Thursday, October 27, 2011

On Abortion Clinics, Pro-Lifers Are 'Close'-Minded

Family Research Council:  Washington Update

Americans need to understand that when organizations like Planned Parenthood insist that women have a "right" to abortion, they don't mean a safe one. In clinics across the country, vulnerable women are shuttled in and out of clinics that look more like combat zones than surgical centers. Kermit Gosnell, who is on trial for 261 pages of abortion horrors at his Philadelphia clinic, put a real face on the "choice" movement. For his patients--and so many others--"choice" means being subjected to rusty equipment, bloodstained blankets, and untrained staff. And unfortunately, Gosnell is just one example of a nationwide nightmare. Like other clinic operators, the millionaire doctor shirked on safety to grow his profit margins. And thanks to a shift in pro-life strategy, that's all starting to change. In states across the country, America is getting serious about protecting women with airtight regulations for abortion clinics. In fact, when I was in the Louisiana legislature, I authored a bill to do exactly that. While conservatives are still trying to change people's minds about abortion, they're putting more emphasis on protecting the mothers that seek it. To do that, pro-lifers are cracking down on abortion at the source. It's what Dr. Theodore Joyce calls "The Supply-Side Economics of Abortion."

Yesterday, he expanded on this phenomenon in an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine. "Early approaches to restricting abortion access were directed largely at [women]--the demand side of the market and perhaps frustrated by many women's determination to overcome demand-side hurdles, abortion opponents have turned to supply-side restrictions, focusing on providers of abortion services. This strategy is likely to be more effective." Believe it or not, abortion is one of the least regulated surgeries in the United States. In Pennsylvania, for instance, one district attorney said the state's clinics have fewer regulations than beauty salons or public schools. So one approach pro-lifers have taken, most recently in Virginia and Kansas, is passing laws that force abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory hospitals. That means more licensed staff, better sanitation, bigger rooms, and cutting-edge equipment. To most of us, that only sounds logical. But to abortion clinics, the bulk of which cut corners to make a profit, it represents a huge hurdle in doing business. For them, the emphasis has always been on revenue, not patient safety. When they're asked to comply with strict new health standards, most would rather shut down than protect women.

Take the state of Texas, for instance. Seven years ago, legislators passed a law that required all abortions at or after 16 weeks be performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center. Dr. Joyce points out that the policy had a shocking effect on the abortion rate. In one year, "the number of abortions performed in Texas at or after 16 weeks of gestation dropped by 88%, from 3,642 in 2003 to 446 in 2004." In Arizona, he explains, bearing down on the clinics had a similar effect. Leaders there passed a rule that only doctors could perform abortions. "As a result," Dr. Joyce writes, "Planned Parenthood of Arizona stopped performing abortion services in three clinics, since only nurse practitioners had been available&" Ironically, the same groups spending millions of dollars to protect abortion are the ones fighting these laws. That, more than anything, should expose the pro-abortion movement for what it is: cold, calculating opportunists who see women as profit, not patients.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Medication Added

I stopped taking the Allopurinol last Friday and the cramping has just gotten worse and worse since I stopped.  I'm having severe cramping now.  Extremely tired... like I just can't go on.  Spending most my time in bed sleeping.  Still having a problem with the lack of concentration.

I called the doctor today and she prescribed a new med, Bentyl (Dicyclomine), which is like Tylenol for your colon.  It helps to reduce stomach and intestinal cramping, it slows the natural movements of the gut and relaxing the muscles in the stomach and intestines.

This medication can cause dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, weakness, and blurred vision.  Also can cause dry eyes, dry mouth, nausea, constipation and abdominal bloating.  Oh how fun!!  We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hawk Found With Nail In Head In Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A red-tailed hawk that rescuers said was shot in the head with a nail gun was recovering Sunday at a Northern California wildlife center.

The hawk, captured in a San Francisco park by rescuers Saturday, was doing "very well" while being cared for at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in San Jose, said Rebecca Dmytryk, executive director of the Monterey-based group WildRescue.

