Friday, October 1, 2010

back to updating!

Alright sorry everyone school started and i have been swamped! OK so two weeks ago this saturday mom dad and i went to the ER due to her numbness in her face, mouth, and right arm. They ran an MRI and blood results. he blood was fine but they saw something on the MRI. At first they thought it was a previous stroke, which of course freaked all of us out. so they ended up admitting her. Sunday they ran every test possible! all of her arteries were completely clear, her heart scan was normal, and a second MRI still looked clean. so they came to the conclusion that the spot on the MRI was from past migraines, which we ALL know she is known for. So we were happy to know that it was not a stoke or a tumor!!! Ok so Dr. Bahttia and the Neuro doc couldn't figure it out since all was clear. Monday Dr. B decided there are small tumors down her spine and they are pushing on nerves causing the numbness and the tingling. So in a way that was good news!

OK so she was discharged on Tuesday so they moved her chemo to Friday. On Friday her chemo went well, all counts were normal!!BUT she had to go in on Saturday to get the neulasta shot, which if you haven't heard of, which i hadn't, it is to boost your white blood cell count. it goes into your bone marrow, which is where blood cells are created and it boosts the process! Now she had heard all of this horrible stories about it making you feel flu like, bones sore, achy, and lasts up to 5 days. so knowing mom, she was freaking out. so Saturday we drug her in to get the shot. Sunday she did have some bone pain but some aleve and a heating pad and she was feeling thank you lord!

Now we are back to our second home, the cancer center, to get only one chemo, the Herceptin. In case you are wondering why, a couple of weeks ago they decided to do three weeks of all 3 chemos and then the fourth week only Herceptin to keep counts up! so we should be out of here in no time! :)

On Monday she gets her scan, to see if all tumors have remained the same size or smaller or larger (better not be)then we will have the results on Wednesday..

Thank you everyone for all fo your prayers, support, meals and more! Also, October 14th is her second fundraiser (ill post the flyer) and October 16th is the American Cancer Society walk "making strides toward a world with more birthdays" we will be there!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

chemo here we come!

alright so on August 26th mom got her blood transfusion because her counts were so low! her RBC count was at 7.2 when it need to be 10+. so the blood transfusion went well. she also did not have chemo that week due to such low counts. so friday she felt awesome! with blood in her, she could actually breathe. (the day before and previously that week she was not able to walk from the couch to the kitchen she had to crawl because she would get so winded.)so Friday until that next Wednesday she felt awesome she went to a movie with dad, went shopping, and was just able to go out and remember what it felt like pre-chemo. ok so wednesday sep.1st she went to the cancer center like normal hoping to get chemo and hoping her counts were up! (not really wanting chemo :)) so here RBC count was up! but her WBC count was VERY low, lower than when she was in the hospital! it was at 1.2, where it needs to be 3.5 and higher! so NOOO chemo that week; and in isolation; meaning no raw foods, and trying to avoid crowds and sick people; and of course wash hands alot! well we jsut got here today and her counts are all up!! RBC: 11, WBC: 3.7! so chemo today which she is very excited for, just to get back on they did cut the chemo doses in a fourth, to help with her counts. so hopefully all goes well!

on another note the picture (caricature) of mom above is from her F.C.Tucker office, where they are having an auction this friday for her!

thank you all!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I wish one post was just good news!

alright! so as you all know mom get blood thinner shots every night call arixtra. due to her blood clot in her right arm. well last tuesday night we gave her her shot in her stomach and she woke up with a bruise the size of a softball on her stomach so we went in on wednesday for the normal chemo and they looked at the bruise and we so sorry but unfortunately she needed to stay on them. we on wednesday they were able to access her port!!! which was so exciting in stead of poking and pricking mom and blowing veins and taking forever! so we were so happy.

now on thursday night mom got the shot in her stomach like normal and it started bleeding? we put a bandaid on and it was soaked in blood well we call the on call doctor and they said if it didnt stop we needed to go to the ER well we thought we got it stopped BUT we didnt! she woke up covered in blood, and for all you weak stomaches ill leave it at it was ALOT of blood. well she immediately went into the doctor fri morning at 7 am. we needless to say we got lectured by the nurses on how were should have gone to the ER, becuase by the time mom got to the doctors office all three towels were soaked through. so they werent happy with us, but we didnt know any better :(

so it took them 4 hours to get it to clot! so Dr. Bhatia decided no more shots for a while.

