Monday, July 28, 2008

Finally done celebrating

Hey everyone- Wow, this weekend was full of celebrating my birthday. It was absolutely wonderful but very exhausting. We were at the lake on Saturday and it was so fun but completely wore me out. I spent half of sunday in bed, thanks to Doug for letting me sleep. Then we celebrated again with Doug's family Sunday evening. It was all very nice but I am glad to be done with the festivities. Thank you to you all who celebrated with me!
There is really nothing else to report. Not much happening. This is an off week for chemo. Ella and I spent the day today recooperating from the weekend. We layed low this morning but then things got hairy when Ella didn't want to nap, then didn't want to change out of her pajamas, and on and on. I got a bit frustrated at her and kind of snapped. She dumped Lexi's water bowl and I just got angry and told her to go put her nose in the corner and don't talk to me. I had enough! Ugh. Of course, I felt bad after for snapping like that. But she is just trying everything she can to see what she can get away with. oh boy!
We are very excited, we have finally got a trip planned that we have been thinking about for awhile. We are going to take a cruise around the Mediterannean (SP?). yaaaa. I can't wait. It will be really hard to leave Ella for a couple weeks, but it will be a once in a lifetime experience. So that is something we are very much looking forward to. I better get going, we are getting ready to put Ella to bed, early tonight. She is fighting daddy right now because she doesn't want to clean up. Oh 2 year olds. better get going. I just have blood work tomorrow, that is all this week. talk to you soon. shawndra

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Birthday Girl

Yaaa, Today I am 32 years young. happy birthday michelle as well and who ever else is out there celebrating their birthday today. I have not been on my computer for the last several days because we have been staying at my parents house since Saturday night when we came home in the evening our air conditioner went out, uggg. But it was nice to be at my parents house. I havent' spent the night there for awhile, so it was nice to be "home". Thanks mom and dad for taking us in for a few days. I couldn't get on the internet on my computer.
I did have chemo yesterday, so I have my pump on today. Yesterday I was a bit out of it, I don't know what it is but chemo or the antinausea they give me, something makes me sleepy and then I feel high or something. It is a strange feeling. Other than being tired and loopy yesterday, today I am feeling pretty good. I don't have much going on today, we may do something for dinner but celebrate more this weekend.
I do have another comment I have been meaning to write about. I have come across this a lot. People complaining about how old they are getting, how bad it is to turn 40, etc. I am happy just to make it to 32 and now my next goal is to make it to 33, 34, 35. We should be proud of getting older, not upset about it. That is just my opinion. I will be exstatic and celebrate big at 40!
One other thing I wanted to mention is life insurance. I encourage everyone to get life insurance pronto if you haven't already. We got our life insurance only months before I was diagnosed with cancer. If I hadn't done it before, no one would insure me now. I was very lucky. So please consider that, it will help take care of your family if something were to happen.
okay that is all for now. thank you all for your birthday wishes. I hope everyone has a great day too! love, shawndra

Thursday, July 17, 2008

some answers

Hey all- Well I wanted to wait to write until I had gotten all the results and all the doctors appointments out of the way so I could give a full report. We were glad we made the trip to Omaha. It is always great to see Dr. Foster, even if I don't get all the answers I want, he still gives us so much hope. He was a bit concerned that I have been having more pain, so we ended up getting a CT done on Monday up in Omaha. Ugh, I had to drink that stuff again, would someone please come up with a better way to get the GI CT scan so I don't have to drink soooo much barium. It isn't even the taste that makes me sick, it is the quantity! Anyway, the results from briefly looking at the CT was that things were atleast stable. It seems like the bulk of the disease that is left is in the pelvis, no where else. That is good! The problem, from his standpoint, is that to get into the area, you have to work around the bladder and there is a great risk of having to end up removing the bladder and ending up with a urostomy, which is the last thing I want to have!!!!!! So, a bit hesitant about that. I had a CEA done there which was 7.9, but then I had it done here in KC the next day (thought i would go ahead and have it done to compare the two labs).. The result here is 5.1 so I think that is good as well. Things aren't progressing, they are atleast staying steady. I am still curious though about what exactly is in the pelvis, it could be more inflammation so I would like him to atleast go in and look at some point if possible, just to try and see what it looks like in there. That may be a possibility.
Overall, now we are going to stay the course until the two doc's can talk and put there heads together about the best plan. We are going to watch my CEA level a bit longer to see if it is staying about the same or going to go up. If it goes up I may have to start new chemotherapy. If it stays the same, I may be able to go on a break from chemo or do a pill form for maintenance for awhile, to give me a break from infusions. That would be nice too.
I saw the pain doc yesterday. He seems to agree that the source of the pain is from the ureteral stent. So he is going to talk to my urologist about the necessity of the right stent at this time. If I could get rid of that stent, now that we know my left kidney is a bit better than we thought, we might be able to remove the stent and possible decrease my pain significantly. IF not, I am just going to keep taking what I need to control the pain and hopefully can reduce the amount when the pain subsides a bit. I also probably have a UTI so that may cause the worsening of pain and now that i am on antibiotics, the pain may decrease a bit.