"The nail dislodged and dropped out during transport with no sign of additional trauma and no bleeding," Dmytryk said.
The juvenile bird was trapped Saturday evening at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. It was immediately transported to the wildlife center where specialists stayed late to receive it, Dmytryk said.
WildRescue had been notified of the injured bird nearly a week ago and had tried to trap it several times last week without success.
But observers got close enough to the bird to see the nail extending from its cheek through the front of its head. They said the hawk appeared to be in pain.
Dmytryk's group had been using a trap called a bal-chatri, a trap made of wire mesh, to try to catch the injured hawk.
Rescuers believe someone intentionally hurt the hawk earlier this month. A reward of $10,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever harmed the bird.
She has said that wild birds like hawks are protected, and that it's a felony to try to capture the birds without a license.


Seriously... what the hell is wrong with people??

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Football: Wake Forest-Rolesville Hammers Millbrook


WAKE FOREST -- One by one, Wake Forest-Rolesville players praised C.J. Shaw before celebrating their 55-23 victory over Millbrook.

Though many players performed well Friday night, the fourth-ranked Cougars (9-1, 6-0 Cap Eight 4-A) knew this game belonged to Shaw.

He played a central role in keeping WF-R's chances of winning a conference title alive. Shaw, a backup defensive lineman who had never played a snap on offense, was forced to start at center with Jacob Baucom sidelined by illness.

"I knew I had to push hard," said Shaw, who learned WF-R's Wing-T offense this week. "I was trying to get everything done right."

The snap-exchange from Shaw to quarterback Cameron Fray never produced a fumble. And once Shaw started to get comfortable, WF-R's offense started gaining yards by chunks.

In the second quarter, the Cougars increased their lead on Millbrook (5-5, 2-4) with runs to the outside. On consecutive drives, running backs Petey Williams and Casty St. Louis each broke through Millbrook's defensive line for long runs. Williams ran for a 52-yard touchdown and St. Louis raced for a 67-yard score.

"Surprisingly, I enjoyed it," Shaw said. "If we open up a hole up, (Williams and St. Louis) are gone. It's awesome when you look up and they're 20 yards down the field."

Williams was impressed with Shaw's ability.

"To me he looked like a natural at it," he said.

Coach Reggie Lucas knows the offensive line is the most important aspect to the Cougars' success on offense. Though WF-R entered Friday's game averaging 35 points, the Cougars haven't thrown the ball more than 10 times in any single game. Lucas relies on this lineman to move defenders out of the way to create paths for the running backs.

Lucas said that's why Shaw was so vital to the Cougars game plan.

"He stepped in, and I thought he did a phenomenal job," Lucas said. "For the coaching staff to make that adjustment was key for us."

When Shaw found out Monday that he was going to have to learn a new position, he sought guidance from many of the same teammates who were proud of him after the game. After all, Shaw helped the Cougars score seven rushing touchdowns.

"At first, I didn't want to go to offense, but this is really fun," Shaw said. "I loved it."

Now, the Cougars will get their chance to win their sixth consecutive conference title when they play Leesville Road (9-0, 6-0) on the road next week.

Even if Shaw, a junior, doesn't play at center against Leesville Road, this is still his first season playing for the Cougars. So, how would it feel to know he helped the Cougars win it?

"It would be like ... the most awesome thing," Shaw said.

Taylor: 919-829-4538

Friday, October 21, 2011

Labs Today

I had to go and do labs... 45 minute drive to take some blood and check my INR level.  That's to make sure my blood is thin enough, I guess.  Don't want to clot.

My level was low... can't remember the exact number, but was below a 2.  They want it around 2.5.  So they upped my Coumadin dosage a little bit, but only for two days a week.  So now it's 5 mg per day, except two days a week I have to take 7.5 mg.  They also want me to come back for labs in 10-14 days.

14 days would be the Friday before my next chemo, so I hoped we could just wait the 2 extra days and do it on that Monday.  Nooooo, I have to make an extra trip.  So my appointment is Wednesday, Nov. 2nd at 10:00 am.  :(

So far this week I've only noticed a few minor reactions... not sure what is the chemo and what may be the Allopurinol.  Or maybe it was just the mass death of cancer cells.  Anyways, tonight is my last day for taking the Allopurinol... so that will hopefully shed some light in the next few days.

