Sunday, December 23, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Update and some new pictures

I had my 6th radiation treatment today. There isn't much to update on at the moment. I am feeling no side effects so I am thankful for that. The worst part is still the drive. So much time on the road. I love my doctors there. They are so nice and friendly. Everyone is alway shocked by the fact that I was pregnant during all this. Here are some new pics of hubby and the baby which I thought were just adorable. She loves her daddy and turns her head and stares whenever she hears his voice. I love her little snowsuit that her daddy picked out! And there is a new pic of me with the headband I just bought. It may be hard to tell but my hair is thinner by about 50% from what it was before chemo. I bought headbands because it adds some *umph* to my hair I think. I hate how thin it is but I'll be thankful that I didn't lose it all. I hope it thickens up fast. It's too thin even for a ponytail. It looks silly and slides out. Then the last pic is of me and my daughters Angelina and Mikayla :) Enjoy!









Thursday, December 13, 2007

Port Surgery Today and Radiation number 5










So I got my port removed today. I was totally freaked out because for the surgery to put it in I was totally put to sleep. This time? They kept me awake and used a local anesthetic. I hate those because they burn so bad at first. He pokes me all over with this thing. Yes it hurt pretty bad. But you know, I grin and bear it. He says he doesn't like the scar I got. It shouldn't have gotten so wide and he doesn't know why it did. So he says he'll cut the scar off and try to make a thinner line this time. So he starts to cut and towards the end I feel it. OUCH. He injects more anesthetic. Then cuts more...a few cuts later I feel it again. He injects more anesthetic. By then I am good and numb and I feel tugging and hear the skin snipping. Then he gets that done and starts the removal of the port. He says he'll pull the tube out of my vein first, so I feel pulling and tugging (which is pretty gross feeling). Then he gets the tube out. He shows me. It's SOOO much longer than I expected. It's quite long and I can't fully explain it.The tube looks blue. Then he says he'll now remove the actual port part which is the big round part. He pulls and tugs more and says it's coming out really easy. But it feels incredibly weird. I feel some liquid start pouring down my side and onto my back. I am thinking it could be blood but it felt cool, not warm like I'd expect. It WAS blood. Anyway he gets the port out, and shows me which is totally cool because I have had this thing for almost a year and never saw it. I wanted to see it. So then he says he wants to make it heal better and for the scar to not be as wide so he was cutting away some *fibrous tissue* from under the area where the scar will be. I have no idea what that means or how it helps...but OK. The nurse giggles and says he's cutting away some fatty tissue and then laughs and says I don't have any to spare. I like that nurse by the way. ;) Then he cuts and snips and pulls...and I try not to look while he pulls this chunk of flesh out of me. Yes ewww. :) Anyway he then stitches me up. I have no idea how many stitches I got but it felt like a whole lot. I am all bandaged up right now so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to really get a look at it. I am portless now! Wooooot! I am so glad it's gone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Daddy and Gabbi

I haven't posted a picture of Daddy with Gabriella yet, so I am now. I took this picture this moring. Oh and I'll include her little Christmasy pic too. :D







Saturday, December 8, 2007

Stress

Well, my hubby goes in to the hospital to talk to the financial people on Monday. Yes, being sick is NOT cheap. Throughout this whole thing I have had many many bills. One trip on Life Flight is $15,000. Yes....and I flew twice. The bill from the biopsy surgery and one night in the ICU was over $28,000. Take my 5 day stay when I had the first preterm contractions at over $23,000 and then my one day stay the second time I had preterm contractions, my port surgery and the cost it will take to remove it. Now add in all the gas to get to the appointments....all the sonograms and high risk appointments. Yeah so anyway the bills have piled up. We have good insurance so much of this has been covered but the hospital has said we still owe about $9,000. We have copays and deductibles and all that. So Jason will go talk to them and see what we can work out. So far we have no Christmas tree and no presents for anyone. I don't think we'll have much this Christmas. I could care less if I get anything...I just want the girls to have a nice Christmas. I was referred to the American Cancer Society for mileage reimbursement, since we have a 1 1/2 hour drive one way each day and of course the drive back totally 3 hours....at the price gas is now it adds up. Not to mention hubby is going back to work and that is a 2 hour drive from where we are at. We would have moved closer to his job already if it wouldn't put us 4 hours away from where I get my treatments. So we are in the middle now. We'll be moving sometime in january. We are looking for a place. We want to buy, but I don't know if it will happen. Medical bills have hurt our credit. Our overall score isn't so good at the moment. We are trying to fix it thought. Ughh these are just some stressful things on my mind and I know for a fact they are more bothersome to the hubby. He bottles it up and it gets him really stressed out. I just get on my blog and vent about it. It helps!

