Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Final Chemo treament

Mom's Dr. appointment went very well yesterday - she now weighs in at a hefty 101 pounds! It's been the hardest thing in the world to not only stop her from losing weight not to mention gain weight. Another good sign is that she had to give me back a pair of pants the other day that wouldn't snap around her belly :)

Her CA 125 level also dropped some more and is now at 14. This is the lowest it has ever been, and that is a sign that the chemo is working and stopping the cancer from growing.

She will go in for a scan in a couple of weeks to determine how much of the cancer has diminished and will talk about the next steps for possible surgery.

Right now she is on her bag of Benedryl and will be ready for her first bag of chemo drug shortly. It's a good feeling that she has made it through these last 6 treatments with relatively good benchmarks in place - other than the side effects - the chemo has worked and I'm sure by the end of the year she will be cancer free!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ready for another chemo week

Mom went to a funeral yesterday. The guy who died owned the farm across the road from grandma and grandpas. He was a couple of years younger than mom, apparently an only child. I don’t know if he ever got back to Ransom much. He died from brain cancer. The kicker is that he was diagnosed with cancer right around the time that mom was diagnosed with her cancer. However, his cancer wasn’t responding to chemo treatments or radiation. If he elected to have surgery, they couldn’t remove the entire tumor, just a portion. Different situations entirely, but it brings the disease a little bit closer… almost too close for comfort.

The trip went as well as could be expected, however mom’s hip was achy so she spent most of today just resting. Since she has chemo on Wednesday, she needs to give it a rest otherwise she’s not going to want to sit through her treatment. We hope for more good news on her doctors visit this Tuesday, as this is the last treatment they have her scheduled for at this point. The next step is to make sure the blood clots are under control before surgery. She can’t have surgery in August if those blood clots are still there, however the last CT scan did show that they were dissolving, so the Lovonex is doing it’s work.

Now that she’s made it through the treatments I hope that surgery comes soon. I don’t think I will feel better about her prognosis until her ovaries are out of her body and the surgeon is able to scrape the cancer off of her peritoneal wall. To me, that gives her a better chance of it never coming back again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Teal toes!

Mom has had a good week. She really started feeling better Sunday afternoon. Still some aches and pains, but nothing out of the ordinary for this point in time. Chemo next week - it's the last one - so she feels good knowing that she's made it this far.

I ran across a good web site- -and apparently September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. I don't see why we can't paint our toes teal right now though - so I'm going to go out and get some teal this afternoon. If we spread the word now - everyone can have Teal Toes by September :)

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Days in between

The last couple of days have been good and mom is over the big "hump" of side effects. She still aches but that's something that won't go away; partly because of the bone marrow boost (that effect lasts a week or more) and then the absence of her arthritis medication. She's backed down a bit on the Tylenol too but will still take it before bed. Next week should hopefully be an uneventful one and maybe we can go find something fun to do before she has her last round of chemo.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Side effects set in

Yesterday was a tough day. Mom woke up not feeling well and just planned to stay down for most of the day. She kept down some crackers in the morning and then had some of Aunt Rosemary's potato soup later and it went down good as well. It was just an off day. She is feeling better this morning and had some toast for breakfast.

I didn't mention that she gained another pound when she weighed in the other day - so now she's up to 99! I've been trying to get more meat and potatoes to her so that's seems to be working. On the mornings we go to chemo we stop at Hardee's before hand and eat a hearty breakfast (nothing on that menu is under 300 calories a serving) so maybe that has something to do with it I imagine.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The good news continues

Dr. Porubcin had nothing but good things to say yesterday at mom’s pre-chemo checkup. All her levels are good and she is right on track for surgery possibly in late August. He wants her to do two more chemo treatments (one today and then one on July 29) and then the first part of August they will send her for a CT scan and make an appointment with Dr. DeGeest in Iowa City. Dr. Porubcin will send an update of mom’s progress to Dr. DeGeest in the meantime.

The Lovonex seems to be targeting the blood clots and hopefully the next CT scan will show that they are dissolved enough to have the surgery.

We started the chemo treatment today right at 8:45 a.m. There doesn’t seem to be as many people in the chemo room as last time. There are the regulars. One woman who has been through chemo before, at another place in town, is doing another series of treatments here at Trinity now and getting better results. It really does make a difference to check out as many oncologists as you can before going ahead with treatment. And then on the other end of the spectrum, it helps to talk to cancer patients who have experience with the doctors. Nurses have the best insight. They work with the physicians on a regular basis and also talk to other nurses. There can never be too many nurses!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chemo Week

Since we had such good news the last time around, I'm expecting that we will have good news again tomorrow when mom goes to see Dr. Porubcin. Her appointment is at 9:00 for the lab work and then we'll meet with him at 10:00. We'll find out what he's thinking as far as the last chemo treatment in July and then about surgery. The blood clots, although they have been dissolving, are still an issue. Dr. DeGeest, the Iowa City surgeon, has wanted to know about mom's progress as well, so I think we are getting close to surgery.

Last week mom had problems with her hip arthritis flaring up in addition to the general tiredness. Since she is not taking the DayPro for her arthritis on a daily basis, she really notices a difference without the medication. She gets by with taking Tylenol, but it still aches.

She came over yesterday for a cookout so Tom could test out his new fish grilling baskets for the salmon I got at HyVee. It was a nice day to sit outside and we even went for a stroll with Patrick in the park.

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