Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday July 24, 2006

This morning Dr. Beshay and Dr. Morell came in to tell me that they have to do a biopsy of my brain...YIKES!! I really don't think I can handle something like that. A drill drilling in my skull and pulling out pieces while I am awake??!! I don't think so!! I'll pass.

They also said that they were going to remove the tumor in my lower spine on Wednesday. The surgery should last about 4-6 hours. The risks are paralysis and/or bowel problems. While they are in surgery they will also biopsy the shoulder. The are thinking the shoulder is benign, but they want to make sure. Also the wrist is a shadow for sure. Yeah!

Michael Coon, my best friends husband, came to visit. It was a nice surprise. It's also nice when you get gifts and flowers from other friends that can't make it:

The oncologist came in to inform us that so far they are thinking it is an Osteosarcoma or a chrondrosarcoma. Try saying that three times fast!!

I know to most going the bathroom is easy. Well for me it isn't. It is horrible. Embarrassing and painful. Usually it consists of an enema, then a nurse delivering it. Yes, a nurse helping my poo come out. I seriously don't think they get paid enough. Ok, now that you get the picture of how it's been..I was able to poo today without an enema!!! Finally! It's the little things right now.

My two best friends, Andrea and Amber, came and visited me tonight. They are true friends. I can't tell you how much I love them. I need a break from the hospital nurses.

The orthopedic surgeon came in to talk to us about the surgery and what may happen. He said that they may have to take my tailbone out. Really??!! How can someone live without one? I was shocked. He mentioned that sometimes you can put a steel rod in it's place. Oh yeah, can you just see me now going through the airport scanners??!! Just the thought makes me laugh! But whatever they have to do.

A funny story happened later tonight. My poor sweet mom, who thought she would get sleep, is woken up by me to scratch. Yep scratch. My bum. Since I can't move my arms anymore and man did it itch, I asked for her help!!!! Yes, it is called motherly love when your mom helps you out. Her and I laughed about it all night. I don't know why it itched so bad, but it did. I'm just grateful that I have a mom that would do that for me. Also I really think she is grateful for sheets and bacterial soap!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday July 23, 2006

I had another spinal tap today. I laid I thought. I woke up with a sever headache. It really paralyzes you. The doctors gave me a caffeine drip. Wow, it worked fast and was so nice. it took away the headache and REALLY woke me up!!
Can you tell I'm on drugs?!

This shows where the spinal tap was done. Yikes!!

My friends Michelle, Jeni, and Chesney visited me later at nigh. They were so sweet. They brought me s gift basket full of goodies. One really soft blanket too!! I talked and talked and talked. I think it was because of that caffeine drip gave me more energy. We all had a good laugh about it though. After they left my poor mom had to stay and listen to me:-) Yep, all night!!

My family stayed at my house tonight. I know my mom was happy to stay with me, but very tired and sore from sleeping on a little piece of foam. I know she wouldn't have it any other way though. That's what mom's do.
Cameron playing with his cousin Shaelynn. So stinkn' cute!!

Article from David Haas...

Exercise Won't Beat Cancer But it will Help You

The health benefits a person gets from exercise are numerous. Everyone knows that exercise, combined with a healthy diet is the best form of health imaginable. The benefits of exercise are not merely physical; there are more benefits that you cannot see than there are ones you can. This is precisely the reason everyone, especially those undergoing mesothelioma treatment should make exercise a part of their daily routine in order to make it easier to breathe when undergoing so much stress on the lungs.

The physical benefits of exercise are well known. Your body looks better and you are stronger; and while the physical aspects of exercise are a great reason to motivate you to get up and get active, it is the internal benefits that make exercising with cancer so important. Exercise produces hormones in your body that lower your stress level. A high stress level causes your immune system to suffer and your body is unable to fight disease and illness at its full potential. When you exercise, your stress levels are lowered and as a result, your immune system rebuilds and becomes stronger when fighting illness. Since cancer is a disease and affects your health; your immune system needs to be at its best to give you the strength to handle the treatments you are given.

In addition, exercise also boosts your mood. When you are feeling down because of your treatments and your diagnosis, physical activity will help boost your mood and make you happier and less defeated, angry or depressed. This is beneficial because a better mood makes handling your treatments easier. The National Cancer Institute recommends cancer patients include physical activity in their daily schedule as often as possible; while it will not cure you of cancer the benefits it does provided are immeasurable.