3rd Radiation Treatment Down!



I have 17 treatments in total and I have done 3. I need prayers though because we are having some ice storms this weekend. I want the roads to be clear when we travel on Monday. I do not care for driving on ice! So far I am not feeling much for side effects. It seems I am doing okay at this point. Gabbi is sleeping right now, making some noises. I wonder what she dreams about. She moans and sometimes seems to actually laugh or giggle. But she is only 3 weeks....so I am not sure what she is doing. Now she is kicking her legs and making a sad face. Hmmm do babies have bad dreams? I wonder strange things. :) It's been a long journey getting my sweet baby here but I am thankful for every single second I have with her. God gave me such a wonderful gift. I have four beautiful little girls. I couldn't ever ask for something more wonderful. I didn't do much today. It's Saturday and I do not have treatments on the weekends. So I get to relax. My mother in law has been staying with us while I am going through radiation to help out. She left last night to go visit her mother. Her dad ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. He is about 90 years old so please remember him in your prayers. It's odd. My mother in law moved very far away, came up here to visit us. We happen to live about 50 minutes from her mom and dad. So her dad got sick and she was able to visit him! I think that's pretty amazing. I am going to add a few more pics. Baby is fussing so time for me to go! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Started Radiation

Well yesterday I went to my radiation doctor. This was my first appointment and I wasn't sure on what to expect. I went in, and the doctor examined me. The bulk of my tumor is in my chest. I still wasn't expecting the doc to come in and drop my gown to my waist. haha So I sit there quite cold while he pushes and prods on my neck and upper chest area. I felt quite exposed even though I should be used to this by now. I get asked several questions. Do I have difficulty swallowing? Any new problems to speak of? Etc....No. I swallow fine thank goodness. The doc says he thinks we'll do 3 1/2 weeks of radiation. It's 5 days a week. I have to go and be marked for radiation. Basically the radiation is localized. It will be targeted to the area that needs it. There are bad things that can come from radiation...so they don't want to expose areas to it unnecessarily. It can damage my heart...my lungs and other things. The side effects are scary! Fluid around the heart, heart rate slowing down, irregular heartbeat, lung scarring, difficulty swallowing due to damage to the esophogus. Now they told me they have to tell me these things, just like the side effects listed on a bottle of any meds. But still! I had fluid around my heart at the beginning of this cancer thing. It scared me to death. They decided it was just caused by the tumor and should go away. OK but we haven't had it checked since then. My question is what if that fluid is still there and this treatment causes more fluid? Well I am probably being paranoid but I pray that doesn't happen. OK, next they layed me down on the table where I get the radiation. I layed on this cold white pad. It was big and felt like an ice pack before you break it. It was weird. Anyway, they made me lay perfectly straight then looked at my spine and it got 100% straight by pushing me this way and that. Then they took that white pad and scrunched it up around me then I heard whirring. The pad started to scrunch up really tight around me like a cast. It was weird and cool at the same time. I will lay in that mold each time I go. It keeps me straight and alligned. Like I said, targeting only the area needing radiation is extremely important. So after this they mark me...with permanent marker. This keeps me alligned each time as well. They put tape over these marks and if they fade they will remark them. I cannot wash these off. SO attractive let me tell you. So, I get marked and then they take me to another room where I get a CT scan. That didn't take too long. I am eager to hear the results of this since I have NEVER had one in all this. I had an MRI but no CT because of the pregnancy. Anyway after all this I start the actual first treatment Wednesday. Should be interesting. It's going to be really interesting to see how we can afford the gas for this trip each day. At $3.00 a gallon 5 days a week and a 1 1/2 hour drive each way. Yikes. God provides though. It will happen somehow. Here's a pic of me marked for radiation. I hope people don't think I am making some weird religious statment by tattooing my chest. haha It's not permanent! lol