I have had some cramping, very tired (no energy what-so-ever), some dizziness, awful lack of concentration.  Have slept a great deal.  No nausea, but a decrease in appetite.

We'll see how it goes next week.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chemo: Cycle 1

Had my first round (or cycle, as they refer to it) of the new chemotherapy today.  Had a bit of trouble accessing the port when we first got started.  They couldn't find the place  the needle had to go in.  Freaked the nurse out, she seemed traumatized over it.  My arm was still a little sore and at one point I DID feel the needle going in my arm... which caused me to flinch.  But they soon figured it out and I'm usually a pretty good sport about this kind of stuff.  Sometimes things like this happen.  Now they know what they're looking for.

So far no bad side effects, no nausea.  Just real tired.  Was there quite a bit longer than expected today.  Arrived at 12:40 pm and left at 3:40 pm.  Shouldn't take that long in the future.  Labs, consult with doctor, chemo... should only be about an hour... hour and a half at most.

I'm the first, and only patient at this time, getting this particular drug at Rex Cancer Center.  How cool is that... I'm a PIONEER!

The drug is Brentuximab Vedotin, also known as Adcetris.
Seattle Genetics

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Port Surgery

Had my port surgery Friday morning.  It was successful... I now have an arm port.

As soon as I got in there I told him I hadn't gotten any sleep and if he gave me anything I might go completely out.  This would probably set off my sleep apnea and I would probably start moving around.  "Just want to let you know, you have been warned.", I said.

He said we could just do a local instead, if I wanted... instead of a light anesthesia (or twilight).  I agreed saying we could always go deeper if we needed.

He gave me the local... and as usual when I get numbed... I started giggling.  I was trying so hard not to shake.  I had everyone laughing.  They're not used to this kind of reaction.  It made for a very light and fun surgery for all.

He measured out the line by inserting a wire first, he did mention something about my vein being *something* (I can't remember the word he used, but it wasn't good).  Said it was probably because it had been messed with before.  *This is the same place I had a port back in 2005.*  He threaded the line in, but for some unknown reason, it was a little short.  He thinks he knows why, and he would have to start from scratch if he took it out, he tested it and it worked fine.  Said it didn't quite make the last bend, but that would give it less reason to kink.

I asked him if he felt confident that it would not be a problem, because if so that's great and I would trust him on it.  But if for any reason he felt that a problem of any sort could arise from this... I would be that person, that WOULD be me.  That's just how my life goes.  He said he felt real good about it, he tested it, and it works just fine.  We shall see!!  *crosses fingers*

He did say there was a small blood clot at the site where my PICC line had been.  He did not seem concerned at all.  But I was a little... I had my PICC line removed on July 12th.  So just how big had this clot been to still be there now.  Figured I needed to call my oncologist as soon as I got home.  Since I didn't have any anesthesia they could let me go fairly quickly... and I could walk out instead of being wheeled.

When I got home I called the nurse line and left a message:  "Had my surgery, it went fairly well, now have an arm port.  While looking at my veins with his machine, he noticed a blood clot at the site where my PICC line had been.  He said it was a small clot and he did not seem concerned, but I wanted to let Dr. Olajide know just in case she wanted to increase my Coumadin a little for awhile.  If so, just give me a call.  Thanks."

It wasn't long before I received a call back... Great catch, that was a very good call and the doctor did indeed want to increase the Coumadin from 1 mg to 5 mg daily.  She also wanted me in for labs next Friday to check my INR levels.  Thank you very much for calling that in.  We should put you to work.  *See, I do know what I'm doing*

I heard three different times by three different people today that they should put me to work.  Two at the hospital this morning and once by the nurse who called me back. *pats self on back*

Here are some pics I took shortly after arriving home.

These were taken about 4-1/2 hours later.
The bruising at the incision has lightened a little,
but the bruising around the area has spread and
darkened a bit.

