Saturday, November 20, 2010

Great day!!

So, I know the last few posts were kinda scary.  The last few days were kinda scary.  But as scary as they were, the clouds parted, and I'm having the best "after-chemo days" that I've had so far!  I was able to go back to our apartment earlier than usual.  I even went and did a service project with my church today at a place called "Exodus Ministries".  It was a lot of fun, mainly because I was with people that I love! (Jenise, Kendra, John C.)

On Wednesday, when I went in for chemo, I also met with my doctor.  Unfortunately, she affirmed all the research I had done: this type of cancer is known to be resistant to chemo, and yes it has been known to even grow or spread during chemo.  Yuck...  She didn't belittle me at all when I requested another PET scan.  She said that she would have to work it out with insurance, but if it would give me peace of mind, then it was important.  It will.  I might be being silly, but I don't care.  My body is acting the same way it did before, when I ignored it.  I just want to play it safe.  So, the PET scan is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:00 in the morning.  I am really not sweatin' it too much.  I fully expect for it to come back clean like it did before.  However, I am fully at peace if it does not.  Just rollin' with the punches:)

When I went to get unhooked on Friday, they gave me that shot again, the one that is supposed to make your bones hurt and give you flu like symptoms.  However, so far I haven't had much!  Just like last time!  I am feeling a couple of things (jaw's a little sore, body's a little achy), so it is slightly noticeable,  but not much.  I am super blessed because I have heard from so many people that have had uber bad experiences with this shot.   The only real side effects that I have are still from the oxaliplatin,  and they are all kinda funny ones - the muscle cramping (well, that one is less funny when it's in my calves and John has to carry me... like Friday).  But it's just kinda funny when it is in my thumbs. Then, I have that really strong pins and needles tingling sensation in my hands and feet, like the feeling you get when you have a body part that has gone to sleep.  That pretty much just makes me laugh though because, well, it feels funny:)  I can't remember if I've already written about these...  I think I said something in an earlier post...   Really, in summary, out of all the side effects that I could have, I think I have the best ones.  They aren't unbearable in the slightest.  I feel so blessed that I have not had the nausea.  I think there are a LOT of you out there praying against the nausea, and I've gotta tell you that I feel your prayers.  I feel them every time when I know I should be getting super nauseous, or I'm afraid that I will, and I don't.  That was my biggest fear starting out.

I've also heard from mom that some of you are memorizing Psalm 25 with us.  That is so cool!  It's like we are all connected now:)  Will, super excited about you and the other post men!  That's so fun:)  I love you all!  Time for bed...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Doing better

Well, I've  been discharged and am back at my parents house.  For all of you who called or texted, I wasn't able to get back with anyone because I hadn't brought my phone charger to the hospital (since I didn't know I was going to stay overnight).  It's charging right now.

We still don't know what it was.  I'm going to have a PET scan probably next week.  We had actually decided to schedule it before all this happened, so I guess it was good timing.  After I got the ER, they put me on some really good pain medicine.  After the medicine and a good night's sleep, I'm feeling back to my normal second day of chemo self.  (ie: exhausted, but not in pain.)  I guess please pray that the doctors could figure out what was going on.  They are moving away from the ruptured cyst explanation, although I'm still not convinced that it wasn't.  They are surmising that it is just a reaction to the chemo, but that doesn't make sense to me because I've had this exact same chemo three other times without any complications, and this came on suddenly, in a very localized area, and then went away.  Still fits everything you would expect from a ruptured cyst.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!  I am doing much better.  And for all of those who feel sorry for me for being in the hospital, let me just tell you about how much the hospital food rocks!  That is not being sarcastic.  The food is awesome.  I didn't take a pic of my breakfast, but it was a belgian waffle, scrambled eggs with cheese on top, and potato cube/hash brown thingys.  Here's my lunch and dinner:)

 Beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and green beens with a side of mac and cheese (made with real cheese!) and angel food cake for dessert

 Chicken with mushroom marsala sauce, wild rice pilaf, and baby carrots and angel food cake for dessert Yum!!

Anne Korte Hamilton, this hospital food bragging was for you!  Hahaha!  (backstory: her hospital food sucks.)


