy! 

 Like I said something happens ever week so we try to make the most of the good times and look forward to the end of all this.
I hope you are each enjoying lots of good times and making the best of them.   
Love, Hugs & Blessings

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hanging In There

Hello Sweet Blog Angels

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks. While I’ve been away I’ve had two more bronchoscopies and two frightening allergic reactions to medications.

Anyone keeping count that makes five bronchoscopies in two months. The staff at the hospital all know me now and bless them treat me as one of their own. As sweet as they all are I do hope I wont need their help again.

In the first bronchoscopy Dr. Matus tried to insert stints to keep my airway open but was unsuccessful so he decided I needed another bronchoscopy to insert High Dose Radiation directly to the area where the tumor kept trying to block those airways.

I must say as sweet and caring as the folks at the hospital are the folks at the High Dose Radiation dept. of the cancer treatment center have no clue of the emotional needs of a cancer patient. Suffice to say it was a miserable 9 hour experience which should not have taken half that time.

The good news in spite of their dreadful attitude they did get the job done and it appears they have stopped the growth of the tumor in that area. More great news, over all the tumor has shrunk between 5 & 10%!!!!! Yippee!!! Thank the Lord!!! Doctor did not expect to see shrinkage for another two weeks, he is thrilled but not as thrilled as I am.

I woke the morning after the first bronchoscopy with every muscle in my body hurting, even my eyelids. I couldn’t even walk without assistance. Jim called for an ambulance. It was determine I’d had an allergic reaction to a medication used during surgery. Bless him Jim attended to my every need. My daughter and granddaughter came by to do laundry and clean my house. Thank God for loved ones.

My treatments had been delayed for a week so I was happy to return to my routine. That is until I had a terrifying reaction to one of my Chemo drugs. In a matter of seconds I went from feeling fine to feeling as though I was going to die. It was comforting to have the staff jump into action. They all seemed to have a job and each did their’s to perfection. Although it seemed to take much, much longer, they quickly had me back to normal. The whole event left me so extremely weak I needed a wheelchair.

Jim & I have never celebrated Valentines day. Bless his heart Jim decided after all I’d been thru I needed a little something to pick up my spirits so he got me the most beautiful bouquet of a dozen long stem red roses. He proudly pointed out a “home made card” he’d “made” for me. I reality it was just a note but the words were a treasure as were the hugs that went with it. I love that man.

One of the side affects of radiation is fatigue. I hope you will all forgive me for not responding to your e mails or acknowledging receipt of your lovely cards. They do mean the world to me and I enjoy each and every one. I will try to respond as soon as I feel up to it.

Love, Hugs & Many Blessings


Saturday, February 2, 2013


Hello Blog Angels
This thinking positive thing is really working for me and so are your prayers and well wishes. The Lord is really listening so I thank you and ask that you please keep it up.
When I was waiting my turn for radiation Thursday there was a gal who said she had just finish 4 months of Chemo, she never got sick once and didn’t lose her hair. I told her I’m going to be like her, I wont lose my hair and better still I wont get sick. ‘She said You Go Girl’ Well I’ve got one treatment under my belt and I haven’t gotten the least bit of nausea and I haven’t lost any hair. I think I’m doing great. Only 5 five more Chemo treatments, I can do that. Honestly I'm not so vain to be concerned about my hair, really it's not a big price to pay to regain one's health.
Someone sure got to my oncologist because he was a completely different man. He actually looked me in the eyes and answered my questions. To bad he wasn’t like that from the start, I might have even liked him.  
I really wasn’t looking forward to the ‘class’ with the oncology nurse. It wasn’t a ‘class’ at all, it was she and I talking, asking and answering questions, her giving me some interesting info, of course she had to tell me what might go wrong. Of course every time she said something could happen I’d say it wont and I believe it in my bones. I know the facts I just refuse to let anything negative take root in my brain. I am taking claim to all the good stuff. So far it’s working for me. None of the negative stuff has happened from either the radiation or the chemo but I am watching out for everything they told me to. And you can be sure I am doing every thing I should and not doing anything I shouldn’t.
They told me to take my nausea meds for two days even if I don’t get sick, I guess once you start with the nausea it’s hard to get it under control so you know even though I haven't needed it I will do as I am told.
As I suspected once I got past the front desk I found the people who really take care of the patients VERY nice and caring. A lot of the people there have had cancer themselves so they have walked the mile in my shoes and know what it’s like. Although it was a long day it wasn't unpleasant. Everyone made sure I was comfortable. Volunteers constantly came by bringing warm blankets, pillows, even asking if I needed a snack.
I get 4 IV two tiny ones of a mix of meds for nausea and anti-reaction meds and two actual Chemo drugs each given separately. If anyone is really interested in the drug names e mail me.
I am so glad I told Jim to drop me off and come home to rest. The waiting room is beautiful and the chairs and sofas are actually comfortable but as nice as it is sitting in a waiting room for 6 hours isn’t restful. I am worried about him, he is worn out, and he looks it. He surprised me by asking if I could drive myself Friday AM. I did and I did fine. I wish he didn’t feel obligated to do all the driving but he does and insists he will be back on duty on Monday.