Not much pain, just a bruised kind of achy pain... Tylenol takes care of it.  Very tired.  I napped for a few hours after.

Got up around 11 am Saturday, then napped later in the afternoon for about 1-1/2 hours before being rudely awakened by CJ.  I was so out of it.  He was looking for my car keys... which dad had because they had gone up to my house, mowed the lawn and got my washer & dryer.

Got up and went out for dinner (mom made mexican), visited with CJ & Bethany.  Then Seri came over, dad took her shopping at Kohl's.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fever, Appts, and Schedule Changes

On Monday I started running a temperature, it started at 99.4°... then went to 100.1°, then 100.6°. The mass under my armpit is huge and it grew so fast. Very short of breath today. Also swollen, took some water pills.

Tuesday my temp went from 100.3° to 100.7° to 101.2°. Considered calling the on-call doc but figured they'd just tell me to come down to the emergency room and I really didn't feel like getting jacked around there all night. Decided I would just wait to see if it got worse.

It was also my last radiation session... to which I disagreed with the doctor on. I feel we should continue with a few more sessions. The lump is considerably smaller, but you can still feel it really well. He keeps insisting that it's scar tissue from the biopsy incision. Excuse me, but scar tissue doesn't shrink with radiation, which this was doing. Also, he didn't examine or feel it before I had the surgery to know what was there before hand... what we are feeling IS the mass. It's the same mass that has been there, just a smaller version now. Another thing... I have several scars from other surgeries I have had recently and none of them feel like this. But I let it go... I told him I disagreed and let it go, I was done fighting with him about it. Figured I would wait to see if the chemo had any effect on it, if not or if it does at first and then returns, then I will just have to have more radiation... with someone else. You know, I went through this once already back in 2008. I had radiation at the beginning of the year, they evidently did not give me enough and it came back. So I had to go back and get more radiation at the end of the year. This time I got enough and it has not come back in that spot since. One spot of my arm that has been cancer free since the end of 2008! So I kind of know what I'm talking about. I wish that other doctor was still practicing. He was older and got hit by a bus while I was at the end of my treatments. He pulled through but ended up retiring. He got hit pretty bad and it was going to be a long recovery, I guess. I had to meet with someone else my last session.

Wednesday my temp went down... it started at 98.8°, went to 99°, then 99.3° and down to 98.3°. Went to my Chemo Education class, pretty much knew everything she had to tell me. I had already researched the drug and the company. I went to the drug company site, Seattle Genetics (SeaGen) @ I went to the FDA site, I also reviewed a few news articles where the doctors had been interviewed. Oh, and I also read the study information.

Saw the Vascular Radiologist for the consult... he said I would leave there with one port or another. He's going to have both kinds on hand so if he gets in there but ends up not being able to do the arm port for whatever reason... he'll switch right over and do the chest port. I was very grateful, that way I won't have to reschedule for the second attempt and get behind schedule. I have to have a port or PICC line to take the chemo drug. Praying it all goes well and is able to get one or the other.

Thursday my temp crept up to 98.8° then up to 100°.

My chemo was supposed to start on Oct. 20th, but we've bumped it up to Monday, Oct. 17th.  Got to get some sleep, have to be up early for the port surgery.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cancer Recurrence: Catching Up (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous update post and is a summary of what occurred between mid-July thru to the present.

In my previous update, I forgot to include that in June after my 5th or 6th round of chemo my toenail came off. The one next to my big toe on my right foot. I was afraid I was dying or something… at least, that’s what I went out asking mom after it came off.

Here’s a photo of the cake my niece, Cianna, made me. It made me laugh because of either the misinformation or just the innocence of a child’s mind, but it read “No More Cancer” as if I was cancer free. I thought, “Well, we could always hope.”

Roughly two weeks after my oncologist declared that I may be in remission I had a large mass reappear in the back of my right arm. Aug. 4th I had a Punch Biopsy done. It came back negative for the lymphoma, but my surgeon and I both knew that was incorrect and figured we weren’t able to get deep enough with a Punch Biopsy, so we scheduled a Surgical Biopsy for Aug. 15th. He had to go in deeper than anticipated so the incision is pretty long and deep. Got six stitches... kind of looks like a Frankenstein scar, lol. Two days later he called with the results. Positive for the same lymphoma I've been fighting.