This is Hill's hubby John posting today. Her internet access is limited in the hospital. She was having some sharp abdominal pains promptly following her 4th chemo session, yesterday. Before her mom could bring her all the way home from the hospital she had to turn around because the pain was too bad. They were running red lights, flashing the emergency lights, honking. She was in pain and needed meds! Well they got there, in tears, scared and worried that something was going wrong. Really bad pains forebode really bad other things. A few heavy meds, an I.V., and a CAT scan later and we think it was a ruptured overian cyst. Those things, they say, hurt like crazy and are pretty common. They release fluid internally into places that don't normally get fluid. And so you can get odd shooting pains in different areas, whereever the fluid flows. They're keeping her overnight for observation and pain management. Assuming the blood tests don't turn up anything else unusual she'll be back home to her "normal" chemo routine tonight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paranoia Research

It's 4 in the morning.  I am having a hard time sleeping.  I often have a hard time sleeping the night before chemo.  (sometimes because I just don't care.  I know I'll be sleeping for the next 3 days straight, so eh... whatever) The topic of this evening's musings: I've started experiencing some symptoms that I had had right around the time that we surmise the tumor was getting  bigger.  (ie: January - May or so)  I won't get all gross and say exactly what they are.  But they are there, and I haven't had them since everything was jacked up before the surgery. There's this part of me that is wondering, "can cancer actually grow, spread, metastasize or whatever DURING chemo?"  According to my research... it can. (Bomb drop here)  This is probably why I chose not to research all this when it was just going down.  I got to read a bunch of statistics regarding my life expectancy, and they weren't that great.  I won't tell you what so I don't freak anyone out.  I also read that small bowel adenocarcinoma has  a tendency to not respond all that much to chemotherapy.  (bomb #2)  So, if doesn't respond well, then there seems a liklihood that my "highly aggressive form of adenocarcinoma" could have spread, even during the chemotherapy.  I know I am being paranoid.  One tends to be a little paranoid at 4 in the morning when they have had the symptoms I've had for the last week.  I really am sure that there is nothing to be worried about.  I'm sure I'm just having some sort of GI snafu that is totally fine, maybe even just a side effect of the chemo.  Still....   I kinda want them to do another PET scan just to be sure.  They probably won't.  But I want one.  My body is acting goofy, and last time it started acting goofy, I ignored it and it blew up in a mid-stage cancer.  Sooooo I think my paranoia is at least a little justified.  It's not like crazy lady paranoia.  Right?  I'd have to get a LOT more cats to qualify for that crazy lady...

I'm going to try and sleep.  I'll keep reciting Psalm 25 (or as much as I've memorized so far).  I've gotta get CRACKIN' on that thing so mom and I can move on to Psalm 27 (also a very good one).

Cancer benefit dinner

 I can't remember if I wrote about this or not, but John took me to a dinner and dancing cancer benefit last weekend.  It was specifically for his student's mom.  Her insurance dropped her part way through her chemo, and bills are CRAZY now.  She was able to get into the high risk state pool insurance, but it's like 800 bucks a month plus whatever percentage she has to pay.  It was a charity benefit to raise money for her.  It was fun to get all dressed up.  She's the lady in the second picture.  We were able to sit at her table to eat.  She had heard of me, and I had heard of her:)  We talked "shop" for a good part of the meal.  It was nice.  Not the kind of bonding that you hope for, (ie: a bad thing to bond over) but it was still nice.  I wore a really fantastic skirt, but we didn't get a good picture of it:(

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harry Potter was awesome!!