well today came along and wewent to the cancer center like normal for her chemo treatment; they drewblood and her WBC count and hemoglobin count were low! so no chemo today! she has to get a blood transfusion tomorrow for 6 hrs. and 2 bags of blood. hopefully that helps because she needs the counts to raise for her to be able to handle chemo.

cross our fingers for tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

sorry its been so long!

ok im so sorry i haven posted in a while, to say that we have been busy with doctors and appts. is to say the least! alright mom started chemo the first week of July due to her scan in June. Her tumor in her breast had shrunk but her tumor in her liver has grown to 6.9 cm. So she had her port put in on tuesday June 29th and chemo started july 2nd. We were then in the hospital fri night because of her fever and sent home then sunday and sent home. well Tuesday came along and at 5 am mom was hyper ventilating and we had to call 911. she ended up being admitted due to loss of oxygen, dehydration, and fever. She was in the hospital for over 2 weeks being tested for everything because they couldnt find out what was the cause of the fever. finally they realized she had a small form of pneumonia. so she was given antibiotics and she was sent home 2 day later. BUT during that hospital stay she was scaned again to see if it was the cancer causing the fever, and the possibility of it spreading more, but FINALLY good news, the tumor in her liver had shrunk to 5.9cm, just from the first treatment so that was very exciting! (sorry i told the hospital story in short, if i told it in detail we would be here all day!)

So she skipped the next week of chemo, just so she could get her strength back from being in the hospital so long. they decided to not give the chemo every three weeks seeing as that didnt go well, but they decided to giver her smaller portions of it every week. :( so we now go EVERY wednesday for SIX hours!! now if thats not bad enough; her port got infected while she was in the hospital so they had to use her veins for chemo these past 3 weeks. i feel so bad it burns in her hand and it takes double the amount of time becuase they have to pump it in her so much slower! cross our fingers tomorrow they can access her port, i think it look much better! what else am i missing.....

well last weekend was our Gootee family reunion and we went to holiday world thursday and friday, then Steve's saturday and sunday on the lake. mom did pretty well...she road the lazy river at holiday world and was able to eat some at the reunion on sat. We had so much fun and it was nice to see everyone! we have found out that tuesday-friday are "good" days and sunday is the worst for mom!

ooo and she has lost her hair so we buzzed it but we bough a wig that is gorgeous! and she now officially looks like Jenny's sister/mom!

well thats all i can think of now, ill try to update more now that things are settling as much as they are going to!

thanks for all the meals, prayers etc. we appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

good and bad news

ok so mom got her cat scan last wednesday and on friday Dr. B gave her the results. her tumors in her breast and lymph nodes are almost gone..but her tumors in her spine and liver have either stayed the same or gotten bigger, meaning the tumors in her liver and spine saw what was happening in her breast and lymph nodes and they mutated and cloned them selves! so we are starting chemo. so yesterday, Tuesday, mom got her port put in. you can google what that means but basically it is a long tube in her artery that gives them easy access for the chemo, instead of ivs every time. so surgery went well yesterday we were home by 2. she is in pain today but what do you expect after surgery.

on friday mom will start chemo. she will go every three weeks for 18 weeks. BUT after 6 weeks (her second treatment) she will get a catscan to see if it is working, instead of having her go through hell for nothing. she will loose her start sending scarves, hats, etc.! but we are going to get a pretty wig that our friend and hairstylist will make!!

ill update you on friday. the chemo treatment is from 11 to 4 so it will be a long day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

its been a while!!

ok im so sorry its been a while...i had finals and a have been working soooo much! well mom has been having her once a month appts. where she gets her shot, and infusion (IV) for her bones. it has gone well...her tumor in her breast and lymph node are softer. she is starting to feel much better and able to "live life" more. May 23rd was mom's last appt and like they do every appt they drew blood, to check her liver, kidney function and markers (which is a number that basically represents her cancer summed up). well when they drew blood her markers were up, from 300 to 400 (ideally they should be 70). So Trish, the NP, decided mom should get her cat scan in june, a month sooner to see what is going on in there.

