Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Bit Scary This Past Week........

When I saw Dr. Gosswami, he changed my blood thinner to once a day......just a higher dose once a day instead of the lower dose twice a day. Well....about four days into it, I started getting headaches that I went to bed with and woke up with. I called him this past Friday and he said to get to the E-room for a CT scan and chest X-ray. They also did bloodwork and an EKG. All came back fine.
The E-room had a new Navy doctor and he was SOOOO much better than the Amazon woman they had the last time I was there. A nurse told me she no longer works there.  My husband thinks it was all sinus pressure causing the headaches.....I disagree. I think the Lovenox was too high causing the headaches. Anyway, yesterday I didn't take anything. Guess what....the headache was gone by last night and today I do not have a headache. My doctor in Effingham wanted an MRI this morning and I refused. I also said I want to go back to taking Lovenox twice a day and just leave a good thing alone. Dr. G just thought once a day would make it easier on me but with the previous bleed, I think we have to be extra cautious with my blood. When you have a good thing going...don't rock the boat!!

I am going to try and upload a few of the Spring/Easter pictures that will be made into cards. They should be ready by mid-February at the latest. We are only printing about 100 sets so there will be a lot less than the Christmas ones....better get yours early. The girls and I will all be selling them. Our FIRST Italian Beef night at The Gypsy is February 28 so mark your calendars!!! Yes....the Gypsy, is a bar BUT as I told my mom who wished we had it somewhere other than a bar....YOU don't have to drink and it doesn't say anywhere in the Bible that you cannot go into a bar (correct me on that if I am wrong). It is HOW YOU ACT in the bar that matters. They have Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper...etc.  Please don't let that be the reason you do not support our Relay team. God knows how we act EVERYWHERE.....whether it is in a bar or in the park or the way some parents act at a ballgame! We will have carry out available also, if you'd rather not stay. I may have some of my prints for sale in 8x10 sizes.

So.....I am off tomorrow and plan not to do any more than I have to. Maybe paint some in the afternoon....maybe a nap. It's gonna get cold so buckle down the hatch!!

God Bless You ALL!!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Life Doesn't Always Go Your Way......

I saw the GREAT Dr. Goswami on my birthday for a checkup. Basically just a talk and he listens to my heart, takes BP, weight, etc. All sounds good on the heart end. He will see me again in 6 months. Dr.G also named a couple of top notch doctors that work at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield that mainly run a scope down the ole' food pipe all day long. They are looking to see why I was spitting up the blood although the last episode was mid-December. Hopefully it was just a sore but I have a feeling (as do the doctors) that it is esophageal varices. A little more serious but they would laser zap them and stop any bleeding that might happen later. My portal vein is being squeezed a little tighter all the time (by the mass) so the blood is looking for a way to get out....therefore, it is coming out small like vericose veins in my throat. When I have an appointment, I would like to discuss a stent to open up the portal vein to maybe relieve some pressure. They are also talking about putting me on a blood pressure medicine to keep my bp low, although it is in perfect range right now. This all kind of has me freaked a bit but my cancer is stable....that's what they keep saying. It is all the bumps that seem to always come at one time.

Here is an updated picture of Dr. G and I, as he shaved his head recently.
We both had to take a picture of "the baldies".

I am getting away for the weekend with my four girls and two grandaughters. Saturday, we will go to Indy and spend the night. We will see Disney on Ice Saturday afternoon. There was suppose to be 8 adults or kids over 2 that needed a ticket.....things change and a few people backed out  BUT thank you Alicia Haberlin for buying the 3 extra tickets. I couldn't have asked for a better family to sit with. Alicia taught with Amy at Newton and we even met several times in Newton at the state park to walk. She is just a sweet girl from Oblong, Illinois and has a 2 year old girl.

The girls and I will drive to a nearby hotel and spend the night so we can shop a bit and drive home casually when we are ready. It will be nice to have that alone time with the girls and maybe it was  meant for people to back out so it is just us as a family. Alicia is either driving back home or staying with a friend in Indy.

