Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ready to get out of Texas for awhile!

I haven't posted in several days mainly because I just haven't felt up to it. The radiation has definately hit me with major tiredness. I also am having terrible pain when I eat (on the left side this time). I can drink anything without pain but if I eat anything too hard or try and take is a pain like NO OTHER! The last time I had pain in my gutt (when I was home for Jenn's graduation) Dr. Das tried to give me some liquid stuff to numb my throat and intestines before eating. I told them I would just wait it out and it soon (within a few days) went away. Yesterday, I asked Pat to go to the pharmacy at MD Anderson and get the script filled. I  have taken the stuff 2-3 times and it doesn't work worth a darn. I think a shot of tequila might work better!!!!  I feel I cannot be totally occluded or I would be throwing up even water. The dr's said this could happen but man oh man they didn't tell me the pain would be this bad.  I had a Boost this am and right now I am eating some Cheerios. If I chew them to mush, there seems to be very little pain.

I mentioned tiredness. I mean so tired, I get up to get my breakfast down 3 hours prior to radiation, take my shot and chemo pills...then back to bed/couch until 11 when I have to get up for my shower. Then be at radiation at 12. Then we go back home, I try and drink another Boost before laying down for a nap. Yesterday, I slept 3 1/2 hours. For supper, I had 2 Boosts. I can tell I have lost weight this week.

Dr. Javle wants me off for two weeks to rest my body and rebuild cells that have been damaged. Just a couple weeks ago, I told them I thought I could just go right back to work but they told me "not so fast" as I need the time to rest. Now I know they were right.

Tomorrow is my last day of radiation....thank you God!  Although I will miss Danna & Travis and their upbeat personalities, I will not miss their radiation room. I will truly miss these guys as they always lift my spirits when I seem sooo tired or feeling bad.

Pat & I will travel about half way home, then stop for the night. We should be back home with the white squirrels by Friday afternoon/early evening.

What happens next? I will come back in 6 weeks for my PET scan and visit with Dr. Javle. Radiation works for 6 weeks after you stop it so hopefully it will do some good tricks in my belly. I don't feel we have used all the tricks in the bag yet BUT I do believe without God's hand in this world of cancer.....I will not live a long life. I pray daily for a miracle as that is what it will take to beat this monster in my belly. Keeping the Faith is the most important part of this roller coaster journey. Did I mention I HATE roller coasters!!

I will probably not blog until I get home unless I can in the hotel room (and feel up to it). I am tired and it hurts to eat. Other than that, I am good. In time, I will get my strength back and the inflammation in my belly will go away and I can eat a good steak or piece of chicken.

Hugs & God Bless~

Saturday, May 26, 2012

3 treatments left.....but a 3 day weekend first!

I will start first of all by Thanking all veterans this weekend!

I will talk about my day yesterday as I met Lucy from the Media Dept at MD Anderson. She has been following my blog for some time and thought I might be a good addition to MD Anderson's Cancerwise website. No matter where you go to the dr, this website is FULL of good info/recipes/stories/I even found a story about a man who shared his experience with cholangiocarcinoma. I will write a story about when I found out I had cancer and kind of an introduction of this cancer that has interrupted my life. I will send it to Lucy and it may well be on it's way to the Cancerwise website. I could tell she was a good journalist as she wanted to pull every morsel of information out of me she could as she was so interested in hearing about it all. Of course, it will hopefully end up helping one person that is coming to MD Anderson for treatment. Lucy also asked for any tips I would have to make MD Anderson better...any complaints (don't worry Dana.....I didn't tell her all the nice names you call me like....princess!!) I can hopefully get my story together over the weekend and send it to her. Lucy was so intensely interested in my story it was neat to see her eyes sparkle to just be able to sit there and hear my story. I believe she was sent to me at "just the right time" as an Angel to maybe even help me face my own feelings when things are up in the air with how well (or maybe not so well) my treatment is working and waiting six weeks after coming home to come back and find out the results.