The process of going through treatment for any type of cancer is grueling at times and there are days when you will not want to move; and sometimes when you simply cannot. Don’t worry; it happens. When you have the energy and the ability to exercise – do it. When you don’t, do stress yourself out trying. If all you can muster the energy to do is take a walk around your living room, take a walk around your living room. You can always exercise on a day when you have more energy and are feeling more like yourself.

The kind of exercise you do while you go through your cancer treatments depends on what your doctor recommends for you. Walking is always a good form of exercise, as is swimming, biking and cardio activity. A mere 20 minutes a day of exercise is enough to keep you fit, healthy and feeling good about yourself. Take control of your body during treatments by exercising.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday July 22, 2006

This morning I woke up in severe amounts of pain. The doctors put me on vicodin around the clock and some nausea medicine.

Susamma, one of my nurses, helped my mom shower me. I insisted trying to hold the shower handle while my mom washed my hair, but little did I know that I couldn't do it. I ended up showering my mom!! We did get a great laugh out of it!

The doctors are now saying it's some type of bone cancer, but they won't know until Wednesday. Since I'm having a hard time breathing, the doctors have now said that they might take me to ICU just in case. I asked Randy and my dad for a priesthood blessing. After the blessing the doctors said I can stay in my room for now. What an answer. This is my second Priesthood blessing. I felt that I will get through this, but it will be a hard one.

In the evening hours Jenn, Mark and Ralene, the Relief Society President for my Carrollton ward, visited me. Jenn brought my favorite stew that she makes. She even fed it to me!! So sweet.

Randy is going to spend the night with me tonight and give my mom a break. While Sabrina and Kathryn, the Relief Society President in Corinth, took care of my kids. It was so nice to have Randy here. This whole time Randy has had to take care of the kids and all the hospital bills coming in.

Jeanette, Cameron's ECI therapist, came to visit me. She brought me books on laughter and humor. She said that laughter is the best medicine. I have to agree. It made me feel so good that she cares.

Jennifer and Marin Nesbitt brought flowers and a bear too. So sweet.

What a day.

Friday July 21, 2006

Well today I woke up even weaker. I'm starting to not like going to sleep. Every time I do I wake up more and more weak and numb. I'm using a walker now. My arms are getting too weak to even walk or feed myself. I am stubborn though, so I keep trying! Sometimes I have missed my mouth when feeding myself...we have to laugh at that one!! It was funny. I am still able to wash my body, but not my hair now. Getting my arms to stay up and wash is impossible. So my mom helps shower me.

Today there were a lot of doctors coming in and out. One doctor told me that they found cells in my spinal fluid. They are also telling me now that I have a tumor on my neck. They are thinking that the neck and head are related. The total spots they saw in my head are 3. At this point they are still thinking it is either a Cordoma or a Chondrosarcoma. We are waiting for the path results still. Hopefully Monday we will get an answer. Oh and now they found a spot on my wrist.

Later in the evening I couldn't urinate or feed myself. It is so hard to try and stay positive and not start to freak out. I just keep thinking of my life and how good it is. I know I need to get better. Not only for myself but for my kids. I still haven't been able to hug or kiss them. This is my only wish.

As my mom and I walked the floor once again like we always do...I'm determined to keep some strength up... I couldn't make it back. My legs were buckling under me and my arms just don't have enough strength to hold me up. My mom had to help me get back to my room. I was just two rooms away too.

My mom and I talked a lot. I just wish that when I left for the emergency room that I would have given my boys a BIG hug and a BIG kiss. Little did I know that I wouldn't be able to see them or hold them now.

The biggest thing is that I feel closer to Heavenly Father. My mom and I pray a lot. A lot!! The spirit in the room is not missed either. All the nurses and doctors can feel it too. I'm just confused why me? Why now?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thursday July 20, 2006