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chemo is over





Well I haven't updated in forever and I feel bad. Things got busy and crazy around here. I ended up in the hospital at around 30 weeks pregnant for 5 days. Chemo triggered some Braxton Hicks type contractions. I didn't dilate or anything like that. But these contractions were every 2 to 3 minutes and wouldn't stop. So I went in and they gave me 3 shots of something to stop them. Those only worked temporarily. They gave me two steroid injections in 24 hours for baby's lungs. I was then put on a magnesium drip that made me very high. I couldn't focus my eyes on anything. I may not have minded, had it not given me a terrible headache and the worst reflux of my life. But it stopped the contractions. First I was Life Flighted to a better hospital. I was there a total of 5 days. I dreaded my last chemo for this reason. Thank God I had only one left. It did start the contractions though. But they were able to stop them quicker this time and I only stayed in the hospital for one night. At 36 weeks pregnant I got up in the night to go potty as usual. I layed down on the couch and when I rolled my big belly over I heard a pop. I was kind of half asleep so I wasn't sure exactly what the sound was. I tried to go back to sleep and rolled over again. This time, I felt a small gush of fluid and thought I may have peed myself but then, it didn't FEEL like I peed. And I never had to even go. I had just went. So I sat up, dazed, confused...thinking it could have been my water. I got up went to the bathroom, no leaking. I then got up again, took a step or two and that's when the gushing started. My water had broken! This was unexpected as this was my fourth child and never had my water broken before labor before. So, I wake up my hubby and we get in the car and rush to the hospital. Again, because of my cancer and the baby being early I had to be life flighted to the hospital that specializes in preterm babies. So I got there about 6:30 a.m. and due to the long drive my hubby didn't get there until 10:00 a.m. I got an epidural and felt pretty good. I pushed for 10 minues and little Gabriella Faith joined us at 2:10 p.m. on November 17, 2007 weighing in at 6 lbs. 2.8 oz and 18 inches long. She has adorable strawberry blonde hair and is welcomed home by her big sisters Alexandra, Mikayla and Angelina. We are all so thankful she made it through this ordeal. She is early but strong. She needed no NICU and is doing great. I did take her into the hospital once because of some fast breathing. She has reflux. Please keep my baby girl in your prayers. I believe she has a great purpose for making it into this world and I worry about her. The more prayers out there, the stronger I am. I appreciate all those who have followed her story and mine. Though I think so much as this is the story of her life. I had been on birth control. I only went off it for 3 weeks and was pregnant. I didn't plan on more children. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Then a specialist said to abort her. She made it through everything. She is strong and my love for her is beyond compare. I will continue to update this blog throughout my radiation treatments and as often as I can think about. I start radiation December 3rd. That will be 5 days a week for 4 weeks. I have to drive baby there 1 1/2 hours each way. Gas will be expensive and I am worried about her being out everyday in the cold. So please continue to pray! I appreciate it. I am going to try and attach some pictures.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chemo Safe during pregnancy?

OK. I got a comment recently and couldn't really tell if it was rude or not. How is chemo safe during pregnancy? Well, ideally no you would not want to have drugs like that during pregnancy. But we don't live in a perfect world do we? Bad things happen. And unfortunately this happened to me at the same time as pregnancy. Without chemo I would have died, and so obviously would have my baby. But to answer this question, not much is known about the safety of chemo during pregnancy. You can't actually do a large scale study on pregnancy women on chemo. So, all you can do is go by what cases there HAVE been. And so far, every doctor I have talked to, every bit of information I have read, and even my high risk OB have all said that every situation they saw where a woman had chemo during pregnancy the baby came out fine. Why? I don't know. I have heard that they are not sure that chemo even crosses the placenta to the baby. Chemo is a larger molecule drug that may not be able to cross the placenta. The medicine is not ingested, but put through an IV. All I know is that my baby is doing wonderfully. This baby has handled the chemo fine...and is growing and progressing normally. Tell me why a woman who loses all her hair and is very sick during chemo can have a child with a full head of hair? If the chemo got to the baby, why would that child be born with hair? Many questions still need to be answered and there are not any answers as of yet. But this is something I already have been through. The same question has been asked many times and this is the only answer I have. Go to pregnantwithcancer.org and read some info there. It happens. It sucks, but it does happen.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My 23 week pregnant belly




This is either week 22 or 23. I have forgotten now. I am 24 weeks going on 25 tomorrow now.

