Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Time

I can't believe Christmas has already came and gone, this year seemed to have gone by so fast. It has been a busy month trying to finish up shopping, doing some baking and just being ready for Christmas. I really enjoyed Christmas this year, I felt so much better than I did at this time last year, it was a nice change. We enjoyed Jonah so much this year, he hasn't quite got the hang of opening the packages yet but he liked what he got. Look out next year because I'm sure he will be ready to go, and really get into it by then. Another reason I think the year has gone by fast is that Jonah will be two next month, it just doesn't seem possible that our baby can be two already.
As far as my health, I am doing pretty good these days, I am taking chemo once a week at Highland Oncology in Fayetteville. It hasn't been too bad so far, it makes me a little tired but hasn't made me sick. I don't like this cold weather that's for sure, I just can't hardly bare the cold especially the wind, it just cuts through me.
Happy Holidays to you all and I hope the New Year will bring health and happiness to all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Testing

On Tuesday, November 23rd, Candes and I headed out early for Little Rock for more testing. I was scheduled for bloodwork, MRI's and a bone marrow biopsy, we were there the whole day. We felt like we got in and out of each test fairly quick but it just takes time. Everything seemed to go ok, there was a little issue with the bone marrow biopsy this time, I had some bleeding but it was probably due to the fact that my platelets were so low. I needed to be at 50, 000 before they could do it and I was at the lucky number of 57,000. So I was just barely where I needed to be. I had a really sore back but we headed back home after eating at the Olive Garden in Little Rock.
On Tuesday, November 30th, Clay and I made our way back to Little Rock for doctor appointments. We met with Dr. Barlogie first thing to determine what the next step would be. He told us that I needed to be back on treatment, so I was given my orders and prescriptions to get started back on maintenance therapy. I will start my treatment later this week. I was hoping to wait until after Christmas but that didn't happen, he did lower the dosage and also changed the chemo drug that I take at home so maybe it won't be too bad, one can only hope.

I am looking forward to Christmas, I am getting close to having my shopping done but I am not there yet. I feel better than I did last Christmas so that gives me alot to look forward to. Clay bought us a live tree again this year and Kara and I decorated it last week, I had mentioned that we were going to change it up this year, we did and I love it. Clay is not sure about the teal and brown, he kinda likes red, green and gold, it will grow on him though.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Counts Down

Since my last trip to Little Rock my platelets have been gradually going down, for what reason we don't know at this point. With the bloodwork I had done on Monday it had started creeping back up so this is a good thing, but you still have to wonder why. My platelet count hasn't been an issue for quite some time now. When the lab at HOG gave me my report they had me to go upstairs to talk to a nurse, this time it wasn't my platelet count it was my WBC. It was down to 1.75 again this raises the question why. I have just been at home this week staying warm by the fire, I am not suppose to be around alot of people, I can't take my chances on catching something while my counts are so low. I go back to Little Rock on Tuesday for tests, MRI, bloodwork and a bone marrow biopsy. There was the concern of my platelets with the biopsy because I have to be at 50 at least before I can have it done. They ordered platelets for me if I need them before the biopsy. Even though I don't enjoy the biopsy in the least I have to have it to find out what's going on right now. The nurses say it could be a number of things, it could be the thyroid surgery, the radiation, being off treatment for awhile or the myeloma trying to come back. The later would be my fear, I can't imagine having to start over again so we just pray that it is some minor thing and it will adjust itself. I look forward to Thanksgiving this year but I can't wait until Christmas, I think I can enjoy the holiday season much more this year. I can't wait to put up the tree, Kara helped me pick out decorations for the tree, I wanted to change it out this year. I'm like a little kid but my excitement is for the decorations not so much opening the presents.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Week

Last week Clay and I made the trip to Little Rock for doctor visits. We saw Dr. Barlogie on Tuesday, all my MRI's and other test had came back good so far. I have still been off chemo, just waiting for his signal to go back on, I just knew that the news would be to start back NOW, but my platelet count was down so he wants me to wait another 3 weeks. At that time I will be going back down to Little Rock for more testing before starting back on chemo. I am scheduled for more MRI's, bloodwork and a bone marrow biopsy (in which I dread already) but I haven't had to have one in quite a while so I guess it is about time.

