Saturday, July 16, 2011

Golden Rules

1. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

2. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

These are some of the basic rules of life we learn when we are in kindergarten, if not before.  We are taught to play fair and treat others nicely.  Well, lately, cancer hasn't been playing by the golden rules.  It certainly isn't treating my mom the way it would want to be treated.  It isn't playing fair, and it certainly isn't treating others nicely.  So, with that being said, my mom is referring back to the rule, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Over the past month, my mom's cancer has begun to get progressively worse.  Her coughing has gotten to the point where she is often leaning over a toilet hoping she would cough up lung fluid but on occasion has found that the deep coughing has lead to bouts of vomiting and pain.

Although her lung scan isn't until next week, we would be naive to think that her lungs are "stable."  She feels worse and sounds worse.  Twice she has made a comment to me about being scared sometimes when she can't breath and how she feels like someone is going to find her dead from hyperventilating and suffocating.  Although I hope she is exaggerating slightly, we all know that it has to be extremely scary when you can't get enough oxygen.

Due to feeling so much worse, Dr. Eaton has started mom on Tarceva again.  It was the original drug she took in April of 2006 and it worked on her for 30 months.  Obviously they stopped the drug for a reason in 2008, it wasn't as affective as it had been in the past, but at this point Tarceva is her only option.  So, Tarceva it is.  The hope is that Tarceva will have some affect on the cancer cells that are new since 2008 and have never seen Tarceva.  At this point she is willing to try anything that will bring her some relief.

She had a follow up appointment with her gamma knife/brain doctors this past Monday.  They told her that nothing has shrunk since her last surgery, or if it had, there are new ones because she has the same amount of spots in similar areas.  When she asked about going back in for surgery they told her that she is only a candidate if her cancer is "stable" below the neck.  At this point, she doesn't qualified for another gamma knife surgery unless the tumors begin to affect her eye sight or speech.  They would go into her brain again if that were the case because they would want her quality of life to be better.

So, as you can see, the month long break from writing on her blog is probably well deserved.  My mom has a lot on her mind and lots of emotional things she is trying to get thru.  Overall, mom is still mom.  When she is feeling well she is still as funny as ever.  She has gotten out of the house a few times recently to have fun with friends, take a trip to Desert Aire with Angie and I over the 4th of July weekend, and visit Jake and Megan at their house for dinner.  She is living in the moment and focusing on the things that bring her joy.  If you are one of those things, you might want to consider giving her a call and making her smile.

We hope all is well with you and yours-


  1. Thanks for the update Amy!! All your Relay family in Oregon and SW Washington is keeping your entire family in our thoughts & prayers!!!

    ~ Kathy

  2. Amy, I do not know your family at all, but have been following your Mom's blog for quite some time now. Not even sure how I came upon it. I just wanted you to know that I pray for your Mom and family and keep you in my thoughts. Pleae accept the prayers and thoughts from a stranger in NJ. You are a wonderful family and I am sure your Mom is surrounded by much love during this time.


  3. Thank you Kathy. I would like to extend this offer to you and anyone else out there who is following this blog without even knowing our family. I travel all over the country for my job and I would love to meet any of you for coffee when I am in your area. If you have any interest in that, you can email me at and I will look to see where my upcoming travels will be taking me. Thank you for your support and prayers.


  4. I have been reading your family's blog for several years now, and feel compelled to express my love and support for you all. I stumbled on to your story through BJALCF, after I discovered Bonnie's foundation when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. My dear mother has had a remarkable survival success too, so I've felt connected to all of your experiences. I've been cheering you all on from afar in the SF Bay Area and just want you to know that there's someone thinking about your mother and all of you kids. Thank you for sharing your lives so openly with us.
    - Jennifer

  5. Doreen,
    As always you and your family are in my prayers. I feel what you are going through as my mom had lung cancer as well. It is not a disease that plays fair at all. Your family has been an inspiration to me and I will never quit Dreaming Big!!
    Dixie (Heather's mom)

  6. Hi Amy

    It is always so wonderful to hear from any member of your family. You portray a family full of love and support that is very unique. I pray for all of you and all others who have gone through the pain you have experienced. God bless...