Updated my entire blog today

I copied and pasted what I had already posted somewhere else. That's why sometimes these posts come in bulk. My docs told me in the beginning it was good to keep a journal of what I have gone through during all this, so I am basically. I don't feel like going back through and editing them so I just thought I'd point out there were several updates posted today. It is Thursday August 30, 2007. I have an eye doctors appointment today at 10:30. I would rather not go, but have no choice, so I will go. I need new contacts. Being pregnant, and being sick and on chemo, I would think my eyes probably will do a lot of changing that is probably temporary. I know water retention during pregnancy will cause eye changes. I wish I could just get a prescription without the exam part. haha But no, I know that isn't happening. Ahhhh well. I need to get some things done today anyway. My bathtub is deciding to give me troubles. Any idea why the bathtub would keep filling up when the washer drains??? yeah...me either. :(

August 29, 2007 - Wednesday

Well, feeling a bit better today than yesterday. Fighting a simple cold has never been quite so difficult. But even though I have felt weak, tired, and fluish, in truth I have no infections and my lungs are crystal clear. So I won't complain too much. I can fight this and get better. I never really assumed chemo would be smooth sailing all the way through. It's chemo for crying out loud. Not easy. It was just crazy how fast I got sick Tuesday. I had already been sick so it wasn't a surprise as far as that goes. But I felt fine, then cold, then freezing, the shaking. It was nasty. I hated that feeling. Then I was sweating all night which is in itself nasty. Anyway, the treatment went fine Tuesday. I saw my doctor and got my blood drawn...through my arm again of course. The port? Haha! Never will I see blood come through that thing. They got my meds started around 11 ish. Then the nurse has to come over and manually push two different kinds of meds through my IV. That takes several minutes. I have fallen asleep during it before. lol Then I get a bag of primary fluids, which is sort of to flush the IV. Then I have my last bag of chemo. My treatment is ABVD and I forget how to spell or pronounce each drug but the final one is the one with the D and the one the doc said probably caused my problem yesterday. Like I said though, I felt fine. A cold is nothing to complain about. I was ok. Got in the car, feeling fine. Air conditioner running, and I was hungry. It was around 1:30 p.m. and I was ready for food. I took just a couple of bites then my body just said NO! I was not so good after that. But on the upside today I am feeling quite improved. I have taken no tylenol and my fever is still gone. Thank God! Between freezing then sweating alternately all night I just want to feel normal. By sometime in January of 08 I just miiiiiiight feel like a normal girl again!!! Woohoo :)

Update August 28, 2007 - Tuesday

Felt okay other than a bad cough today, told doc about being sick all weekend, the ER trip. We had to go ahead with chemo because it's very important to stay on schedule. My white count was still good. So we did it. Stopped for food on the way home, ate two bites, immediately started feeling fluish. 15 minutes and I was shaking uncontrollably. 100 degrees outside, windows in the car barely cracked and I was freezing. At least an hour from home. Called doc, he thinks the virus and a certain drug involved are kind of at war at the moment. He wasn't too worried, but I need to pop tylenol and stay in bed. It took all the energy I had to type this so I'll update more when I can.

Update: Trip to E.R. August 27, 2007 - Monday

Yep. It got that bad. Well I wrote earlier about the cold. Well I have been feeling lightheaded, dizzy, fatigued, sore throat, then the achy muscles and fever set in. I could only think oh crap...because I knew I had to call my doc if it hits 100.5 or above, which is not exactly a super high fever. But when you are on chemo you cannot take any chances. So, I couldn't eat yesterday at all. My appetite has seriously declined in the past couple of days. I get sick after only a couple bites then I will feel so tired, like someone just whacked me with a bat...so I need to lie down. Anyway, I went to bed and lay there trying not to shiver. Finally took my temp. 101.2. Sooooo I had to call the doc. He told me I needed to get in right away and have a CBC (or complete blood count). So I did. They did a strep test, a mono test (which I have never had either) and then the CBC. I tested okay for everything. Even my white blood cells are good they said. So that is awesome news. I should be able to fight this off well. The one big problem was I was quite dehydrated. I knew I didn't look too good. I didn't FEEL too good. But I guess since I have been not able to eat, I sort of forgot to be drinking. Bad bad girl I know. Anyway I had to stay for an hour while I had an IV of fluids. I felt a bit better afterwards. I am now coughing, and sneezing and all that wonderful stuff but otherwise I am ordered to rest and drink a lot of fluids. My first ever trip to the ER during all my chemo. I have to say, I got in pretty quick. A person on chemotherapy that is sick tends to get immediate attention. I have to say I am thankful for that. Still I was there from 5:00 to almost 9 p.m. What a waste of a Sunday!