I received chemo Monday and Dr. Dy is amazed, along with Dr. Javle in Houston, that this chemo is working so well for me, and I'm getting the chemo at a reduced rate as it was lowering my white count. They are both very happy my cancer markers are dropping, dropping, and dropping a bit more. Don't get me wrong, I still have a mass that is is staying stable which hopefully gives me added time on this earth to enjoy not only my family and friends, but also the beautiful sunsets I have seen this past week that God has painted for all of us to look at. I hope I wasn't the ONLY person who saw them. It made me stop and thank God for all the wonders he gives us. Another thing I am thankful for is The Annointing of the Sick at Mass one day a month (I think....). I never know when it is, but if I am at church, I go up to the front (Pat also goes to put his hand on my shoulder). It is the most calming feeling I get and then tears as I head back to the pew. Father Jerry asks God for healing to happen within me and he also asks the congregation to pray for me. It is just so powerful for me....words do not describe it. I went wig-less/hat-less to church since it was warm. I wanted to ask Fr. Jerry not to get the oil in my hair but figured I better not. It is a very serious and serene moment. Believe it or not....Patty Corcoran refrained from opening her mouth!! Take that!!!!

God is leading me and teaching me daily in ways I never knew could happen. Sometimes I hear people talking or cursing and it makes me shutter.......Two years wouldn't have bothered me a bit and I even said the words myself....some of them. Now I will say " you gotta talk like that"?  If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!!

I was not going to paint Spring cards sets but due to popular demand, I AM doing Spring/Easter cards. I hope to have them ready by mid-February. We probably won't print as many (~100 to 150) so get your name to me if you are interested and you will be contacted when they are ready. There are bunnies, poppies (my favorite), a hyacinth, daffodils, tulips, maybe a sheep, maybe a birds nest with four eggs but it is not looking so pretty yet....  Probably 15-16 cards for $15.

I have added a few pics of the trip to Houston with Bill & Debbie Weiler.


Debbie and I

Bill and Debbie

Me and Pat

Bill, Debbie, Me, and Pat

We celebrated my 48th birthday at Jenn and Bart's house on Friday evening. Here are some photos:

My daughter, Amy, with her daughter, Braeda, and her nephew, Kinnick


McKenna helping me open a gift from Debbie


Braeda and Debbie


Debbie and McKenna

More birthday celebrations:
My sister, Lisa, and I

Lisa and her husband, Richie

Pat and I

My brother (Larry), his wife (Sheila), my sister (Sarah), me, my mom, and Pat after lunch

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Grateful To Be Stable

After our trip to New Orleans, Natchez, Mississippi, San Antonio and Houston, Texas.....I received this e-mail from Debbie. It was so nice I just had to share it. Hope it's ok, Debbie.

"She is clothed in strength  and dignity, and  she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
When I first saw this verse, Patty came to mind. So fitting. But  never in my wildest imagination did I know "how fitting" it was! We started our trip on Saturday, January 5. She wasn't feeling the best due to a head and chest cold, but on we went. We stayed in a Plantation Bed and Breakfast and enjoyed it. Next up New Orleans, LA. Pat was, by that time, not feeling well, but they persevered, and we saw the sights of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. I can tell you it didn't impress any of us! We left LA and arrived in Houston, Texas in the evening of Tuesday, January 8. The whole time preceding why we took this trip/vacation never showed in expressions, moods, body language,etc. Same beautiful Patty that has always been! We stayed at the Rotary House, which is connected to MD Anderson. Amazing Hotel! From the moment you walk in you are surrounded by people of all walks of life that have cancer. You can't stay there if you aren't going to MD Anderson. It is a beautiful place with peaceful gardens, a quiet room, an amazing lobby, and she was even able to get her blood work done there. Wednesday morning we went with her to get her scan. I asked her if she was nervous. In true form, she always puts me at ease, and tells me "It is what it is, and God will take care of me!" Bill and I were not prepared for the number of people we saw, that all had cancer, that all have families, that all want a cure or a longer life. We were only in a small portion of one building of this gigantic hospital. The magnitude of this disease is overwhelming! I went into her appointment with Dr. Javle the next morning. When I heard "stable" tears stung my eyes! Thank You God and Great Doctors! Patty has changed my life in so many ways. And not just since she has gotten cancer. But since her diagnosis I do pray differently. I don't thank God for every"thing" in my life. I thank God for every"one" in my life. Things don't matter to me anymore. Yes, I thank Him for a roof over my head, but, if one of my grandkids breaks one of my great-grandmother's crystal wine glasses, who cares. I have them to hold and treasure. We are now in San Antonio close to the River Walk. We are winding up our final day. Bill and I have been blessed to have this experience. We are blessed to have Patty and Pat. Her story is far from over, she still has a story to tell. I for one have learned so much! She has changed me in ways I cannot describe, and I will pass it on also! I Love You Patty!!!!!"