Then I skipped out on my Dr appt. to go to radiation first. Got that done and got to ride on the VIP elevator. Woo-Hoo. Dana escorted me up the elevator or I probably would have been in big poop trouble!! Oh, I will be so sad when I have to leave my radiation buddies-Dana & Travis. They have been so helpful in asking me what I was doing every weekend, then finding events going on, good eating places, discounts on the Butterfly Museum, and on & on. BUT, it is them, as people, that I will miss. I will probably bawl on Thursday when I ring the bell that my radiation is over because even though I am ready for my own bed and family, they are the closest thing most people have (probably due to seeing them every day-5 days a week) as family. They are true GEMS!

I saw Dr. Das and tried to pin him down on his thoughts of the radiation and IF he thought it did any good. He said we really wouldn't know until the PET scan. IT could stabilize, it could spread to  other places in my body since we are JUST treating part of the liver area, it could spread to other areas of the liver OR it might possibly shrink it. The reason they decided to switch (very quickly) from a new chemo regimen to photon radiation was because the tumor in the liver was starting to totally occlude some of the veins. IF that happens (and probably will at some point) I will have metal stents placed in where the blockages are to open up the veins so I can flow freely again.  I DID gain 3 pounds so that was good. Dr. Das says my blood work is holding up just fine, kidney and liver function tests look great. Anti XA test (blood clotting test) is at .51 which is ON SPOT for my cardiologist.

We got in the pool Friday evening after my nap. Then we ordered pizza (recommended by my radiation buddies) and called it a day at 9.

My sister Sarah flies back home early Sunday morning. She has been a huge help and I will miss her greatly!

I will close for now. No big plans so far....just taking it easy for my bones to rest as much as possible!!

God Bless~

Friday, May 25, 2012


Thank goodness it's Friday! I slept terrible on Wednesday so was kinda dragging all day Thursday. I slept good last night with the help of some sleep aids. I was up at 4:45 this am but am meeting the lady from MD Anderson from the media department at 9. I then have radiation at 10:15 followed by Dr. Das. We shall see if I lost weight this week. Not alot to report this week. Samantha & Kate are cleaning my flower beds out at home and Samantha has also been weed eating/mowing. Should look good when we get home in 7 days. Thanks girls!!

I come back on July 11 & 12 for my PET and am keeping the faith there will be something good that comes from this radiation.

Jackie (the PA) also informed me she does not want me going straight back to work. She said I need atleast 1-2 weeks to recuperate. It will be nice but I also know I need to get back in the saddle at work.

I would like to find a free concert in the park this weekend...just to take lawn chairs and relax. We shall see.....

Have a GREAT Memorial Day weekend and try to remember or Thank a veteran who so deserves recognition for their service!

Hugs & Prayers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Visit with Dr. Javle's Physician Assistant....

Radiation was at 12 today and all went well. The people in radiation are just full of hope. Full of good encouragement knowing that each and every person climbing on that table to be zapped...needs encouraged....or needs some hope - call it what you want.

Then my appointment with Dr. Javle was at 2. After about an hour and a half, we were called for vitals and then taken back to a room. I saw Jackie (his PA) last time but didn't think I would have to see her again. I guess I feel a little cheated. You can tell she is a little hesitant to answer the tough questions. They needed a copy of my drivers license to do the extensive research on which drugs might work better on my tumor. They will use the tissue from the liver biopsy taken a couple of months ago. Should know more when I go back in 3 months or so....

I told Jackie my radiation team was so positive the radiation would do some good...even if just a little....she, not so much. WHAT? She said our hopes are... it will shrink or be shocked into being stable, but it could also go elsewhere in my body since the only place we are treating for cancer is around the liver area. Hmmmm.....I guess I am a little taken aback by the thought they never told me any of this before....that it can go elsewhere in my body. I go back in 6 weeks on July 11 & 12 for a PET scan and a visit with Dr. Javle (or Jackie). The PET will show cancer anywhere in my body. I will not do any chemo when I return home since the radiation is still working for 6 weeks. Jackie says I will need this time to rebuild my strength so take advantage of it. I am going to keep the Faith by keeping a positive attitude.