Have a fabulous weekend. We plan to lay around, rest and recoup and get ourselves ready to do it all again next week. If you are counting only 29 radiation and five chemo treatments to go.
Hugging you in my heart
Love & Blessings

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

OH My, My, My

My doctors must have REALLY had a fit. It’s was so obvious no one had planned to start any of this for at least another week and a half. What a scramble to get me scheduled thru Feb. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and listened in on those conversations. Whatever was said it sure lit a fire under everyone down there. My lung docs are absolutely fabulous, will just have to give them each a huge hug next time I see them.
Today I got my third tattoo and they did their ’dry run’ which was already planed for sometime this week. That was followed by my first treatment. It only lasted five minuets and like having an X-ray I didn’t feel a thing and still don’t although I’m told to expect at the very least fatigue as we go on. No Problem.
As I lay there I tried to visualize the radiation killing those nasty cells but my thoughts wandered on to prayers of thanksgiving that we have been so blessed with these amazing machines which can cure us. So very thankful.
As I suspected the radiation techs were very sweet and caring. Even the girl at the front desk seemed to have her thinking cap on today. It really turned out to be a pleasant experience after all. It was a little creepy to see all the casts/molds for all the different patients, all different shapes, sort of like looking at blue body parts hanging from the walls of the room. They do the job though. I walked in they had me lay in my mold and in a heart beat things were lined up with my tattoos and all was good to go.
Still not sure about the gals at the oncology front desk. It took quiet a while to get just one chemo treatment scheduled. In fact it took so long I went to the bathroom midway. Thursday morning I’ll have radiation then speak to the oncologist followed by an hour class with the oncology nurse then two and a half hours of chemo. Fingers crossed it wont take quite so long to schedule the other five or six treatments. Even if it does I am just thankful I will receive the chemo in conjunction with the radiation as it has been impressed upon me having both together is the very best way to kill this monster.
My efforts to keep the weight on have paid off I actually gained another 3 pounds in the last four days.
Only radiation scheduled for tomorrow. Not sure if I'll feel up to an update after Chemo on Thursday so I'll talk to you all over the weekend.
Love, Hugs & Blessings


Hello Blog Angels
I do hope you and yours are all doing well.
I did okay yesterday but this time it was harder on me then the last time. My throat and mouth really hurt after-wards, getting better. Not feeling great ATM but I am breathing easier so can't complain to much and I know tomorrow will be even better. Just hope to God this is the last time I need this done.
Dr. Matus did the surgery again. He asked me how far I was into my treatments. When I told him his jaw dropped and his face went a little pale. He said there was no call for this taking so long and explained why I was back. He is a good looking young guy and every time I've seen him he was always smiling but he was not at all happy yesterday. He said he was going to talk to Dr. Manache (my lung doc) and walked over to the phone. Couldn't hear what was said but he came back and said he was going to have a talk with my radiologist and oncologist and get things moving on starting my treatments, he sounded like he meant business too. 
I really like my team at the Lung and Asthma Center. Everyone there is on the ball. If Dr. Manache or Matus have any questions as to my care they talk to one another and always have my best interest at heart. Jim and I never feel like just another set of bad lungs there. Fingers crossed they will be putting their foot where the sun don't shine on my behalf and get things moving with my treatments.
The staff at Regional Hospital are fantastic. They made me feel like I was the only patient in that hospital. We had to wait quite a while for the results of my lab work and while we did everyone kept coming by to see if there was anything I needed or just sit and visit with me for a minuet or two. One person would leave and another would come by. Doctor's, nurses, IV techs and more. I especially enjoyed the surgical tech. Normally she would not have come to the pre-op area but when she heard I was a retired surgical tech she came by for a lovely chat. Only wish I could like the folks at the cancer treatment center as much as like my lung team and the folks at Regional.
Hugging you all in my heart and sending much love and many blessings.

Edit To Add:  Wow someone did something, I go in for my first treatment at 12:20 this afternoon.  I'm a little apprehensive but glad I am now really on my way to the end of this journey.  So grateful Our Heavenly Father sent me my lung team they really and truly are on my side and pulling for me.