See the white ring or lighter ring around the incision area, that's because of the pressure caused by the mass pushing up underneath my skin.  It was so tight I was afraid the stitches were going to rip through.

Saw my oncologist on Aug. 24th, she referred me to a radiologist to get started on radiation treatments. She also discussed doing chemo again… she was going to a conference and was going to present my case. Saw the radiologist for a consult on Sept. 2nd. Also had a PFT (Breath Test) to check my lungs… still having extreme shortness of breath. Starting to fear there was permanent damage to my lungs from the chemo or something. Tests showed I have good lung capacity. The nurse giving me the test was surprised, she could hear my shortness of breath just walking down the hall, she also heard the wheezing. When she listened with the stethoscope she realized the wheezing was coming from my throat/esophagus area.

On Sept. 7th I went to Rex Radiology for my Radiation Simulation which is setting up for my radiation treatments. On Sept. 13th I saw my oncologist again, she was told to hold off on the chemo for if and when I really needed it. There is a new drug out now that targets my type of lymphoma, but it just came out and is very expensive. Hopefully if I do eventually need to do chemo again, this is what they want to use and at that time it will come down in cost… but for now just stick to the localized radiation. She also was setting me up to see an ENT about the lump I feel in my throat and the trouble with my breathing. ENT appt not until Nov. 15th. I started radiation on Sept. 14th and I’m scheduled for 17 treatments. I go every weekday at 1:15 pm at the Rex/UNC Radiation Oncology, Rex Cancer Center of Wakefield.

Into my second week of radiation, I noticed the mass under my armpit seemed to be getting bigger, when I saw the radiation doctor that Wednesday I asked for his opinion to make sure I wasn’t feeling more than what was really there. He said he felt something. So I called and scheduled an appointment with Erin on Sept. 27th.

On Saturday, Sept. 24th I had an appointment for my car… the brakes hadn’t been feeling right and figured I should get it in for new brake pads. Joe picked up my car on the way to work (it’s his garage), worked on it during the day, then brought it back to the house. He lives near us and knows what I’ve been going through, I’m friends with his wife also. That was incredibly nice of him to go out of his way like that… and, he ended up needing to replace the rotors too. Then he and his wife gave me a truly amazing gift, he did not charge me a dime… it was a gift from them as a way to help me through my financial struggles. At first I said, “No, you need to feed your family.” But then he went into this spiel about feeling led to do this, situations he’s been in, vague situations his wife had come up against, and that they really wanted to do this. It was so sweet and he sounded a little uncomfortable and he had me tearing up… so I told him, which I have been told, that I needed to be more gracious in accepting gifts. (I’m uncomfortable accepting gifts or help, almost like I don’t deserve it.) So I would accept their gift graciously. I am truly blessed to have people like this in my life. I am blessed in many ways.

On Sept. 27th I saw Erin, she felt the mass. I had an appointment for a PET scan already scheduled for my 3-month check-up, so we just bumped it up from Oct. 5th to Sept. 29th. Erin called the next day, the mass under my armpit lit up… so did the bone marrow in my pelvic area. The cancer has moved into my bone marrow. Fortunately it has just started, it was peppered and not large spots. So after radiation they want to start chemo with that new drug. It was tentatively set up for Oct. 10th, but they wanted to wait 2 weeks after my radiation ended and they needed to get me approved for the drug financially through SeaGen (Seattle Genetics), which I was last Friday, Oct. 7th. So now I’m tentatively set up to start chemo on Oct. 20th.

On Oct. 1st I took my nephew, CJ, driving to teach him to drive a stick shift. He did really well.

On Oct. 4th, mom had to put her cat Fluffy to sleep. She had a brain tumor. Her leg was spasming, found out her pupils were enlarged and she was howling all the time because she was almost totally blind, she started throwing up the night before and did not eat that morning.