On a more positive note, I was looking at my blog posts which I do occasionally just to refresh my memory on my feelings, faith, and hope throughout this journey. Last Wednesday, I had a comment from a lady I had never heard of. She is from the communications/media department at MD Anderson and had been on my blog. She is interested in talking to me.....We are meeting Friday morning so I was overjoyed she reached out and wanted to talk to little ol' me from Olney, Il.....Home of the White Squirrels. I will keep you informed but if it is top notch secret, I will not be able to tell you....  :-)

I am feeling pretty good today. No nap so far and it is 4:35.....  We pick Sarah up at Hobby Airport around 6ish tonight.

Only God knows how my journey will go. The bumps, curves, and turns it will take. But one thing is for sure, I will follow his will every step of the way. He will guide me, direct me, and I will be there....right beside Him all of the way!

Keeping the Faith~

2012 ACS Walk & Roll of Richland County

Leslie and McKenna enjoy a walk through the park.
Leslie is about 36 weeks pregnant with Mom's first grandson!

McKenna and Braeda wore matching shirts.
The front says I <heart> JAJA, and you can see the back here :)

My husband, Bartley, supervising.

Samantha and Angie showing their support.

Cousin love.

Mom skyping with Lisa, Sarah, and Lisa.

Aunt Kate and Braeda preparing to decorate our luminaries.

Rylan and Bart facilitating more cousin-love.

A few of the luminaries dedicated to Mom.

McKenna and Braeda next to the luminaries that we decorated for Mom.

We had a very fun day this year, though it was a scorcher. We're all pretty proud of our 2nd place finish in total monies raised. Thank you again to everyone on our team who worked to sell shirts, koozies, and raffle tickets. Thank you to all who attended our Italian Beef Night at The Gypsy and the Walk & Roll on Saturday. We're looking forward to having your continued support when we begin fundraising for next year's Walk & Roll!

As an aside: do not be confused by Mom's and my interchange of 'Walk & Roll' / 'Relay for Life'. They're essentially the same thing; they both raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Photos taken by Amy and posted on her blog.
Photos stolen and commentary provided by Jenn. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

7 Radiation Treatments Left!

The weekend came and went....I don't think I even left the apartment. I was feeling a little less tired when I got up today (Monday), but by the time I got back from blood work and radiation, I was ready to eat and go to bed at 1:15 p.m.  I slept until 2 and are NOT getting up yet, and I laid my head back down to sleep another hour. My average daily nap is about 2 hours.

I see Dr. Javle tomorrow to probably discuss what to do for the next 6 weeks while waiting to come back for the PET scan to see just how well the IMRT worked. Not sure if I will be doing chemo or not. The IMRT can keep working for up to 6 weeks after completing the 28 sessions.

I told Pat this morning that I feel like I am carrying 500 bricks on my back...I am just THAT tired. It seems to have came on the worst in the past week. If it keeps getting worse, Pat will have to carry me to the car pretty soon. I feel sooo guilty just laying around, sleeping, and watching tv....reading or just looking out the window.  Pat says it is ok and totally normal to be SO tired. I asked my radiation team about it and they said it happens to alot/most people (that it just hits them like a brick...and the older people are, the quicker it happens).

The Suntone Beach Survivors came in second place as far as raising the most money at the Relay For Life. RMH came in first. Someone (I won't repeat this persons name) stated the Cummins team did pretty good for second place since RMH has over 400 employees. True, but all money is money that will hopefully find a cure SOMEDAY. Some people say they do not give to the American Cancer Society. I understand that some money goes for administration but if we don't give money for research, we NEVER find a cure. It is like less than 3% of all funds that go toward research for my type of cancer. So what....saving a life is one step closer to a cure for all cancers. I see it differently. I think you do when you GET cancer. THANK YOU to everyone on our team that showed up to walk, donate food, clean up, anything that made us collect so much money......that includes all the people who bought from us. I believe Amy will post pics in the next few days of the Relay.

