Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dawson Salad

When Dave and I went to celebrate his birthday over the weekend, this was one of the salad selections.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Looks promising

Whew - what a day! Okay - we met with the brain specialist and he said I am a prime candidate for Cyberknife. It really is quite remarkable and a non-invasive procedure. I am scheduled to have more scans this Friday and then my doctor will "map" out the radiation to target the 4 tumors within a hair width of the healthy tissue. One tumor is small and he feels it will take 1 treatment. The other 3 will take 5 consecutive days of treatment. I will remain on the steroids until the treatments are done and will then taper down from there. It sounds like within a month or so, everything should be done or close to it. They will then wait 4 weeks to do a scan to see what progress has been made. The brain tumors don't respond instantly to the radiation - more like a slow cooker. They will not do whole brain radiation again at this time because the damage it could do would outweigh its benefits. It is possible with the Cyberknife that the tumors will not completely disappear but will shrink, become stable and not grow for 1-2 years. I finished my whole brain radiation last year on 4/9/09 so that radiation worked for a year. This radiation is much stronger and more concentrated so we are praying for a lot longer!!

We left his office very hopeful and felt like this is merely a bump in the road. I will continue to get chemotherapy throughout this process. I may need a few extra naps the week I do both but it doesn't sound like the radiation will affect me much.

Thank you so much your prayers today. I definitely felt peace as we entered the doctor's office. We celebrated with margaritas and tacos tonight! I do make a good margarita.
Just a quick note asking for your prayers for our family today. It is going to be one of those roller coaster days with lots of things happening. Dave has an important meeting this morning and then we meet with the brain radiation specialist. Throw in some "life" errands and we have a full day. Pray that my energy and our nerves can keep up! Thank you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not good news

I feel like I am on autopilot as I type this. I had a brain MRI on Monday and found out last night that all 4 tumors on my brain are growing. This was not shocking to me because I had recently started experiencing symptoms again. As much as I wanted to ignore what was going on, I couldn't. My oncologist called and wanted me to start Decadron immediately to reduce the swelling around the tumors. I meet with the brain radiation specialist on Monday to find out the plan of attack. It seems that Cyberknife is an option but I don't know all of the details yet.

The irony is that I was diagnosed with the brain tumors last year on March 13, 2009 - almost 1 year to the date of this news. How am I doing with this?? I'm angry, sad, frustrated, and even numb sometimes. We received this news less than 24 hours ago. How many more times can our world be turned upside down? I am continuing chemo and had this week off so my body could recover from my last 2 treatments. I was feeling really good this week and even enjoyed volunteering at Dawson's school and going on a field trip with him today. David had a big project for school that we have been working on together and I spent a lot more time with him, not distracted by Dawson or other life stuff. Sometimes Dave has to help him with the projects. Dave's birthday is this weekend and we are looking forward to a night out before the steroids take effect. We call these our "last suppers." That's when we know I am starting some kind of new treatment or nasty drug and it is our calm before the storm. We make it a rule to NOT talk about cancer and just enjoy a "normal" night.

My frustrations include having to take Decadron again. I was fighting this one but my oncologist said it is the most effective drug for the swelling. Explain to me how this drug reduces swelling inside of your body but makes your face and areas of your body blow up like a balloon. My face and body were finally rid of the swelling. I just pulled out my "skinny" clothes bin last week! I can also become quite irritable on this drug and have difficulty controlling my anger. It is little things that set me off and my family is usually the ones who feel it. I just don't like who I am when I take it. My oncologist said he will take me off as soon as he can.

We will update you when we know more. My prayer request is that I tolerate this drug well and that the next step is tolerable and minimally invasive to my families' lives.

Friday, March 12, 2010

No news is good news

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I just completed my second round of chemo and am still getting used to new side effects. My brother, Frank and his wife, Jamie are coming into town today to spend the weekend with us. The boys are very excited because they also have Nintendo DS's. Otherwise, everything is good.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Back from vacation

The boys and I returned from Williamsburg VERY late Saturday night. We took the train from Wilmington on Wednesday and had a wonderful, fun time. We went to the Great Wolf Lodge and met friends from North Carolina. It really is a great place for families. My energy level sustained itself well once I realized what I could and couldn't do.

I am now scheduled for chemo on Thursday and next Thursday and the following week off. I have enjoyed these past couple of weeks and feeling human again.