The next day I had an appointment with my thyroid doctor, Dr. Bodenner, he felt like everything was fine after my surgery and radiation. The body scan came back negative, so that was good news. He ran an ultrasound and said it all looked good, nothing seemed to be showing with my lymph nodes, so he was pleased. I had to have bloodwork done for him as we were leaving, if something is off they will call me if not I will continue taking the 112 synthroid.

It had been a long couple of days waiting to see doctors, nurses and lab people but it was now over and we were heading home. We stopped at Olive Garden in Little Rock to have a very late lunch before hitting the road. I will head back down a couple of days before Thanksgiving for my testing, then I can enjoy Thanksgiving and go back down to see the doctor a few days after.
On the most part I have been feeling pretty good, just tire out quickly and have alot of aches and pains, part of that may just be my age.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just testing

Made the trip to Little Rock on Tuesday, my sister in law Darcy took me this time, it was a tiring day. We had a good day, a nice chance to catch up and get a good visit in at the same time. All I had to do was have some bloodwork and a couple of MRI's. It rained most of the time on us, but not to complain because we needed the rain real bad. I won't get any of the results until I see the dr the 2nd of November. We headed back after 2 and just drove on to Conway and stopped at Market Place for a really late lunch, then on into Fayetteville, got home about 6:15.
I have been feeling pretty good lately, I know it's due to me not being on chemo right now. When I go back for the dr visit I'm sure he will say it's time to start back. I dread those words.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day

Just a pretty normal Monday here on the home front. I waited this morning for the Terminix guy to come for our yearly visit. Kara and I went to Olive Garden for lunch then ran to Hobby Lobby, I hadn't been there in quite some time. It was fun looking at all the Fall things and the Christmas stuff as well. They are still putting out more Christmas decorations, I am wanting to change my tree theme this year, whether that will happen or not we'll just have to wait and see.
I have been feeling pretty good these days, just tired, the little bit I did today just wore me out. So I usually try to get a nap in somewhere along the way. Just the usual bloodwork on Thursday, I will go down to Little Rock on Tuesday next week for bloodwork and a couple of MRI's. Just a day trip, an all day, day trip that is.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Is it Fall or is it still summer????? Isn't it wonderful to live in Northwest Arkansas? This cooler weather has about done me in, I don't know what I will do when winter gets here. I stay cold so much of the time, I don't know if that will ever change due to chemo. I have been feeling pretty good, it makes a difference when you take chemo and when you don't. I am off the chemo for another month so during that time I can feel better and enjoy.
Last weekend was the first time I could be around Jonah (grandson) after my radiation, we kept him awhile on Saturday night and then we got to watch him again Sunday afternoon. He is getting to be such a character, he is such a joy.
I went to Little Rock last Thursday for a body scan to see if the radiation did everything it was suppose to do. I of course didn't find out anything, I will see the dr. November 3rd, so I guess I will find out then. I am heading in for bloodwork in a few minutes and to have lunch with a couple of girls I use to work with. Have a great day and enjoy these summer time temps this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Real Food

The iodine free diet ended Friday night, what a relief, I got to go back to eating regular food again. This is not something I would want to be on for any extended period of time, it got old very fast. Things have been going pretty good with the process of the radiation, with all the precautions you have to take after the radiation. I go back down to Little Rock this week for a body scan to see if the radiation did what it was suppose to do. Last Friday I took a little fall I guess you would say, I still have that light but heavy headiness when I get up out of a chair alot of the time, I had started down the hall and I felt it coming on, I grabbed the door facing and next thing I know I am coming to on the floor. I hit the back of my head on our dining room table wooden base or a chair one of the other. My back and the back of my head have really been sore, you kinda forget until you rub your head then you remember. Clay came home for awhile to make sure I was going to be ok. It was crazy, I would always feel weak and funny but I have never go completely down, but I'm ok.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm Glowing