My sister, Sarah Teeven, comes in tomorrow evening to stay and help us out until Saturday or Sunday. I am hoping it will make the week go by quicker. Monday is a holiday so no radiation. My last treatment is a week from Thursday.

Faith.....what would I do without it! Keeping the faith is the easiest thing when times are rough. I know He is there beside me.  When I am laying in bed and get all teary eyed because I miss home and everyone that means something to me...or I happen to think about little Braeda's smile or McKenna's chattery body, something inside of me tells me to STOP IT....quit boo hooing as it doesn't help. I tell myself to Keep The Faith and I will be home SOON.

And I will be home SOON.... I am not a quitter, and I Believe!

As Jenn points out sometimes....I am rambling so I will close for now.
Keep The Faith ~~

Friday, May 18, 2012


Thursday was my worst day yet as far as being sooo tired I could barely get out of bed. I got up to eat breakfast and take meds, went back to bed until about 11 only to shower and get to MD Anderson at 12 for radiation. I went straight back home to eat lunch and go back to bed until about 4.

So, today was my dr. appt. and they weighed me only to tell me that I had lost 2 more pounds. I had ate so much last week I was almost gagging from being SO full. They said they are ok with a 2 pound loss...especially since they know I tried so hard to remain stable. I also talked to the radiation staff and she said each round of radiation is like running a marathon (as far as the nutrients it takes out of you and the cells it kills). So...I am basically running 5 marathons a weeks with a two day break only to start it all over again. I am still really tired today...(not as bad as yesterday) so thank God for weekends to rest up my bones.

I was going to attend Mass Saturday evening but realized the Relay was that evening and they girls want me available to Skype. So...will have to look at Sunday Mass times. I'll get an extra bulletin Fr. Jerry and send it to you. I know you like to see different bulletins from different Catholic Churches.

As my dad used to say....."I am just pooped!"  So I will close for now and ask for prayers of strength to get through the next two weeks. My last day of radiation is May 31. Pat and I will travel part way home that day and then stop for the night. This will put  us home on Saturday, June 1.

Get out to the park tomorrow for The Relay For Life!

Hugs & Prayers!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Countdown Begins

Since the start of my blog, I have had 40,019 "hits". It seems unreal to me.

It is "hump day" for radiation, and I have a little bit of a hot belly feeling which is normal from about Wednesday evening to Saturday....then it goes away until about the next Wednesday only to start all over again. ALL of the pain I was feeling in my belly is gone. All the prayers helped shoo the pain away, and I have praised the good Lord several times each day for taking it out of my body.

I had been losing weight, and it was starting to concern the doctor. I saw a nutritionist, and she wanted me to eat 70-85 grams of protein a day, plus still drink over 64 ounces of water each day. So.....Jenn has cooked all kinds of high protein foods continuously, and we've picked up high protein bars, drinks, etc. to see if I can keep from losing weight this week. I asked the Radiology Dept. what would happen (in their opinion) if I lost weight this Friday and they said the doctor might put a feeding tube in.....WHAT!  So, I have been eating like a starving dog!! I am to the point I almost want to throw up from eating so much food. I asked the doctor yesterday after getting radiated if I could just slip in and check my weight. I did.....and I had not lost or gained. I was kind of surprised because of all the good food I have been eating but staying the same is BETTER than losing. I just have to keep it up until Friday when I go to the doctor.

Jenn & Kate leave Friday morning for Olney, and Sarah comes in on Tuesday (and stays until Saturday). She is a good cook so I will eat well then also. I don't have the best appetite anyway with the radiation but have basically forced myself to eat. IF I lose too much weight, my organs would shift around too much and the radiation would not be hitting the right spots on the tumor. So, pray for weight stability until my radiation is over.