On Oct. 5th I saw the radiation doctor again and we decided to extend the radiation treatments for (at least) 3 more sessions. We’ll reassess the situation on Tuesday.

Now that I’m tentatively scheduled to start chemo on Oct. 20th… AND since I found out that my treatments will be every three weeks… AND I’m scheduled for 16 sessions… which means approximately once a month for a year and four months… I have scheduled an appointment with a Vascular Radiologist about getting a port in my arm like I had back in 2005. There is no way in hell I’m going through 16 months of this with a PICC line as first discussed (before I knew the time table). I’m trying for an arm port first, if not, then inquiring about another chest port, then the PICC line would be a last resort… if ALL else fails.

My appointment with the Vascular Radiologist was supposed to be Monday, Oct 10th, but someone screwed up and wrote it on the wrong day, it was put in on Tuesday… but the doctor doesn’t do this on Tuesdays and Monday was all booked up now… so I had to be moved to Wednesday, Oct. 12th. Which I am also scheduled for my Chemo Education class. We also made an appointment for the surgery on Friday, Oct. 14th. just in case we get a thumbs up for the port. We can always cancel if needed.

My oncologist said I should have a bone marrow transplant, but without insurance no one will even discuss it until we have the money.  I was told it would run a couple hundred thousand dollars.  The procedure itself is about $35,000., then you have doctor fees, hospital fees, medications, follow-up care, etc.  So I need to research foundations and organizations to see if I can find any help there, I will also need to raise donations to help fund it.  I am in the process of setting something up so that anyone can donate any amount they like through paypal, with a credit card, or bank account, and possibly checks.  Even if all you can donate is $5, if I get enough people to donate $5 or $10 dollars... I might just be able to raise enough.  I will have the donation button on my blog and will post it on my Facebook page.

Special Note:

My cousin Kelly is having a double mastectomy today. Praying that it goes well.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cancer Recurrence: Catching Up

Hello everyone… I know I’ve been out of touch for awhile, quite a bit happened and between medical appointments, work, and being so darn tired I wasn’t able to keep up with emails, Facebook and blogging.  So, to start catching you up, here is a summary of what occurred between mid-April thru mid-July.

After my 2nd round of chemo I ended up in Urgent Care with a bronchial infection and missed a whole week of work. The following weekend I was in Urgent Care again for middle ear inflammation. Even though I was suffering from a bronchial infection and middle ear inflammation, the Urgent Care doctor did not give me antibiotics. I was sick, in pain, and was having real trouble hearing. On April 19th I verbally browbeat the after hours answering service for the cancer center into having the on-call doctor call me, even though it was not technically an emergency. He called me in a Z-pak, thank God. Two days later I was in to see my family doctor for fluid in my ears and blood in my urine. I was also having bad pains in my right shoulder and neck area, especially when I coughed.

On April 25th mom had to put her boxer, Sassy, down because of cancer.

On April 27th my Missy Bug died.

Somehow, for some reason, she got over the fence and out front into the road. Mom found her and buried her before I got home, she didn’t want me to see her like that. Missy was my baby girl, it just broke my heart to lose her. I still choke up and cry when I think about her. One day at the end of August, Simon brought a young bunny in through the cat door, I rescued it and tried to warm it up to release in the morning but it ended up dying. I walked down to discard it into the woods at the back of the property, on my way back I spotted the marker mom put at Missy’s grave. I hadn’t been to see it yet, it was still too hard, I cried the whole way back to the house.