So before her scan we went on our family vacation that we planned in Feb. We drove to myrtle beach, SC on Thurs June 3rd. of course i woke up with a fever before we left so we ran to the minute clinic and i had strept. joy. but i got a presciption and that saved my life. anyways we stopped in Asheville, NC to spend the night before finishing the drive. so we got to SC and the weather was wonderful! very hot but gorgeous, we laid by the pool, on the beach, we all three parasailed!, and of course we went out to dinner and had lots of fish and crab :) i'll post pictures of that later...then on our way back we stopped in Asheville, NC again and went to the Biltmore mansion! it was gorgeous..there are no words to describe it! ill have to post pictures of the mansion it was huge, there were 63 bedrooms and 40 bathrooms!!!!

On Wednesday Mom had her cat scan and she will get her results tomorrow with her normal routine of the shot and the IV. i'll update with you the results tomorrow..

lots of prayers the results show that the tumors have shrunken!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

getting nervous!

ok so mom got back from Evansville, IN and had a blast. she was able to see
Rich, Marshs, Steve, Candy and many more! They were down at the Aztar casino where uncle rich and the band sang, and mom learned hwo to gamble.

This week, Monday and Tuesday mom had horrible virtigo. We called Trish, the nurse practisioner, and she said that was just a late side effect. but as of today mom is feeling good and she is even at the office with me helping dad!! which is much needed for her.

Ok so Friday mom gets her second shot of Lupron and gets blood drawn. we have to wait there for an hour after the blood drawn, so they can read the results of her kidney and liver functions. if these are at the "normal" level, then she will get her infusion, meaning, an IV for 15 mins of Zometia; which will keep her bones strong since the treatment is so hard on her bones and their density. Dr. Bhatia will measure her tumor on her breast so they can keep track and see if it is shrinking, then base those results on her other tumors throughout her body. Until she gets the PET scan in july. so hopefully the tumors is even softer and smaller!

please pray for her blood results to be normal and function to be all ok for her IV! we will keep you updated.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

this weekend

ok this weekend had its ups and downs! So Friday mom woke up feeling not too well, so i went to my hair appt and came home to help her get motivated. When i got home i hear mom yelling at the cats.haha one had an accident, so i calmed her down and put in her new pillates video, since she cant lift weights. the video has a band to use for resistance so it is perfect for her workout. She did the video, took a shower and we took casey to the vet to get her nails clipped. It was a beautiful day!! then we dropped her off and ran errands, the main one being the grocery store. We decided to start getting our groceries at whole foods, to avoid the hormones and stuff in the processed foods. lets just say wow whole foods adds up fast! but its worth it for her health! mom felt much more "momly" since she hadnt gone grocery shopping since she found out she had cancer. then we headed home and since mom was feeling so well, mom dad and i went out to dinner to Barley Island, got coldstone ice cream and saw "date night"...the movies was awesome! We all really needed comic relief, and i hadnt seen mom laugh that hard in 6 weeks!

OOO!! and we were in the car and mom looked to me and goes "Katelyn watch this!!!" i looked over and she straightened her left arm!!!!!! she hadnt been able to do that since before the biopsy. this means the tumor is moving off the nerve, aka shrinking! and she has only been on treatment for a week, so this for sure lifted moms spirit!

Saturday mom did not feel so well because she started the femara. she was wiped out! so she and i just relaxed all day (minus the part that i got stung by a bee, my finger looks like a sausage!) but anyways yes Saturday was rough on mom.

Today dad told me to go to sears and surprise mom with a new vacuum, since ours is dying and soo heavy! so i brought it in her bed room with a bow on it..she was so excited! (and she had slept all morning so she was feeling a bit better) so i made her get out of bed and we went out in the back yard and had turkey sandwiches and enjoyed the wonderful weather with casey. so she started feeling better and got to use her vacuum which she loves. now we are watching the masters , and mom wants to go on a walk and take casey.

hopefully days like saturday dont come to often. Tomorrow at 3 mom has an appt. with a doctor that specializes in side effects because she is getting about 3 hours of sleep each night due to her horrible night sweats. and we all know that little sleep leads to emotional and feeling horrible. lets hope the doctor is helpful!

thank you all!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

where it first began!