There are so many people I see here each time I am here.....from all parts of the world, and I am so thankful I am in as good a shape as I am....but I also ask God to lift those who are suffering terribly to raise them up and help ease their pain. Cancer is just wrong. It affects the whole family...not JUST the person that gets it.

Relay for Life is this Saturday and I ask all of you that live close to Olney to get up off the couch and support this cause. Our booth is called Suntone Beach Survivors and we will be serving Chicken & Noodles (donated by Michelle Kauble) which sold out last year....that tells you they were GOOD!! We are also serving nachos and cheese, and I think we are selling Tea & Lemonade also. You can still buy a T shirt or a raffle ticket for lodging for six (donated by Larry & Sheila Stoltz-my brother and his wife) at The Fountains Resort in Orlando, Florida. I want to thank everyone on my team that shows up to help in advance. This is the second year I have missed it due to my health, but I will be there in spirit (and on Skype!!)!

In closing, I thank God for all the cards of encouragement. They really do lift my spirits when I am so far away from everyone. I thank God for every day I am as healthy as I am and that I have the best doctors in the world here to guide me on this journey with the best health care possible. As I was in the butterfly museum, I just stood there....I listened....just listened to the beauty of the butterflies fluttering everywhere....hundreds of them....the water falling from a waterfall.....the peace it put in my heart. I thank God for moments like that. They are precious to me in a way they never were before.

God is good~~~ALL the time!
Hugs & Prayers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cockrell Butterfly Museum

Mom, Pat, Kate, Samantha, and I went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science yesterday to visit the Cockrell Butterfly Exhibit. We took over 200 photos, but I'll attempt to limit the ones we post to the blog :)

Various cocoons in different stages of development and young butterflies in the museum.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. I had a colony of these about seven years ago.
Love the little guys so much. Robert Browning now owns/cares for the decendents of my initial duo (Rocky and Macy).
Thinking of getting part of my colony back... :)

This treefrog reminded us of Jabba the Hut.
Mom says this is for you, Rylan.

Samantha, Mom, and Pat in the lower part of the Exhibit.

Kate at the Butterfly Exhibit.

A Ricepaper Butterfly landed on Samantha's wrist.

Pat enjoying the multistory waterfall.

Me, Kate, and Samantha.

Kate, Samantha, Me, and Pat at a monument near the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Mom & Pat.

Mom is doing quite well. She's eating enormous amounts of high-protein foods to try and maintain her weight. She weighed today and, luckily, hasn't lost weight since last week. The pain in her abdomen has subsided. Aside from being tired, she's feeling great. She's anxious to see her platelet count this week, but we're hoping the numbers are stable instead of decreasing.

Samantha flew home today, and Kate and I will probably leave Friday morning. Mom's sister, Sarah, will be flying down Tuesday to stay for a few days, and then Mom will have her last treatment on May 30th. Hopefully the next 2 weeks pass quickly for Mom and Pat, and they're on their way home before they know it.

Written/Posted by Jenn.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I received two boxes in the mail this past week. They were the biggest, sweetest chocolate covered strawberries I have ever seen. One box was from Rod & Amy Lydle and the other was from Larry & Sheila Stoltz. They are yummy and we are all enjoying them !!  Thanks guys! Hugs coming your way.

I also received flowers for Mother's Day from my own momma!!  Thanks mom! I think I have had a vase of fresh flowers from someone each week that I have been here.....

I am feeling well this Mother's Day morning and can't wait to start my fourth week of radiation on Monday!!  You hear people talk about being tired during different regimines of cancer treatments, but it's hard to fully understand until you actually go through it. I'll be done in no time and hopefully back to work. I won't know how well the radiation has worked until about 2-6 weeks after treatment has ceased, so it will be a waiting game. The liver is one of the hardest spots to kill cancer, but I know it is working. We will just have to wait and see!

Samantha, Jennifer, Kate, Mike Sullivan, Pat, and I had dinner last night at a Sicilian restaurant called Buon Appetito. It was delicious and one of the most enjoyable evenings out to dinner I've had in a long time.