Whew... How was that for a summary. Was that too much info? I feel like I am having to write a summary for my boss or school or something, hehe. Let's talk about something else. Today I am going to go work out with one of my neighbor friends who is a trainer. We are going to "play around a bit" to see what I can do. THis will feel good. I am really wanting to start getting back into fitness and toning myself up and gaining more energy, strength, etc. This weekend is going to be a busy one, we have lots of people we are trying to get together with because we haven't seen so many of our friends in so long. We are also working on setting up a trip, we are looking into a Mediterranean Cruise. That is something I have always wanted to do, an area I haven't been yet. Ella is on a field trip with daycare today. She will be back with me tomorrow. We usually have a down day to rest up for the weekend. That is all for now. Talk to you all soon. Shawndra

Sunday, July 13, 2008

off to omaha

Hey- Doug and I are sitting here in bed, both of us using our laptops and watching TV, hehe. so funny. Ella and Lexi (the dog) went to Grandma and Papas for the night since Doug and I head out early for Omaha. My appointment is at 11am and it takes atleast 3 hours to get there. I don't know what kind of information I will get, it is mostly just a follow up but I still want to ask him about the possibility of another surgery. (quick side note- aren't the Burger King commercials creepy these days, I just saw a new one where that creapy king mascot had a child, ugh) anyway, I will also see my oncologist here on Tuesday so between the two hopefully we will come up with a future plan. I will most likely have to have another scan soon to see the progress I have made since surgery to fully determine what the plan will be, we will see.
This weekend was interesting, out of nowhere I got sick on Saturday, I was fine, went to the store early (we had no milk or eggs), then I was helping Doug put up a ceiling fan in our bathroom when my stomach started cramping up, I started sweating, clammy ended up vomiting then diarrhea, the rest of the afternoon. IT was horrible. Thank you to the Palmers for helping us take care of Ella at the last minute! We greatly appreciate it! As I have told you so many times, we have the best neighbors. ya, I know, I know already. Thankful I recovered after most of the rest of the day asleep in bed. Today we got to go to the pool and i actually got in for a change. I am not a huge fan of swimming/water, but since I got the ostomy I have been really uncomfortable with swimming. It was really nice today to get in the water and feel comfortable. I even got to take Ella around a little bit and help her swim.
I am really hope Ella is just going through the terrible two phase. She literally cries about the littlest things. Not just cries, but has a fit. I am getting so tired of it, it has finally gotten the best of me today. I was so tired of it, I had to just walk away and let Doug deal with her. She even cried in the middle of playing with one of her music books, she was fine one second, then crying the next. Any advice out there? Is my child normal, hehe? I know all the articles and research about 2 year olds, but I just never thought it would be that bad. She is such a sweetie at other times but definitely more bossy and determined these days. Ella- if you read this some day, love you baby, smooch! hehe.
Please don't forget about Michelle who is running the New York marathon on November 2nd in my honor for Colorectal Cancer Research. She is getting closer to her goal of 3,000 dollars but please if you haven't donated, please consider it, if you are able to at this time. Just hit the Fred's team link to the left on this screen. You know, 5 years ago, the chemotherapy I am taking wasn't even available. Through research the have been able to find better treatment to keep people like me alive longer. My hope is that they will find even better treatments so that I won't just live a few more years, but so that I may be able to live the long life I hoped see Ella grow up and have her mommy there for her! SO thank you if you are able to donate. If you are not, I totally understand and am blessed that you even read my blog and think and pray for me! I just saw the same Burger King commercial, ahhhh! I better get to bed, gotta get up early!
Monday am: I forgot to answer someone's question from my comments. She asked what pain I was having, since she sounds like she is fighting colorectal cancer as well. My pain is typically in my lower back and sometimes all the way around my abdomen as well. The pain had subsided after my surgery and returned after the new stent was placed on my right side, the pain returning more on the right side. So I attribute the pain mostly to the ureteral stents. But recently the pain has gotten worse so I am a bit concerned that it may not only be the stents. I have read a lot of other cancer patients have the same concerns, we aren't hypochondriacs, but we become much more attune to our body and when something doesn't seem right, in the back of our minds we are always a bit worried, trying not to be though! I hope that answers the question and I hope it helps! I am off.... shawndra

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Laptop

Hey everyone- I am writing this time from my new laptop doug gave me for my birthday (a little early)! It is so exciting, but it will take me a little time to get my fingers adjusted to the new keys.
To start, I had a great 4th of July! It is always great to see and hang out with so many friends and family! We even stayed up for the fireworks out on the lake. When we got out there Ella kept saying, "I not scared! I not scared, mommy". So funny! I did have a little period of time that day that I had some extreme pain and had to excuse myself from the party to go lay down. That was a bit frustrating and disappointing but thankfully it subsided and I could finish hanging out with everyone and enjoy the rest of the day.
I had my 5th round of chemo today (5th round this time). It went well, still no agitation as I had before, just more fatigue than before. It also took me a few days of rest to recover from the 4th so I think the chemo is accumulating in my system and making me more tired. So the last few days I have been in resting most of the day.
Next week is going to be busy, Monday Doug and I go to Omaha to meet with Dr. Foster. A follow up from surgery as well as to discuss future plans. I am interested in seeing if he can do another surgery in my pelvis to get rid of the mass there that is unknown if it is cancerous or not. As well as reverse my ostomy! We will see what he has to say. Then I see my oncologist here on Tuesday and I see the pain doctor on Wednesday to talk about another option for my pain since I am having to take more and more pain medication to get rid of my pain. I may have built up a tolerance to this pain medication and may need to try something else. So next week will be a busy one! Hopefully I will get some answers and some sort of plan. The last plan was do chemo for 5-6 times and see how I am. There may be a possibility of taking a break or just keep on keeping on. I still hope someday I will here I am cancer free and am officially in remission. It sounds like you are never officially rid of cancer once you have it. Sometimes it comes back and you always wonder with every symptom could it have returned. I have to focus on ridding my body of the cancer first. I believe Ella is jumping on the stairs now. I gotta go put the smack down! Talk to you all later. Have a wonderful weekend. I am going to go have lunch with a few friends, get me out of the house a little and focus on something else for awhile. I hope you all are doing well! Shawndra

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Birthday America!!! Everyone have a safe, fun 4th of July! Talk to you soon. Shawndra