Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Time to Rest

Yesterday, Dad was supposed to have chemo in Seattle... key word being "supposed" to.  That didn't happen.  He hasn't felt well in quite a while and it's fair to say that he never recovered from his last round of chemo two weeks ago.  For the past two weekends my dad has spent the majority of his time on the couch, sleeping, with a painful look on his face and a heating pad on his chest.  Dad just hasn't been himself and he would be the first to admit it.

Prior to making the trip to Seattle yesterday we had already spoken to his oncology nurse in Seattle and it was determined that he wasn't well enough to have another round of chemo.  They did however want to see him and get some blood work.  We arrived in Seattle just before 8am, with over two hours already behind us.  All of us were exhausted and dad looked visibly frustrated.  I asked him what his number was for the day... with one being bad and ten being good.  He told me he was a 4.  He had reported that he was a 5.8 on Sunday (the .8 due to the Olympics that were on the TV screen) and a 6 on Monday, so the 4 caught me off guard.  He hadn't been eating as much this past week so we weren't surprised to learn that he had lost 6-8 pounds since his last appointment.

After talking to the doctor it was determined that dad needed to get a chest/abdomen CT scan prior to heading home.  They said it was possible that he would be hospitalized due to the unusual pain he was experiencing in his chest.  We were happy that a scan was scheduled because we really believed that something was wrong.  My dad doesn't complain about anything but he has really been uncomfortable this past week.  The only bad part was that he couldn't eat before the scan and the scan was scheduled for 2:30pm.... 5 hours away.  We found a little cubby hole in the waiting room and made it "home."  Mom fell asleep on the mini couch with her oxygen tank, and dad fell asleep in the chair.  That is how most of the day was spent.

His CT scan took place as scheduled and we met with the doctor immediately after.  He told us that nothing alarming was discovered on the chest CT scan, and certainly nothing that would be causing such severe discomfort.  Unfortunately though, the CT of his liver showed a 20% growth from the last scan.  The cancer progression and the rising CEA counts are indications that his chemo is not working.  This chemo combination was the last thing his doctor had as an option.  So, as of now my dad has stopped his  treatment and he will let his body begin to detox from the three straight years of chemo.  If any of his discomfort is from too much chemo in his system, he will begin to feel better in the next few weeks.  As far as the cancer goes, we can only hope that it too will "rest" as my dad takes some time off.

There was supposed to be a new clinical trial in April for my dad's type of cancer but it has now been moved tentatively to May.  If the trial does in fact happen, and my dad is feeling well enough to sign up for it, he will certainly have that option.  Right now though, he needs to rest, eat, and give his body a break from all of the harsh chemicals.  Time will tell how his body responds.

All of this news is still fresh and new and a little difficult to swallow.  With that being said, please continue to keep my parents in your thoughts as you go about your normal day.  We are a strong group and we are appreciating each other more than ever.  Thank you for your continued support.

Dream Big-

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Still crazy after all these weeks

I've been doing a terrible job keeping up with the blog.  So....let me give you a little update.

Life has been so much easier at home with Kelly (and Val) around all the time.  They have both made life a lot more fun now that I spend so much time at home.  They took me out again this week for some fresh air and a little personal shopping (a girl needs that every once in a while). 

Chemo took it's toll on Rick and I this time, (I had a tummy ache that I couldn't get rid of) and he is still extremely fatigued and has a poor appetitie.  We're working on making that better with some meds, and just encouraging him to rest whenever he feels like it.  I've actually felt much better the past 3 or 4 days.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Rick has chemo again on Tuesday.  I'm not sure they'll even let him have it since he hasn't recovered from his last round.  We'll just have to wait and see.

We're enjoying watching the Olympics (I try not to cry when the National Anthem is played or they tell some amazing success story...I'm not very successful with my dry eye endeavor).  What amazing athletes.  Speaking of amazing athletes....Stanwood Boys Basketball clinched a spot in State at tonights game against Cascade.  The last time our boys made it to State was in 2002 so they really deserve a shot at the big dance.   Congratulations Boys I'm really proud of you!

Jake has been really sick with the "flu" since late Wednesday night.  He stays as far away from us as he can and always has a mask and gloves on.   He had the flu shot but who knows which flu hit him.  He was so sick that he broke the blood vessels in the whites of his eyes, all around his eyes, and cheeks.  He looked terrible he's finally looking a little better.