Happy Mother's Day to you all!!

Hugs & Prayers!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Radiation Day 15

Almost all the pain I was feeling is gone except when I eat and don't chew VERY well or I swallow two vitamin sized pills at once and they get so far down and it hurts like no other. The doctor ordered a liquid I can take to numb my throat when I eat....if it is anything like the "swish n swallow" I have taken for mouth sores, it also numbs you mouth and makes tasting your food not as enjoyable. I was expecting all to go well at the dr appt. but I got on the scale and lost 5.25 pounds in a week. Second time since getting radiation that I have lost more than 5 pounds. It could be muscle loss as I am not as active....could be I am not getting enough calories/protein in my body to repair the damaged cells...So I will have atleast an extra Boost a day and try to really eat like I mean it. I thought I was doing a good job but evidently not. They set up an appt. yesterday to see a nutritionist and she also showed up today to see if I had lost or gained weight. It is pretty important not to lose weight as it can shift your organs around and it will zap the wrongs things when getting radiation.

Jennifer, Samantha, and Kate (my step daughter) are on their way down to see us for awhile. Samantha has to fly home Tuesday due to work but Kate and Jenn will stay here for a few more days. We will try to do a few things like the Butterfly Museum and maybe Galveston Beach while they are here. I tire pretty easy lately so I am instructed to rest, rest, rest.

Extra Hugs for all the good mothers out there. I especially wish my mom and two daughters who are moms a Very Happy Mother's Day!!  Love you all!!

Hugs and prayers!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

HUMP Day for Radiation

This is treatment 14 today. So.....14 to go. I feel pretty good today......better than I have for awhile so I am hoping my pain is subsiding. I still have to be really careful when I eat as it really hurts when it gets to about my lower esophagus. The docs told us there was a chance for irritation so I am not surprised it happened....just surprised it happened so quickly. I slept on my belly some last night and it didn't hurt....I haven't did that in awhile.
I decided to celebrate this am that the pain is better and I feel 90% good. I had four lil' Pepperidge Farms Chessmen Cookies with my coffee!!  I think the Angels make these in Heaven.....oh they are so good!!
Pat and I are going to find a Walmart today.....I would like to get some paints as I brought my brushes down when I was home last time.

My Anti XA level is low at .39 so I am upping it (per Dr. Goswami's office orders) so it will climb back to around .50.  When it gets low, it poses the risk of blood clots. I just want to get through the radiation without having to halt the plan in place. It seems something always puts a roadblock up but I seem to always go around, jump over, or God moves the road block so I can get back to business! Praise Him!!

People say the last couple of weeks can get pretty tough as the radiation is building up in my system alot. The pain could come back in my belly worse then it was, I could have the nausea and scoots....or I could walk right through it with NO side effects. I ask God every night to take it easy on me and let me get through this with ease.

What happens when this is over? I will go home, then come back in June to see if it has shrunk any. It can keep shrinking for about 6 weeks after treatment is done. When we find that out, I figure I will go back on chemo and hope for more shrinkage OR it stays stable without growth. If it shrinks enough to take out....will they? I am not sure of the answer to this....but I will be sure to ask when we find out how effective the radiation has been.

I believe the doctors are doing their job to help me survive. I pray daily for God's strength to carry me through the next 14 days (and the days thereafter). It is a never ending battle but I will march like a soldier til the end....with God right beside me.

Happy Hump Day to ME!
Hugs & Prayers!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back in the groove in Texas

I guess I should say back in the groove as much as possible. Jenn posted the problems I was having which are a bit better today and no fever so far. The doctors believe it is the radiation irritating the inside of the esophagus and also inflaming my liver so when I try to breathe deep or sneeze, my irritated liver pushes against my diaphram causing terrible pain(down my right side of my stomach where your liver is located). It is pretty painful to eat hard foods (bread, meats, pizza). I seem to handle yogurt better than hard foods. I brought some Carnation Instant Breakfast mixes I can use for a meal from home. I will also buy some Boost and other soft foods to keep my weight stable.
I was taking hydrocodeine over the weekend due to the pain being so bad but have managed to just take a 500 mg Tylenol today. I hate taking pain drugs and do not want to have to start taking them on a daily basis. The pain will probably worsen over the next 3 weeks so I thank God for being there to get me through it. I already know He will be.