Update A cold??? :( August 26, 2007 - Sunday

Well, I have been trying to avoid getting sick and I knew it wasn't possible. STILL I tried. I started feeling a scratchy throat a couple of days ago. Now it is a full on cough up a lung, stuffy/runny nose cold. I am praying that my white blood cells are still good enough to fight this off with no problems. The biggest complication I have read about with people with cancer is things like pneomonia. If I run a fever at all I have to call my doc. Well any fever 100.5 or more. That's on the list of reasons to call the doc. Severe sore throat is on there too, but I wouldn't call this severe. Annoying. But not severe. So I hope I am better soon. I have my 8th chemo on Tuesday and I would rather be healthy that day. =/ Other things I have noticed is the nausea is back a bit. I am feeling nauseas after only a few bites of food. So my appetite is decreasing again. I hope that fades too. I like to eat and this is making me mad. I can't enjoy eating when it just makes me feel sick. :( Oh and I should mention I get to where I feel SOOO tired. Like I just need to lie down and not move right then and there. I went out to dinner last night. Ate maybe 3 bites of steak. Tried to finish a baked potato. Did about half of it then knew I'd throw up if I ate more. I was so depressed. Then I just felt so tired that I needed to lie down. I came home and slept for about 2 hours. Then I felt better. I think the fatigure is due to my anemia and of course the chemo. I usually just pop a vitamin and drink a cup of water and it helps. I didn't do that last night. The vitamins make me nauseas. LOL. So I dread taking them. =/ I decided to just take one today. So far, I am not too tired.

7th Chemo (August 15, 2007 - Wednesday)

11:46 AM - 7th chemo, more than halfway done!
Current mood: content

Well, yesterday was my 7th chemo. I got there a bit after 9 and they called me in to insert the IV into my port. Again tried to draw blood through it to no avail. It just will not work. Not for blood draws anyway. It hurt when she jabbed the needle into my port. Worse than it ever has. I don't know why. Sometimes I can barely feel it, then others I feel it bad. You all need to understand what this port is. I have a plastic drum inserted under my skin. You can see a bump on my upper left chest. Not super big but it's there. Then a tube is running through my vein from the port. That tube and drum are always there until I have it removed. I can feel it under the skin. Anyway, so then the nurse picks of the syringe to flush the port. She pushes the syringe down and it won't budge. OK. This was odd. She realizes she hasn't clamped down the port needle or something and so she puts her hands on it and pushes, HARD. Ouch! Finally she gets the thing flushed and then has to draw from my arm again to get blood. Why, my veins hurt today I don't know. Last time she bruised me and it didn't hurt. This week she bragged about not bruising me and it hurt worse than any shot or needle I have ever had. She inserted this thing and it burned like my arm was on fire. I grimaced and held tight to the chair while waiting for my blood to fill up in this stupid thing. Finally it was done and my arm was tender and my port. So I see the doc, explain the lumpy throat feeling. Not too concerned, we will just watch it. It comes and goes I have noticed. One day it bothers me, the next I barely notice it. Who knows. Anyway, I get in the chair for chemo. Appointment at 9:30. Chemo started around 11 something. Yes, I wait so long on these days. She put in the syringe to flush it again. This has to be done lots of times. Anyway it wouldn't go in again so she had to grab the plastic bit around the needle and push down again. She pushed and jabbed and wiggle the port around. OUCH! I avoid hitting this thing, anyone touching it, moving around. And here she is just grinding it. I was seriously sore after this one. Anyway she got it to work alright and we started the chemo. I got done about 1:15 with all of it. While I was sitting there getting my chemo I noticed a very frail old man across from me. He had no port and they were trying to insert the IV into his arm. I saw him grimacing and stretching out in silent pain. His daughter (I assume) was holding his hand tight. Poor old guy. His cheeks were sunken in and he was skinnier than I ever was. (lol) Anyway, this nurse gives up and the guy has several bandages on his arm. This was obviously not her first try today. Another nurse came and tried the other arm. I swear it took them a good 30 minutes to insert his IV while I tried not to look too much. It's hard when he is right there though. Poor guy. After it got inserted he slept in that chair the rest of the day. I left before him and he was still sleeping. So, it could definitely be worse. Everyone sitting in one of those chairs there has a story. I can't help but wonder. Anyway that was my day. It was not too bad. I had dinner afterwards at a restaurant in the mall. I had an awesome chicken parmesan. It was the best perhaps I've ever eaten. So my day didn't end too bad and I feel good today :) My hemoglobin was low again, or in other words I am anemic as usual with this chemo. Nothing I can do about it though. But my white blood count was good so I am happy. :)

Chemo Number 6 (July 31, 2007)