Last night was sooo awesome! On the tickets that we printed out, it said to get there early because the theater was overbooked to account for no-shows.  John and I left in what we thought was plenty of time, and it just took sooooo much longer to get there than we thought.  I was so scared that we would get there and they would be full up and turning us away.  I was thinking "What a horrible story that would make!"  So, I started praying (again!) that God would let us get there in plenty of time and get good seats.  I was calling the theater to see how many people were already there, and they told me that a pretty sizable crowd had already gotten there, but they weren't full quite yet.  I was dying!!!  So, we got there (still 30 minutes early) and I had John drop me off at the front and SPRINTED inside!  Obviously (from the title) we got there in time.  But that isn't the coolest part!  When I went into the theater, it was pretty much full except for seats at the very, very front (where you get neck problems) and some on the far, far side.  I decided to go searching anyway.  I kept seeing seats, but they all had jackets across them, or purses.  I kept walking up, and I saw 2 seats, but one had a purse in it.  For some reason, on this particular seat, I decided to ask "Is that seat taken?" The girl next to the purse was like "OH!  No, that's my purse."  The seats were up about 4-5 rows from the top, and pretty close to the middle.  They were AWESOME seats!  After sitting there for a while, I started to chat with them.  I asked what time they had gotten there, thinking probably like 5:30 or something crazy like that.  Nope. 3:00!!!!!!  They had been there since 3:00!!  We got seats so good, that the people next to us had been there since 3!  Apparently people had started lining up at 8:00 that morning.  (Nerds...)  So, God was not just good getting us the tickets.  It was like He had actually saved us awesome seats! 

I won't give away too many details so I don't  become a "spoiler" site:)  I CAN say, "Pay attention!".  There is so much story packed in there, that I want to see it multiple times.  The one thing I'll never understand though is why Hermione likes Ron and not Harry.  I know it's in the books and all, but I wish they would give Hermione and Ron a few more attraction/tense scenes where you can feel the chemistry and stuff.  As it is, it seems like there is always that unspoken chemistry between her and Harry.  Of course, now I'm starting to sound like a total nerd, so I'll stop:)  It was such an awesome night though!  I was so excited yesterday, that it gave me a burst of energy and I cleaned and did laundry!  Of course, I crashed about an hour before the movie started and was about to fall asleep for the rest of the night.  But I still had a huge goofy grin on my face until I layed down to go to bed!  Thank you again Michelle!  It was a "magical" night:)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Michelle Agonafer I love you!!!!!

I can't believe it!  I am so excited!!!  A friend from John's and my old church entered my story into a contest for an advanced screening of Harry Potter and WON ME TICKETS!!!!!!!!  I am so excited!  I almost feel like I should dress up... Thank you so much Michelle!!!!!!!  (And thank you Jesus. I'm pretty sure you had a hand in this:)

Here's her essay:  (the topic was supposed to be "Who is your favorite Harry Potter character and why")
 I am going to tell you up front, that if I win tickets to this advance showing, it is not for me, but for a friend who I don't really know all thatwell. First: My character preference: I am sure that most girls would say that Hermione is their favorite character. I am not one to argue, I love Hermione. Though she has her weaknesses, mostly in the form of pride and arrogance, her strengths lie in her loyalty and determination to do the right thing. Not many times do you find someone so determined to be excellent, who is yet so willing to betray and possibly lose scholastic standing, all for the sake of doing what she thinks is right, be it helping out bumbling Hagrid, or sneaking out in an invisibility cloak with her best friends. I really identify with the fact that she is a half-muggle, being a half-breed myself. Constantly feeling the need to prove myself "hispanic enough" or "white enough" depending on the circumstance, and always falling short is very frustrating. I love the fact that the BEST in class at Hogwarts is not a part of the good ol' boy club, but instead a headstrong, halfbreed with a messy head of hair and a penchant for trouble.
 Now that I've told you why I love Hermione, I would like to recommend that you give the tickets to a girl who is named Hillary Morgan Ferrer. She reminds me of Hermione in a lot of ways, she is intelligent, well spoken and very strong. You see, right now she is battling cancer. I am friends with her on Facebook and she mentioned entering a contest, and really hoping she wins, because this week is a chemo week and she won't be able to go again till next week. This really touched me, such a simple lamentation, not being able to go to a movie, while she is in the fight for her life. It is in this blogpost that she talks about it. I can tell you that she is a young woman, a friend, and a great wife. I don't know if this is the contest she talked about entering, but if it is, please give her tickets. If she didn't please give them to me and I will pass them onto her, or give you her info so you can give them to her yourself. It would mean so much more than a movie, it would be an answer to a small prayer. Thanks so much for your understanding, and I really hope she wins!

Michelle Agonafer

I am totally crying.  I feel so blessed, and so loved.