I was so glad to come home over the weekend. I was late for mass by 7 minutes so I went with Amy (my daughter and her family) to Mt. Gilead Church.  I hate going in late to church as I feel like the whole mass STOPS and everyone turns around to stare at you!

 Jenn's graduation came and went. I got her a nice watch and told her life is ALL about time. It never stands still and a minute wasted is never gotten back. Time with God is never wasted and I hope we all think about that daily. It took me getting cancer for me to think about God/and give thanks to Him several times a day. Shame on me for not being more dedicated to God but God forgives and I have moved on to having a much better relationship with Him.

From the time I left Texas to the time I got back, I received 25 cards in the mail!! CRAZY! God knows they encourage me and give me pleasure in knowing so many people are praying and thinking of me!! God is good ALL the time!

I have radiation again tomorrow, then Thursday I see the dr and get radiation. I'll keep you posted on what the doc says. I know when this radiation is over, my body will start to heal and that's what I keep in mind when it is zapping away at me as I lay in my mold. Can't wait to see how I feel at 5 weeks into this....but God will pick me up when it is all over and I will make my way back to Olney. I know my tumor will be smaller and I will have more TIME on this earth.It just takes's all about TIME............

See the pics below from Jenn's graduation.

Again, Thanks for all thoughts, cards, gift cards, money, and above all prayers on my short stay in Texas.
Hugs & Prayers!!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Just talked to Mom. Her liver enzymes are normal, so at this point Dr. Das thinks that her pain and fever are due to irritation, not inflammation. WOOHOO! She will continue getting radiation, and they will continue to monitor her enzymes. Awesome news. Just pray that her pain and fever subside :)

Mom will probably post later today or tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers!! God is good!

Written/Posted by Jenn.


Mom had an early flight back to Houston this morning, so we were up at 3 a.m. She has been having abdominal pain near her liver for awhile now, but last night it was excruciating. In addition, she woke up with a fever higher than 100F. She took a hydrocodone to help with the pain and to relieve her fever, and we left for the airport. 

When Mom arrived in Houston, Pat picked her up and they drove straight to MD Anderson for a blood draw. In about ten minutes, she will see Dr. Das. If her liver enzymes are elevated, then her liver is probably swollen, occluding her bile duct. To determine if that's the case and where the blockage is, they will put a camera down Mom's throat with dye. Then they will insert a metal stint in the area of the duct where the blockage is. 

It sounds as though she will have very little notice, as they told her that if her enzymes were high, they would be taking her into surgery immediately. Please pray that the doctors provide the absolute best course of treatment for Mom, and that God keeps her safe during the procedure and long after. We will keep you posted. 

Written/Posted by Jenn.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two More Days Before Flying Home.....

Radiation went well yesterday. I was a little tired. Mom, Deb Schonert, and I made our way downtown to have a late lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Oh, it was devine! So THANK YOU, Deb, for making our day go by a little faster. Some days just drag a little. Then, I got a text about 6-ish and Cindy Bateman was hoping to stop by. She arrived about 7. We had a nice visit and I will miss her company, as she moves next weekend to Dallas.

I was in bed by 9 last night and got up about 6:30 am. I slept pretty well. I have radiation at noon today, and then we are eating supper at Mike Sullivan's house. Mike just moved here from Olney but is originally from Pennsylvania. He has become a good family friend through Jenn and Bart.

The only side effect so far from the radiation is a little tiredness. Most days I lay down even just to rest my body....sometimes I sleep and sometimes I don't. I see my radiation oncologist on Friday but not alot to be discussed unless I start getting more side effects. But, I am thankful they want to keep such a close eye on me.