Well I am officially halfway done with chemo. I get 12 treatments which is considered 6 cycles. 2 treatments equals one cycle. I don't know why but that is how it is. Either way, I am halfway done and I feel like I have really accomplished something. I just got home. Today didn't go too bad. I went to get my blood drawn and get hooked up to the IV in my port. They got the IV in my port but again, no blood. The meds go into my port just fine but not one single drop of blood comes out. It's stupid. I don't get it at all. I can't bleed? So they poked me in the arm to draw some blood. That worked ok. They told me I was the 5th person today whose port wouldn't give up the blood. I am wondering what the point of this thing is if I am just gonna have to get another needle in me at each appointment anyway. Regardless I was never afraid of needles and that's a super good thing. I see my share of them now a days. My bloodcount was good. My iron was just a tad low which they said is normal around this time. So I am little bit anemic. I need to stock up on some iron. My blood pressure is always low but today it was 82/58. Sheesh. I sent Jason a text asking if I am technically still alive? (I always make sure my texts are very worth it. My stupid cell company just raised them to 20 cents each. Totally off topic. lol) No wonder I get lightheaded all the time. If I stand up fast I usually feel a sudden rush to my head that hurts then things get a tiny bit black then everything goes back to normal. I try to remind myself to standup slow but eh, I always forget. Anyway, they were pretty quick today in getting my meds changed. Usually my machine beeps forever before they change my med bag but today they were on top of things. I got out of there by about 12:40 which is awesome. Had some lunch afterwards at a new place. It was good. I feel actually pretty awesome except for being tired. Anemia and low blood pressure I think make you tired on top of getting up at 6 a.m. I sat in that chair and fell asleep today. I get so tired there and TV only makes me sleepier. Anyway, that's the latest update. I am doing really well. I am so glad I have made it 6 treatments and still haven't needed a shot to help my white blood cells or anything! I think that's a good sign. Oh and I still have my hair. It's shedding. I mean, I shed a lot. BUT no one else seems to notice too much so hopefully I will be able to keep my hair. I get nervous washing it because that is honestly when I shed the most. I try to be very easy on my hair. It lives in a ponytail at the moment. Otherwise I'll just have pieces of hair all over the back of my shirt. NOT attractive. I'll be glad when this is all over. Come December I'll get to tell the story of radiation. That's what's next. That is 5 days a week =/ For like 5 to 7 weeks. I am not sure exactly how long I'll get that. Not looking forward to it but I am looking forward to getting better. :) Thank you to all my friends who write me and respond to my blogs. It makes a girl feel loved!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chemo Number 5

For those that do not know I have to get 12 chemos in all. It's pretty much every other Tuesday as well. That's how they've been working out. I went in yesterday. Early. 8:45 a.m. I had trouble with the stupid port again. I don't like to bleed. I mean, this thing is meant to make it easier. Bah. She stabbed my port with the needle which hurt worse this time. Then she takes this syringe of saline and flushes it. They pull back on the syringe to make sure that blood comes out. That's called a blood return. She is gonna draw my blood this way and test it. Well no blood. Not a drop. I see an old man getting his blood drawn next to me, through his port and he's bleeding just fine. Great. So I have to go sit in this big chair and lay on this side, then that side, raise my arm, cough, etc. The nurse asks if I want her to pull it out and stick me again or just draw from my arm. I remember the last time they did this they stuck me again and had to draw from my arm anyway so I told her to just draw from my arm. My blood was slow in that too. Whatever. So I finally see the doc. My blood looks great. I still have a great red and white cell count and my iron was looking good too. Yeah :) I go back into one of the many chairs to get my chemo in. There are TONS of people there. Every chair is full. So I take the one open chair. I prefer to not be around so many people but eh. There was a nasty storm going on out the window while I waited for the nurses to mix my drugs. I love watching storms. One poor woman getting chemo across from me was scared. She was probably late 30's, early 40's. She had a cap on and no hair. I can't help but look at these people and wonder what cancer they have....what their diagnosis is. How can you? I am in a place where people very often die. I sit next to people every other week who may not make it. It's weird. Anyway, they finally get to me to do my chemo. They never did get a blood return. They are supposed to make sure they do....but they just could not get one. Well, they knew it was going in the right place because if not the saline injected into me would have made my skin start bulging out and stuff. So they asked the doc and he was sure it was fine so they just started the chemo with no blood return. I hope NEXT time they get one. I hate being stuck 100 times. It's getting old quick. I finally finished chemo. I started to sleep in the chair after awhile yesterday. It's boring. It's long. Soap operas were on and I just can't get interested in the Young and the Restless or Passions. I am so sorry to fans of that show and I know my mom loves those soaps. lol Y& R is too tiring for me. It's like sleepy. The music to the show is like a lullaby and makes me want to take a nap. Passions? Well it's weird. Witches and demons and people getting possessed. Nah. Too odd for me. I fell asleep. I was even dozing off while the nurse was pushing one of the drugs into my IV. There are two drugs that aren't dripped the regular way. The nurse has to sit there for a certain amount of time with a syringe and slowly push it in. One if blood red. That's an interesting drug. The one they say causes a lot of the bad symptoms. I did get tummy pains all day afterwards and a yucky taste in my mouth. That always happens. But I feel good today. No trouble to speak of. :)

