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.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Good, Well Mostly Good News:

Hello Everyone
I hope you are all well and mother nature is being kind to you where ever you are.
Yesterday I met with my radiologist. He answered almost all of my questions. I told him I was thinking of asking for another oncologist because mine has not been answering my questions. He says that may delay my treatments. He’d like me to stay with him because they work so well together. He has encouraged me to insist on answers from the him which I more then intend to do. He had better answer because B doesn’t only stand for Bernie and Jim can tell him he DOES NOT want to see what else B stands for. Remember I was in the Army and I remember the language. LOL!

I asked why it was taking so long to start treatments. He claims that this is normal step by step procedure designed to insure I get the best possible treatment when it does begin. He admitted if he was in my shoes he would be just as frustrated as I am but at this point I am right on schedule.

I had another CAT scan. This time designed to pin point the exact area to be radiated. The point is to hit all the cancer cells but as few healthy cells as possible. They made me lay on a bean bag sort of thing. When they got me as comfortable as possible and in the perfect position for radiation they sucked all the air out of it which left it rigid, sort of like a cast. From now on every time I go in for a treatment they will lay me in that cast. Once the cast was formed around me they did a CAT scan. I now have two tattoos (Geez at me age!) Shucks, I was hoping for tiny butterflies but they are each only the size of a period. LOL! There is one on either side of my chest which will be guides for the radiology techs. 

I don’t have an appointment yet but next week I will go in for a ‘dry run’ of the radiation therapy and to get another tattoo in the center of my chest. AND if all goes to plan I will finally begin treatments a week and a half later! It will consist of 33 radiation treatments and 6 or 7 low does Chemo treatments. Meaning Radiation five days a week for six and a half weeks and at the same time a Chemo treatment once each week. The radiation will each last five minuets. We are looking at starting about two weeks from today. I am thankful we finally have a date to shoot for. This all hinges on the oncologist getting his act together and getting the Chemo pre-approved in time. Dr. Choe REALLY wants the Chemo going at the same time as the radiation. He says with this type of cancer it really makes the radiation work best.  I will see the oncologist on the 31st and give him a kick in the B hind if need be.

Last week I lost two pounds in spite of every effort to keep from doing so. Very disappointing.   Yesterday I got on the scale and was ecstatic to see it I'd put on three pounds in one week! Yahoo!!! Hopefully I will be able to do the same next week and get my strength built up.

As my post tittle suggest it's not all good news. A part of the tumor has grown back and is once again beginning to obstruct my bronchial tube.   It's only been five weeks since I had the bronchoscopy to clear my bronchial tube of all tumor and it's already blocking half of it again.  If it blocks that airway it would most likely cause a collapsed lung.  The treatment for that would be a chest tube.  That would be painful and require a three or four day hospital stay which would definetly delay my treatments.  Monday morning at 6 AM I will report to the hospital for another bronchcoscopy and have that tumor removed again.   Radiation will shrink it and keep it from returning.  The good news is the rest of the tumor has NOT gotten any bigger at all. Thank God!

Even before the CAT scan I knew the tumor had grown.  I could feel it.  I have to admit to really being frightened  and an emotional wreck.   Jim knew I needed an big emotional boost so he called Kai, my oldest son, and asked him to come over this weekend. Kai said he couldn’t wait and took the day off and drove over to spend the day with me. No small feat as it was three long hours of dangerous snow covered roads here and even worst it took him four hours to get back home. It usually only takes him a little over two hours to get here. I can not begin to tell you how wonderful it was to have that time with him and to get those fabulous hugs. Oh my I crave hugs these days, each one is so comforting and gives me such strength. I must admit to stealing more then just a few of them from him and shedding a few tears of joy to feel his arms around me. He plans to return soon and will bring his amazing wife Vona with him. Something to really look forward to. Vona is a nursing student and has been so very helpful answering my questions, asking her teachers for advice and help when she needs it to help me. She has been a real blessing.

Before I leave you I want to thank you all for your lovely comments, e mails, phone calls and fabulous cards. I am sorry, I have tried to thank each of you as your cards have arrived but I know I have missed a few of you. When all this started I asked Our Heavenly Father to send me an angel to help me thru this. He didn’t send me one, instead He has sent me dozens upon dozens. Angels do exist, some don’t have wings and we call them friends. Each and everyone of you is an angel to me and you can be sure you are truly making a major difference in my life when I need you most. I find there are people out there just waiting to drag me down but one glace at the stack of cards and the page after page of your comments and e mails keeps me positive and determined and the words to the song I Will Survive often comes to mind.