Mom and I fly in Friday evening at 6:05 into St. Louis, and I will fly back to Texas early Monday morning. It will be nice to see my girls and family.

I will close for now but since I didn't post yesterday, I wanted to let you all know things are still going along fine. I feel in the weeks to come, I may get a little more tired. It's ok.....if it heals my cells, I am all for it.
God had been good to me. I have faith this separation from family and the treatments here in Houston is what God has guided me to do. He has good plans for me in the future!!

Hugs & Prayers!

Deb and I at The Cheesecake Factory

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday in Texas

Even though I feel a little tired today, it has been a good day. We left the apartment to go for radiation at about 11:45 a.m. The radiation lady called me lets get one thing straight....I have been called alot of things but never "Princess". My mom asked me when I came out why she called me that....I hadn't thought too much about it, but she does it quite alot. I am blessed to have a radiation team with great attitudes and the ability to make me feel at ease. It is a little depressing in the waiting room. One couple we have befriended....the husband hasn't ate in like 3 days and they are putting in a feeding tube today as he can't keep anything down. So so sad.

We went to a place called Luby's for lunch. Pretty good place to eat but the desserts were the best! We then headed back to MD Anderson for an appointment with Dr. Javle but we got his Physician Assistant instead. We have met her many,  many times. See the picture below of Jackie and I. She says kidney function levels look great, liver function looks great, bloodwork in general looks great. The Anti XA is at 0.46 and Dr. Gosswami (from Springfield) likes it at 0.50.  So....if it is still 0.46 next week, I will call my favorite doctor in Springfield to see if I need to up my Lovenox shot a little. The lower the number is....the more a clot could happen.

When we got home, I received a second box from 1-800-FLOWERS!! Yeah Rah Siscoom Bah! ;-)
They were from my family in Noblesville, Indiana (Rod, Erin, Chase, and Caden Lydle). Thank you guys so much. They were beautiful and such a wonderful surprise!! (And thank you again to the Michels' family for the flowers last week!) See the pic below of the flowers from the Lydle's. I would definately give a thumbs up if you ever need to order flowers for somewhere far from your home. I decided to check the mail and got seven cards. I tell you God is good all the time. These are the things that lift my spirit on days when my belly has a feeling like someone has raked the inside of my liver (thank goodness it's mostly taken care of by a Tylenol). But the cards make me forget the hurt for a bit.

Tomorrow, I have treatment and then Deb Schonert is picking mom & I up for a late lunch. That will be a nice change of scenery and nice to see a former Olney resident. Thanks Deb for thinking of us and being so kind to take time out of your day!!

Mom and I will be traveling back to Olney on Friday evening. Mom will return home, but I am just at home for the weekend. I fly back EARLY Monday morning with radiation at noon. Jennifer (my oldest daughter) will graduate from EIU on Saturday, and I just kinda want to be there. We waited until the last minute to buy my ticket since we were not sure how I would feel so my ticket was crazy expensive. So....Pat is staying here in Texas to probably catch some beach rays. This will be the only time I come home until treatment is over. I am ready to see my kids and grandbabies!!  Skyping is fun to do with them, but it just isn't the same as a big wet slobbery kiss!!

This evening, I just cannot say thank you enough for the people who have sent cards, prayed for me, and lit candles. I know God hears each and every one of you and it makes me believe that is how I have managed to stay in as good of shape (mentally , physically, and spiritually) that I have so far! I have never felt like I needed to be "picked up" because I have just had that calm feeling since the beginning that HE is right beside me. He has guided me on the right path to the right doctors, and the best support group anyone could ask for. So, each day, I not only thank God for Him, I also thank Him for all of YOU!!

Happy May Day!!

Hugs & Prayers!

Flowers from Rod, Erin, Caden, & Chase Lydle
April showers bring May flowers!!

Dr. Javle's P.A., Jackie, and I: May 1, 2012