From July 17th

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Had my Fourth Chemo Treatment on the 3rd

I had my fourth treatment, and it went pretty well. didn't really feel any nausea until the past few days. It's weird how that happens. I am slightly nauseated now, but not terribly bad. I didn't even have trouble with my port that day. I was tired though and kept dozing off in the chair. It gets fairly boring. But I am glad it went well and that I am feeling pretty good. I do get tired and it seems after my treatments my belly gets a braxton hicks sort of feeling. I decided to stay at home and rest the rest of the day after that and then I felt fine. I had another OB visit on the 6th and I got another sonogram done for the baby. He/she is still doing good and is very modest. I was hoping we could discover the sex, but the knees were glued tightly together. I have another appointment on the 20th. I see the high risk OB in August. My next chemo is on the 17th and will continue to update this blog. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Baby at 13 weeks. All is well so far!

Third Chemo Treatment Today

I had my third chemo treatment today. I had an appointment for 8:45 a.m. Got there, they went to do my bloodwork. Labs must be drawn each time to check my white blood cell count, red blood cell count, iron, etc. Everything came back good. But it wasn't easy getting there. I had the port surgery before my 2nd treatment. The port is inserted under the skin and into a vein for chemo and blood draws. They stuck me with the needle. I am instructed to take a deep breath when they jab me. I did and it wasn't as bad as I feared. But they could get no blood out. None. Not a drop. They had me lay this way, then that way, then cough, and nada. So they pulled the needle out (which is as bad as it going in if not worse) and decided to stick me again. Still, nothing. No blood. They flushed the IV with enough saline that I am surprised I wasn't floating out of there. Then they finally said, well, sometimes this happens and you just need to move around a bit.....so let's do a normal blood draw and we'll hope the port works for chemo. So I got stuck yet again in my arm which oddly hurt today. I am used to it and normally it doesn't hurt. Depends on the nurse I guess. So they finally got my blood and I went back to the waiting room. Another 10 minutes or so and they led me to the doctors waiting room where I waited for the doc then finally was put in my chair for chemo. They got my meds mixed pretty quick this time. They brought me some cheese crackers and ice water and a big pink blanket. It was coooold in there today. I got my chemo and was out by 12:30 p.m. It's always a long day on chemo day. But I feel fine so far. No nausea. I think on chemo days I get injected with so many anti-nausea meds that I actually feel BETTER. Weird. Hopefully not many side effects with this treatment. I have all my hair still!!! I was told I'd probably lose it fast if I was going to lose it and so far? I still got it. Yeah!!!! :) I won't get my hopes up too much. I just hope everyone will still love a bald Sandi rocking the whole Sinead look. lol (oh I hope not)

June 18, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007
Had a good weekend

Friday itself was not good. I was very sick for some reason....nauseas all day starting early in the morning. I was awful all day and wondering WHY it was so bad again. But by Saturday morning I felt pretty good. I went to a family reunion, said hello to everyone. I haven't seen anybody except my parents and my older sister since this whole thing started. (I am sorry I missed you this weekend by the way Dee! I got into town later than planned and when I called you weren't home.) But anyway, I got out to see Short Lived Fun (the best local band around) that night. I felt up to it so I went. I didn't stay too late. I was tired and figured not to push it. Plus there was a long drive home. But it was a good time...nice to see everyone out. I like feeling alive again. It's pretty nice! :)

June 14, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sucks to worry about the little things


I have a *slight* sore throat. No biggie....usually. I don't want to worry about this. But strep throat was recently exposed to me...and with me being on the chemo? Yeah. I'm concerned. I hate worrying about the little stuff.