When we moved into the house in November mom had pain in her arm pit but assumed she pulled something and just kept on working and lifting everything like she always does. Throughout the holidays she had more and more pain and soreness but again thought nothing of it. well in January she started to actually complain of pain in not only her arm pit but her left breast also. she scheduled an appt. with her OBGYN but, shocker, that appt. got moved many times. Mom and Dad were given the opportunity to take a vacation to San Francisco over Valentines Day weekend, for their other business "Agel". they ended up expanding the vacation from a couple days to 5 days, since dad used to live there he wanted to show mom all around and site-see. So since i ended up commuting this semester, I watched the pets and took care of the house. They had a blast out there, the weather was amazing, they got to go wine tasting, travel up the mountains and more.
They got back on a Tuesday, and Wednesday mom pulled me aside that morning to tell me that she didn't think her left breast looked right and since i am in nursing school she wanted me to look and see what i thought. When i saw it, i knew it was time to stop moving the appt. and she needed to get into her OBGYN asap. So she got into her doctor that week and he told her she needed to get a mamogram and an ultrasound because there was a lump in her breast and her arm pit. so that was scheduled for Feb. 26th.
Of course that Friday both dad and i went with mom for her mamogram and ultrasound. Now keep in mind mom has no insurance because she is considered self-employed, working at Tucker. Thanks to so many donations to the breast center at St. Vincent's hospital, they paid for both her mamogram and ultrasound. It only took at 45 mins. until the radiologist was able to read the results and tell us what they were. We all gathered in a room and he was very blunt. He told us that it was breast cancer and the tumor in her arm pit did look cancerous too. not this was just from the x0rays he was reading, so for an oncologist or breast surgeon to see my mom they needed a biopsy results, because there are so many types of breast cancers.
I was actually able to sit in and watch the biopsy. it was much more intense than i thought. but they took three samples from both the breast lumpy and the lymph node in her arm pit. After this they set up an appt. with a breast surgeon, Dr. Kim, and we were to meet with her on March 3rd. Of course the results didnt come until Tuesday the 2st, so we had all weekend to stress and worry. When they called us with the results, and it was breast cancer in both the lump in her breast and in her lymph node. This meant it was stage 2b, which if you google, means the cancer had broken through the breast ducts and into the lymph system.She also was HER2+, meaning the tumors are fed by estrogen. So of course another appt. was made for her to get a PET/CT scan which tell if the cancer spread any further into more lymph nodes, or into organs. The breast surgeon sounded very confident that she didnt think that it had spread any more, and they mom would need a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation.
On March 8th, mom had her PET/CT scan at community east hospital. I had my nephew, Kolton, with me so dad, mom, Kolton, and I all drove down for her scan. The scan didnt take long, maybe 45 mins, but she was injected with radiation so it could be read by the scan, so she had to stay 3 feet away from Kolton and I, so it couldnt "mess" us up. haha.
On Friday March 12th, the results came in and Dr. Kim called us with the results. They were not good. Dr. Kim even teared up while reading the results. Mom was told that the cnacer had spread, Ther eare 4 tumors in her liver, one the size of 4.5cm, two in her pelvis, and a couple smaller ones down her spine. To say the least we were devastated. So what did mom and i do? of course went ad got out toes done, to get out minds off of cancer for an hour. That night mom and dad had a company dinner at Sullivan's Steak House, so she decided to go to keep her mind busy and to see all of her friends.
Night after night mom could not sleep, stressing and worrying but also having horrible night sweats. (she was taken off her estrogen pill the week before, because that was just feeding the tumors) On the folowling Wednesday March 17th, we meant with the oncologist, Dr. Bhatia. (Body-ah) He is extremely intelligent to say the least. He said things we wanted and didn't want to hear. One being that she was in stage 4 breast cancer, and that their goal is remission but it is incurable. He talked about many options but that he recommenced the newest treatment that had just came out 45 days ago. First she needed to get a shot called, Lupron, that would put her straight into menopause, to cut off all estrogen in her body, again estrogen is what is feeding the tumors and causing them to grow. Then she was to combine two pills, one being Tykerb (which targets the tumors, it is basically chemo in a pill form) and Femara (which is another anti hormone therapy, but to the tumors looks like estrogen and is absorbed but really will shrink them).