On April 29th I went down for my third round of chemo, mom had something going on so my sister, Laura, took me. When they were doing the pre-chemo blood work, I complained about the pain and having a little trouble swallowing. The nurse went and got someone to come look at me… she came, took a look, asked me some questions and said, “We think you have a blood clot.” The sent me directly over to have an ultrasound done. Yep, I had a clot! Poor Laura… this wasn’t what she expected. I was admitted into the hospital immediately with a very large blood clot in my juggler. The clot was branching up towards my head, down my arm, and down towards my chest where the Port was. I was scheduled for surgery on May 2nd to replace my Port. I was in so much pain I was crying… I was on a Heparin drip to thin my blood (which also caused me to swell even more), but the pain was terrible. It wasn’t until late that night when a nurse finally called the doctor and said they needed to be giving me something for the pain. I was put on morphine, then Percocet was added, and eventually a muscle relaxant (can’t remember the name). That went on between Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. Monday morning I had the surgery to replace my port, but when he got in there, there was so much scar tissue… he said it appeared that my body was rejecting the port. So he removed the port from my chest and put a PICC line in my left arm. When he removed the port a huge part of the clot came out with it, which caused most of the pain to disappear. I had my 3rd round of chemo that evening. I ended up staying two more days, I was released from the hospital on May 4th around 6 PM.

My PICC Line

Port Scars

My swollen feet/ankles/legs. I couldn't wear my shoes, I had to buy a pair that were a size larger so I had something to put on my feet.  I also wore my slippers alot.

These are the flowers dad sent me when I was in the hospital... came with a little stuffed cat, but I didn't get a pic of the cat.  It's on my shelf now.

My oncologist wanted me off work for two weeks, but I went back a few days earlier on a 6 hour schedule. I was on major blood thinners, one is a shot mom had to give me in the stomach every night. You should’ve seen all the bruises on my stomach. I tired very easily, which is why I wasn’t online for quite awhile... just gettin' through the day was hard enough. The biggest blood clot came out when they removed my port, but I still had three smaller ones that will take awhile to dissolve. They also switched the shots I was taking… from Arixtra to Fragmin. I developed a severe reaction from it, I had yeast all through my system, it was coming out all over. I had a vaginal yeast infection, a yeast infection on my side and under my breast, on my legs between my ankles and my knees, and in my esophagus. It was awful.

Bruise from stomach shot.
(mom felt so bad)

May 20th was my 4th round of chemo. Six days later I was in the Emergency Room for shortness of breath. It was after hours and the PA wanted to be sure a blood clot hadn’t traveled to my lungs. With each round of chemo I was getting more and more short of breath and they weren’t sure if I would notice the difference. It wasn’t a blood clot in my lungs.

Because of the PICC line, they stepped up my chemo schedule from every three weeks to every two weeks.

June 3rd had my 5th round of chemo.  This FROG was given to me by another woman receiving chemo.  Her name is Michelle Scott and she started collecting frogs, adding the handwritten ribbons and giving them to chemo patients.

FROG = Fully Rely On God

On the 6th I was back in the ER, sat in the waiting room for 5 hours. Finally got out of there about 2:00 in the morning.

June 17th was my 6th and final round of chemo. That evening /early morning, I got so sick and started throwing up. I threw up so hard I pee’d on the bed, down myself, and on the floor… I saw blood in the trash can and thought I was throwing up blood, turned out to be my nose that was bleeding (remember, I’m on blood thinners)… I also broke blood vessels in my eye. So then I had to clean myself up, clean the floor, and change my bed. What a horrible night!

June 30th I had a Nuclear Stress Test on my heart to see if there was any damage done… still trying to find out why I was so short of breath, also had swelling and pressure in my chest area. Tests came back fine… my heart was good. I was put on Hydrochlorothiazide and Furosamide (water pill/lasik) for the swelling, also given Potassium pills.

July 1st I had a PET scan. July 8th I saw my oncologist for the results and follow-up. I was informed that I “appeared” to be in remission. The mass in my lymph node had decreased significantly, although still slightly swollen in size... but that is normal because the node had been stretched very big for a long period of time, sometimes it never goes back to normal size. The lumps in my arm had also disappeared. I was set up to have a PET scan in three months time (Oct), by then it would give us a better idea. That was also my last day at work, I was laid off.

July 12th I had my PICC line removed and had a Doppler (?) to check my blood clots. They were smaller but still there. Had to remain on the crapping blood thinners that make me swell horribly. July 26th I had a D’dimer (?) On July 28th I found out my unemployment was being held up because of a mistake/miscommunication with the staffing company I worked for. I talked with the company the next day and it was cleared up, but it took until September 7th for the unemployment agency to correct it and release my payments.