Oh, no, not I, I will survive

Oh, as long as I know how to love,

I know I'll stay alive

I've got all my life to live,

I've got all my love to give

And I'll survive, I will survive.

I thank you all for that and I hug each of you in my heart.

Love and Blessings


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Good News!

Thank You Heavenly Father and Thank You to all my friends in blog land for all your prayers and well wishes. I saw the doctor today and was told the MRIs did not show any cancer in my bones. I must tell you all I have been terrified the results would not be so good. They are now positive the cancer is only in the one area in my lung, the rest of my body is cancer free. Now I know I will beat this thing. I feel like I’ve been hanging on by my finger tips and holding my breath for well over a week. I think I was more afraid then even I thought I was. The relief is overwhelming.

When the doctor told me the news I squeezed Jim’s hand so hard I am sure it is bruised.  I wept like a baby and praised the Lord and thanked Him out loud. Not sure my doctor appreciated the fuss I made but I really don’t care. I have cried tears of joy off and on ever since.

Unfortunately I still have no clue when my treatment will begin. I don’t understand how things work at the cancer center but I have to have faith that they know what they are doing. I am to see my radiologist in a week and my oncologist a week later. After I do he will submit the request for approval for Chemo to my insurance. I truly don’t understand why he needs to wait two weeks to submit the request. I just hope and pray my insurance company will respond quickly.

This is frustrating to say the least. I’ve never in my life wanted something so badly that at the same time I truly wish I could avoid altogether. I can’t help but think this monster is growing inside me and without treatment I can’t stop it. As I said Frustrating. Still I am sincerely grateful for the news I got today and I believe I will sleep well tonight.

Thank you all for the lovely cards I’ve received from around the world. You ladies are absolutely amazing and with your love and support I know I will get to the center of my nasty onion and crush the center until it is no more.

Much Love and Many Blessings


Friday, January 11, 2013

Wind Beneath My Wings

Dear Sweet Crafty Friends

When I posted about my cancer I expected a few of my followers would respond I am absolutely astounded by the overwhelming response. So many sweet caring comments from people I’ve ‘met’ thru my blog and even from people I have never heard of before. The thought that so many of you around the world are keeping Jim and I in your thoughts and prayers is the wind beneath my wings. With your support and by the grace of God I will defeat this think.

I have printed all of your comments, e mails and posts. Staying positive can be a real battle at times but reading your comments gets me past it.

Thank you Di, Darnell, Mary H and Winnie for your sweet words on your blogs. I have had many visitors leaving words or encouragement as a result.

I can’t believe it but I’m off for more scans this afternoon. This time MRIs of my head and torso. In a week I go for more lab work. This is getting frustrating. Enough with the tests lets get busy killing this thing already.

Once again thank you to each and everyone of you. You are getting me thru this.

Love, Hugs and Blessings


Friday, January 4, 2013


Hello Dear Blog Friends.

This is a very difficult post for me. Some of you know I haven’t been well since early Oct. I first thought it was the flu, then a virus, then was treated for pneumonia but continued to be more ill by the day. After an alphabet soup of tests, scans and the like I now know I have lung cancer. I am told it’s Stage 3B Inoperable Lung Cancer.

I must say being told I have cancer was a kick in the gut but going from Jim’s full time caregiver to having him take care of me nearly over night was a real shock. A portion of the tumor was blocking my bronchial tube making it extremely difficult to breath. That was removed thru a bronchoscope and I am breathing much easier now. Jim and I are now taking care of one another.

At some point the treatments will be radiation and chemo but as doctor says we can‘t make those decisions lightly. I will talk to the radiologist and the oncologist again in two weeks.

I don’t know when my treatments will begin. I am praying the people I entrust with my care will do their very best and I’ll leave the big decisions up to them. Yakima has an excellent cancer treatment center with very good doctors so I feel confident they can and will get me well. My pulmonologist is very positive they will.

At this point I’ve lost a lot of weight so doctor wants me to work hard to build my weight and strength back up in the next two weeks. I am doing my very best to do both.

I don’t go to church and I’m not a religious person but I am a Christian with a very strong faith. I believe in the power of prayer. I ask that you please pray for Jim and for me. We will need lots of prayers and positive thoughts to get us both thru this. AND I will get thru this!

I will update you as soon as I know more.

Love, Hugs & Many Blessings


Tough times don’t last, Tough People do.