The  girls have all been here this past week doing their part to try and keep us well.  It's always nice to get a visit, or a phone call from them when I'm cooped up in the house. I'm never without love and encouragment.

I have my nice lawn furniture on the deck so when the sun is out and I need fresh air, my air cord is long enough to let me out on the porch to enjoy it.

I missed Kelly this weekend again.  She is only my helper during the week and even then she's only doing it out of the kindness of her heart, but after seeing her everyday...I get sad on the weekends when we don't hang out.   I need to get a life. :)

To all my school buddies, and booster club buddies, knitting friends, and lifetime favorites...stop by and visit whenever you get the chance.  I miss your smiling faces as well and you must have some juicy tales to tell.  Just kidding.  I just need to see your smiles :)

Dreaming Big,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day is approaching us :)

Chemo week has gone pretty well so far this week.   I'm staying on top of any symptoms that come my way before they hit me hard.  Last night I was almost back to my old self again (however this moring I woke up to a bout of nauseaous).  Rick had a  light version of chemo on Tuesday, but he is still feeling kindof miserable.  We'll get this routine figured out soon...I promise.

I want to wish you all a fabulous Valentine's Day with your honey.  Take time to enjoy each other's company,go out for dinner and a movie, don't forget to let them know how much they are loved.

Time for me to nebulize and take some morning meds.  I hope to write more later.

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who dat?

Way to go Saints!  What an exciting Super Bowl it turned out to be.  Drew Brees, what a classy guy.
I didn't win any money on my "pools", but Melana, Val, Angie and Rick did.  We spread the money around :)

Have a safe night heading home from your Super Bowl party.  Life is precious.

Dreaming Big,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Saturday

I have so much to share with you over the past week, but I've been a little lazy at the blog.  Not only did we have amazing friends and family give our yard an overhaul, but on Monday a dear friend (Russ Bumgarner...went to school with Amy and Angie) came over in the morning and pressure washed our house with bleach and put stuff on our roof to kill the moss.  I'm not kidding, the house sparkles as you drive up the driveway.  Then on Tuesday, Jeff Fernandes (a friend of mine from high school who has had a window cleaning business for 26 years) came over and cleaned all 22 of our windows, inside and out.  Birds have been hitting the windows all week...they'd never seen the windows so clean.

Yesterday, Kelly and Val rearranged the living room...I swear I feel like I live in a new house.  It's beautiful...if only we could find a place for all the paperwork that comes in the mail...

My shopping experience was great on Thursday (though I almost ran out of oxygen), I went to the basketball game last night to watch the Stanwood girls (and Angie reffing).  Almost ran out of oxygen again.  I guess I need to work on that a little better.  I had no idea how important air was until I don't get any. :)

We're all getting revved up for Super Bowl tomorrow.  Amy won't be able to make it (she has Air Force drill) so we'll be having a betting pool (please don't tell her), great food, mardi gras beads, great crowd, can't wait for the commercials, and cold beverages.  Mine will be water, yummy. 

Tuesday is a big day for Rick and I.  We both have chemo (Val is taking us) so the week will be a little rough.  I'm dreaming big thoughts for a healthy outcome.for Rick and I..We could use your good vibes as well.

Time to take a nice long oatmeal bath.  It helps with the dry itchy skin caused by chemo. 

Go New Orleans Saints.....!

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where or where has Doreen gone???

I'm back.  Sorry for the delay in blog writing, but I'm living a "new life".  Let me take you on a tour....

Each weekday morning I'm greeted by my dear friend and full time angel, Kelly.  She gets here in time to make a little breakfast for both Rick and I (which makes me feel good because I know Rick is being taken care of too).  Kelly is my pharmacist, nurse, chef, all-seeing, all-knowing wizard.  I'm not really sure how I would have handled the past couple of weeks.

Within the past few weeks my oxygen level has plummeted.  We're not really sure why, but at least we have a solution.  I never knew how much I loved AIR :)

Now that some time has gone by, my side effects are much better I'm looking forward to a little time of feeling beter before I have my next go-around of chemo on the 9th. 

I must say that I'm appreciating life more than ever.  When you feel like it could be slipping from you, the tendency is to grab on tighter and find even more reason to live life to the fullest!

Keep Dreaming Big,