I again woke up with increased weakness in my legs. I could barely walk without any support. Today my whole family came to visit. I had scheduled for today a bone scan, spinal tap, EEG, and another high contrast MRI. I had to drink the HORRIBLE contrast. It was so so so nasty. I cried, but my family helped make me laugh and get me through this. I did. Then I told the doctors that I'm not going to drink that crap again. If they wanted the contrast, they had to find some other way to get it in me. In the MRI they found another spot in my shoulder.
The spinal tap was interesting. I've never had one before. Dr Bushay was so good. My dad sat and watched him. He said that he has never seen a doctor have such a steady hand. Thank goodness. Honestly I don't remember how it felt. I just knew I was scared, but my dad was there to help keep my calm.
Today was a busy day with visitors too!! My mom, dad, sister Sabrina with her baby Shaelynn stayed all day. Randy brought the boys up for the first time. Man do I miss them terribly!! Also Serena and her daughter Bronwen came. All of them at the same time along with my friends Beth Brock, and Andrea Coon. Also Scott and Rob from Southwest Airlines, Randy's bosses!! It was SO nice to see everyone. I didn't complain at all.
Later tonight my oldest sister, Jen and my neice Alex, flew in.
I have to tell you that Randy's work, Southwest Airlines, flew all my family in from Utah and California AND gave them a rental car and hotel!! Randy and I knew that Southwest was a good we KNOW they are!!! Amazing! They are very well known for treating every employee like's true.
My mom and I keep walking the halls. I don't want to loose ALL my strength. To be honest I can barely do it, but I keep thinking positive thoughts. Really I hold onto that walker and just hold up my legs. It's hard to see my strength leaving so quickly.

My nieces Alex and Shaelynn

Cameron and Shaelynn in the minivan!! So cute!!!

At the can tell they are having fun!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday July 19, 2006

I woke up this morning with increased pressure in my chest and shortness of breath. I'm getting to the point that I don't want to go to sleep anymore. I don't know what else it going to go wrong. Now I can barely move and breath.

They did a bone scan later in the day. That was neat. The tech let me see my bones on the computer screen. So cool!

I know have been told that I have some tissue in my neck and the tumor on my sacrum. The tumor is causing the tissue in my neck to swell therefore causing my arms and hands and chest to all go numb. Weird. But it would explain why I am going numb!! At least it isn't 2 tumors!!

My family came in around 3pm. I was so excited to see them!! Randy's work, Southwest Airlines, flew them all out to see me. My mom, dad, twin sister Sabrina and her baby, my older sister Jennifer and my niece Alex. We just hugged and talked a lot. It was so nice to have them here and not on the phone. It's getting harder to hold the phone to talk.

My littlest niece Shaelynn

Michael, Alex, and Ricky

My older sister Jennifer with Cameron My friend Jenn came later that night to visit too! I have to tell you the story when she left:

She left at night and when she was walking to her car she noticed some scary looking men. Something inside told her to get back in the hospital. So as she got back in the doors, they tried following her, but the doors locked behind her. For some reason for her they were unlocked, but for these men they were locked...hmmm. I know that Heavenly Father protected her that night. I was so grateful. The security guard helped her to her car. She got home safely. That would have been a horrible experience had she not listened to that still small voice inside.

Tuesday July 18, 2006

I woke up this morning with numbness in my hands now. Why? This is getting a little more serious than I thought. I'm trying to keep up a positive attitude though.

Serena is helping me keep notes and is writing for me now. I don't have enough strength in my hands to write legalibly.

I had a biopsy of the mass in my sacrum today. OUCH!!! They say that they numb it right....just the top layer!! I cried SO hard. The tech was SO stinkn' nice to me though. He kept trying to keep me going strong. They took 3 serum and 5 tissue samples. I really think that that was more painful than child birth. Really, it was. The samples are being sent away to the Mayo Clinic.

When I arrived back in my room from this horrible experience, I had visitors!! Bishop McEntire was checking up on me. Also soon after my friend Cindy came with lunch!! It was so nice to see familiar faces right after such a horrible event. Really the word biopsy is a bad word in my vocabulary now. We all had fun chatting about life and things. We talked about Cameron and how I thought when he was born and we found out that he had Down Syndrome, that that was going to be our big trial in life. Little did I know that he is more of a blessing than a trial. He is an angel. We actual are handling that well!! It's busy most times, but busy with learning opportunities.

I really felt special today. Having visitors is the nicest thing when you are stuck in a hospital bed. I will always remember this.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday July 17, 2006

Early in the morning, 3:17ish, the doctors informed me that the mass found in my sacrum looks suspiciously like a cordoma, which is a tumor that grows in the neck or sacrum area. It is a fairly large tumor. It is 4cm large. I had no idea that something that large was there!!