June 4, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007
A scare, chemo number two and another surgery

Well Wednesday night of this past week I got a phone call around 10:45 p.m. from the local doc in my town about an ECHO test I had done that day. It was a standard test for someone on chemo but my test came back that I had a lot of fluid around my heart. The doc had me in a panic. I was scheduled to get a second echo the falling day at the hospital where I am being treated. After much waiting and anxiousness the test came ok. There is fluid but it's just a normal part of the Hodgkins. I had a lot of fluid in my chest when I had the biopsy as well. Anyway thank God that was ok and it should resolve itself as I get better. I started my day at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. I then had an IV inserted and some anti-nausea drugs. Then I was wheeled away to surgery for a port. A port is inserted into chest....upper left side. It is a tube that is actually inserted into my vein with a round top inserted under the skin. This round top has a rubbery or plastic cover. This is where they will do my IV's and blood draws from here on out. I had chemo at 10:00 a.m. (well I was supposed to. They didn't start until 1 p.m.! I was mad to say the least. And yes I waited and waited and waited) Anyway, they used the new port for it. They did the chemo right through the port. I guess if you get too many needles poking your veins all the time your veins can collapse. It's not good basically. I will have this thing until November. It's all bandaged up now and I am pretty sore from it. I have some strong Vicodin for it though. Should help. I haven't taken one yet. I am a little nervous about it giving me nausea. I will probably have a small bump under the skin but it shouldn't be too bad. I'm feeling quite a bit better really. I am breathing better. Thank God! I expect tomorrow I will crash hard. I got really tired last time and nauseas. So.....today will probably be my last good day for awhile. Probably 3 or 4 days at least. I hope it's not as bad as last time. Eeeek. I got done with my chemo around 3:30 or so. It sucked. Then an hour and a half drive home. It's a long day and I am ready for sleep. But that's my update for now. Feel free to ask me any questions you want. I am not bothered at all by it. This is my life for awhile. I am dealing.

May 24, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Well, this year is going to be a long one. Tuesday was my first chemo. Wednesday I couldn't even get out of bed. The fatigue I have felt is impossible to explain. My arms and legs literally have had no energy. A bit more energetic today but not a whole lot. I started feeling really nauseauted last night and was not able to fall asleep until after 2. Today I have fought nausea a lot and finally gave in to it around noon. I have pills to fight it but evidently I need to take them more often or they weren't strong enough. I know they have helped....but this chemo has kicked my butt. I have a horrible lump in my throat. I swear...this lump is the worst part of it all. It is the tumor and I feel it. When I move it causes me to gag and cough. That in turn makes me feel sick. I just want this chemo to help. I can handle a little fatigure and even some nausea. I just want this shortness of breath and the lump in my neck and chest to be GONE. No idea how long that will take. =/

May 21, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007
Well, I start chemo tomorrow morning. Every two weeks....until the end of November. I am nervous....but hopeful at the same time. I have to beat this. I want to feel better and the cure rate is really high so wish me luck all. I pray all my hair doesn't fall out but you know what? I think I'd rather live than worry about it too much.

May 16, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Got my appointment!
FINALLY I got the call. I am going to St. Louis tomorrow for my appointment. I have to go to this appointment with this specialist before I can start treatments. Now...whether she'll be doing my treatments there or I'll be doing my treatments here I have no idea. But this is my very first step in getting better. I can hardly breathe, eat, sleep, etc. This is giving me hope. I don't know how I'll manage this trip but I'm gonna just be happy that I am getting in tomorrow.

First Blog

First of all, my name is Sandi. I was diagnosed in May with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I found out 2 weeks prior that I was pregnant. The chances of these two occuring at the same time I have learned are somewhere around 1 in 1000. I have heard from many oncologists and my high risk OB that it is something rarely seen. My OB has only had 4 patients that had cancer and were pregnant at the same time. This is after 20 years of working as a high risk OB. I have a very curable and treatable cancer. This blog will be a record of all that I go through, how I am feeling and what I am doing. I have posted a blog on myspace for awhile and will be posting all the blogs I have made on there since May then will start updating here. I hope that I get some feedback and comments. I love hearing from people. I have a family. I am 31 and married for over 11 years now. I have 3 daughters ages 10, 7 and 5. That's a little background on me. Now for my blogs. This all should keep you up to date as of everything so far.



Monday, May 14, 2007

Bad day today. Well starting last night really. I'm waiting and waiting to hear back from this doctor's office in St. Louis. They aren't rushing though and I am miserable. I'll have to make a 3 hour drive to get there when I finally get the appointment and treatment can't start until they see me. I can no longer sit up in bed without first feeling strangled then immediately going into such a violent coughing fit that I almost throw up each time. I am scared to just get up to go the bathroom. I have progressed to being this awful in just the past month. It's scary. I want to get better but know I'll only get worse until treatment starts. I am feeling very depressed today. I am tired of feeling sick. I am tired of coughing until it hurts. :(