We were very happy to hear this new treatment and mom was happy to hear no chemo, because what girl wants to loose her hair! So the first step before starting treatment was to get a blood draw to make sure her kidney and liver function was good enough to sustain the treatment. March 22nd, mom was scheduled for a heart scan, because the two medicines can be hard on your cardiac muscle so she needed to be checked of the strength of her cardiac muscle. Luckily, the nurse was able to tell her right then and there that he muscle was the strength of a 20 year old, so mom was so happy to finally hear good news.
March 26th Mom and i went to the doctor for her to receive her first shot of Lupron, (which she will get once a month for a year) and to hear her blood results on her kidney and liver function. We were worried about her liver function. When we got in the room at the Cancer center, the nurse had the shot ready. Well mom may be really go at handling pain but when she sees a shot she turns into a baby.haha well on top of it the nurse opens the directions on the shot. so I look over at mom and her face is gradually turning white. the nurse leaves the room because she wanted to make sure she had it ready correctly. The nurse was gone for about 10 mins. but to mom, it felt like hours. Praise God, another nurse came in with a new shot ready, the other nurse broke the first one, and i warned her not to show mom the shot. mom had to stand up because it is a muscle shot so it needed to go into her butt. She sat down after the shot and felt light headed but after 5 mins. she felt much better. then in comes, Trish, the nurse practitioner that sees mom the most. We found out that her liver function and kidney function were normal! this shows that the part of her liver that has no tumros is very strong and her kidneys, the first time in her life, are actually acting normal! she was so happy to hear this.
He last scan was on March 30th was her bone scan and shoulder x-ray, which were needed before she started the Tykerb and Femara. So mom and i went to Community North Hospital and she received her shoulder x-ray first, only because mom keeps having pain in her left shoulder and she cant straighten her arm all the way. the x-ray read fine so that was good. then she had her bone scan, which just checks the bone density, because the treatment is hard on your bones.
Then it was Easter! After attending 9:30 mass, we went to Kraig and Andrea's house and had cheesey taters, ribs, veggies, and lots and lots of desserts! Thank God the weather was gorgeous and we all ate out side, played with Kolton and enjoyed the beautiful day.
On April 2nd, mom and i went to the doctor to find out her bone scan results and to get the "teach" about her prescription pills she was about to start taking. the bone scan read fine her bones are strong, but at her next appt. she will get getting an infusion of Zometa, which keeps her bones strong! She will be taking 6 pills of Tykerb at once and 1 pill of Femara combined in the morning, on an empty stomach! We had to hear al lfo the side effects and when to and when not to call them depending on the side effects. The only major side effect is diarrhea but that has to be watched because it can get out of control if not handled correctly. Trish came in to talk with her and to measure her tumor on her breast, so they can see if the tumor is shrinking, and base it on the rest of the tumors. she will get a PET/CT scan 3-4 months after treatment starts to see if the rest of the tumors are shrinking. But anyways Trish said the tumor was softer!!! she thinks this was already from the Lupron shot, the cut off of all estrogen. we were so excited to already hear a small, but huge change!
We were told that she could start the Tykerb that day and then she would receive the Femara later that week and she could start that immediately when she received it. So when we got in the car, mom took all 6 pills of the Tykerb. That whole rest of the day she felt good, obviously tired because of the long appt. and errands she was tired but nothing unusual. then on Tuesday she had some upset stomach but was able to keep it under control, the worst for her is just not sleeping through the night because of her night sweats.
Today is April 7th, my parents 31st wedding anniversary and she had a rough day but tonight feels much better. We sat down and had a nice family dinner, dad brought her roses, and just relaxed and watched TV. Hopefully the Femara comes in the mail so she can start combining it with the Tykerb.

thanks! keep praying..