Here's a diagram of the area:
Serena had to go to leave me and go to work. She is a Spanish teacher for the High School. She is amazing!! After staying up all night with me, she is still able to go to work. This definitely has bonded us for life. I will be eternally grateful for her service to me and sacrifice she gave me.

Randy is on his way home now. Man do I feel horrible that this is happening while he is away. I'm glad he is coming back.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Three weeks later...Sunday July 16, 2006

This Sunday morning Randy said goodbye as he was traveling for a BIG conference in Chicago for the week that he was in charge of. After he left I slowly got up for the day. As I went to the bathroom I noticed that I was numb in the pelvic area. Weird. I thought that maybe it was how I slept or maybe even a pinched nerve?? I just knew it didn't feel right.

As the morning went on it felt like it was getting worse. I called my mom, who recently had back surgery, to see if she knew of any stretches I could do to relieve the pinched nerve. I was sure that was all it was. I didn't want to go pay the ER copay for them to tell me it was nothing.

I did all the stretches, took a bath, and made more phone calls. By the early evening hours the numbness was now down my legs. This worried me. I called my cousin, an EMT, to ask her opinion. She said to go in. I called my Family doctor who then said to go straight to the ER. He called Lewisville Hospital to let them know I was coming in.

Now what to do...I have 3 little boys, Ricky 7, Michael 3, and Cameron 1. I called my one and only babysitter, Bronwen. She came over with her parents, Serena and Blake. Blake gave me a Priesthood blessing that was so amazing. I held onto what he said for my ENTIRE journey.

As we arrived at the ER I was still able to walk. They did an exam, which wasn't pleasant at all, and then wanted to do an MRI. As I joked and sat with Serena and laughed not knowing what exactly the doctors were thinking was wrong. It was hard. I'm so grateful that Serena was there for me. When I get nervous I laugh a lot. We will just say that there was a lot of laughing going on. Seriously the doctors kept doing that awful exam. I still had no idea what they were thinking and they weren't telling me either.

The MRI tech came in to take me for my 1st MRI. As he wheeled me down the hall grumbling about how I took him from his poolside afternoon. I felt horrible and was totally embarrassed, still thinking it is a dumb pinched nerve.

After the LONG MRI, the tech apologized. He mentioned that he had found something and it wasn't good. He said that the ER doctor would explain. Still I didn't think anything serious. All this time Randy calling me and I keep telling him that all is ok and that he doesn't need to come home.

The ER doctor said that they had found a mass and it could be cancer, but she wasn't sure until more tests can be ran. They transferred me to Zale-Lypshy in Dallas later that night. Serena followed the ambulance. She didn't want me to be by myself. She was so amazing. Zale-Lypshy is part of the UT Southwestern University Hospital.

Again when I arrived the nurse did the exam again!!! Really the 2 times at the ER wasn't enough I suppose!! Totally embarrassing too. But at least Serena was with me to laugh about it after.

The very beginning!

It all started on June 24, 2006. I woke up this Saturday morning feeling fine. Randy took Ricky and Michael out with him to get some errands done. I was home with Cameron. While he was gone my best friend Andrea had called me. I don't know why, but I told her I wasn't feeling right. She was then worried because I kept talking in circles, saying the same things over and over again. She then called Randy to tell him to get home quick. He was worried about Cameron and I.

He watched me over the weekend. On Monday we went to the Dr. He did a full blood test and gave me medicine for anxiety. He also sent me for a CT scan. That was dumb. My mom had just flew in to be with us when we went for the scan. The tech couldn't even get the needle in my arms for contrast. The Dr. said just do the scan anyways. I was so frustrated and upset, because I didn't understand what the big deal was and why I was feeling the way I felt.

The scan came back fine. Then the doctor said it is probably a nervous breakdown...If anyone knows me that is not the reason. He said that because I had a child with special needs that it can be demanding at times and I just broke. Right....If anyone knows me, they would know this isn't true. I am a VERY strong person. My child with special needs just had Down Syndrome. He was not a burden at all. He is such a big blessing in my life.

I just went along with it. I didn't know what else to do. So I took the medicine he gave me and my mom helped me write all my duties down, so I wouldn't forget to feed, or clothe the boys. Then she had to fly home.

I will tell you this...I have NEVER been sick before. No hospital stays (except for having my 3 boys), stitches, or surgeries. Then this happened. Weird. But again as I look back I didn't know that I CAN get a second opinion. I just trusted that this doctor went to school and knew what he was talking about.