On another note, I will get chemo this coming Monday, February 21st. I am also seeing the best cardiologist in Springfield tomorrow in Effingham for a checkup.

Tomorrow will be the second birthday I have lived through since I found out I have cancer (unless I die tonight).
I thank The Great Physician above for every single moment here on this earth. I thank Him for my great physicians that I have on board to keep everything running half way smooth with only a bump here or there.
I missed seeing/meeting a cholangiocarcinoma patient while in Texas and I am saddened by this. There are not THAT many of us so when you miss the chance  to meet and talk to another person with CCA, it kinda tugs at your heart strings.

I will be back in Houston in April so maybe we can meet up then!!

May you all have a blessed day and enjoy the warm weather we are about to experience. I can truly say I never realized how GREAT God is until I was diagnosed. isn't all bad that I got this disease.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I feel so very happy...

I think there was a song that was sung by Julie Andrews and she sang.....I'm so very happy...but I feel very blessed today to report my cancer is still stable and no change from October. YEAH and THANK the good LORD!! Dr. Javle would like for me to see a gastoenterologist surgeon in Springfield as the blood I was spitting up is probably caused by esophogeal varisces. Basically, my portal vein is getting sqeezed so tight by the tumor, it is causing bundles of something close to varicose veins. They will go in and band the varicose veins off to stop the bleeding. I an not and have not bled close to a month but he said one bad bleed could kll me so lets get it fixed. I will also go on a low blood pressure pill to lower my blood pressure....the constriction of the hepatic portal vein is causing higher blood pressure so he wants it closely monitered. My BP was 112/72 today but he wants it lower than that.
Kidney function, liver function, and bloodwork all seemed good for a cancer patient. I am still fighting the cold a bit but it it much better and no fever for days.

We are now in San Antonio and will venture out this evening and Pat and Bill wil go to the Alamo tomorrow while Deb and I shop a bit.

God has answered the prayer so many of you have prayed for me and I thank you all. The chemo is such a knee dropper, I just wasn't sure it was doing the trick anymore. Shame on me for doubting.

Keep up the prayers as I feel them all. We should start for home on Saturday morning. I have chemo Monday when we get back. I am blessed with each new sunrise and I thank God daily for all of you!!

Please pray also for my mom as she is at RMH with pneumonia. She should be home in a day or so.

Gonna go venture.......Hugs to you all!!!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

What a ride so far......

Well.....this trip along with Pat, Bill & Debbie Weiler has not went as planned so far. I woke up Friday morning with a 103.3 fever/chills/cough. Called in sick to work and stayed in bed all day except to drink an Ensure and other things to make my belly not be so upset from all the meds I was taking. Dr. Houston was out sick with the flu (bless his heart) so I begged my oncologist to just give me an antibiotic since I was leaving Saturday morning for Natchez, Mississippi. He put me on Leviquin for 7 days and I am also taking Alka Selzer Plus for the cough and head congestion. I have to keep taking the Alka Selzer Plus to keep my fever at bay or it spikes back up. Today was day 3 of the antibiotics and even though I feel better...I think it is the good old flu. Pat went to bed Saturday night shivering and coughing and he had caught what I had. Bill & Deb have had the flu shot so I hope they are the lucky ones and do not get it from us. Pat is still in bed shivering Sunday evening and coughing something aweful from down deep.

We had our car serviced last week and our engine overheated two hours from Natchez......the antifreeze lid was not tight and all the fluid leaked about having a coronary!!!! It was getting to be about 4:30 and I was worried about being in the middle of nowhere......
In Natchez, we stayed in the neatest bed & breakfast called The Glenfield Plantation. Built appr. in 1812. So nastalgic, so well kept but comfortable. The owner was telling Bill, Pat, and I about a ghost in the house and then Deb came from taking a shower and said she saw a ghost trying to take her bath towel as she was taking a shower.....she told the ghost to leave it there, she wasn't done with it yet. I think she's nuts!!! Deb didn't hear the lady tell the story about a ghost in the house so it was almost believable......almost. Anyway, it was a neat and worthwhile experience as we had never stayed in a bed and breakfast.

Sunday morning about 10 (today) we left for New Orleans and ate at the neatest brewery and restuarant where everything on the menu is made from scratch. We are staying at The Hilton Garden Inn tonight and tomorrow night before moving on to Houston, Texas for my CT scan and visit with Dr. Javle. We plan to see the French Quarter tomorrow and maybe shop a bit.....Pat might stay in bed all day. Keep you posted about Thursday night if possible when we get to San Antonio for a couple of days.