Candes and I headed to Little Rock early Monday morning, I had an appointment at 11, but I needed to do bloodwork first. Things went smooth, there was some waiting in the lab but not bad. Candes checked me in at the Head & Neck Clinic (thyroid) and then she went to the pharmacy to pick up my injection shots, by that time I was upstairs. They called me right in for my injection, they want to do them the same time each day, then we were done for the day. I had started with a headache on Sunday that was pretty severe, Tylenol is the only thing I can take and it wasn't helping, we just hung out at the apartment the rest of the day. Tuesday was a busy day, went for my injection at 11, back to the apartment for lunch since I'm am still doing the iodine free diet. I had an appt at 1 with the kidney doctor and then an appt with Dr. Barlogie at 2, it kept us hopping. The results of the biopsy showed no myeloma in the kidneys, and this is a good thing but there has been quite a bit of scarring/damage done to my kidneys. This is probably due to the myeloma or even partly due to some of the medications I have been on in the past that might harm your kidneys. The bad thing is that the damage is irreversible, they are just going to keep a close eye on them knowing they can't get any worse. The next step would be dialysis and I don't want to go there if I don't have to. Wednesday was the big day for radiation, we went in and they called me back pretty quick, there's alot of pre stuff that goes on, explaining everything to you, mostly all the after precautions. They have to specially order your pill from a pharmacy across town, so by the time they make it and get it back over there we are talking about an hour. So after the wait I went in and took my pill and then I was on my way. Sounds really crazy. Candes and I were going to run back to the apartment to eat our lunch, then they tell me not to eat for 2 hours, so we ran back, picked up our stuff and hit the road for home, they said I wouldn't start throwing off rays for 2 hours. It was good to be back home again, all the things you have to do is just mind boggling though. All our laundry has to be done separate, I can't wash my clothes with Clay's, I have to have my separate living quarters with my own bathroom and no one else can use this bathroom for several days, I have to stay 6 ft away from everyone or they me anyway. I will be glad when this too is finished, but one good thing I get to go back to normal food tomorrow night. I can't wait. I am confined to the house for these days because you can't take a chance being around people especially babies, children, pregnant women, so I will just be hanging out here for awhile.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kidney Biopsy

Clay and I left around 10 Wednesday morning for Little Rock, for bloodwork and the kidney biopsy on Thursday. We had to be at the hospital at 7 Thursday morning, they took us back about 7:15 to get things started. I got 2 units of plasma before the procedure then 2 afterwards, the biopsy wasn't too bad, but after we got back to the holding room the doctor came in to tell us there was some internal bleeding and would need to admit me to the hospital to watch me overnight. They watched my vital signs very close and did a blood draw every 4 hours, had a scan about 11 pm. These are the things they watch to see if you are still bleeding or if it has stopped. Doctors were in and out during the evening and the next morning, they sent me for a chest xray Friday morning to make sure pneumonia hadn't set in, since they had me pretty much laying flat all the time to prevent anymore bleeding. I was very glad when they said there was no more bleeding, I was worried a little about them going up my groin and into my kidney to find where I was bleeding and to stop it. I had a little cloudiness in the lower part of my lungs but not enough to be concerned about. That was good to know, I didn't really need something else going on. They came in to discharge me at 2:30 and we headed home, it was an uncomfortable ride home, not alot of smooth roads in Arkansas. I took a pain pill and went to bed pretty early, slept pretty good, Saturday when I got up I felt like I had been hit by a Mac Truck, I hurt all over. Sunday, today may be a tiny bit better but my body still hurts and I have a really bad headache, we need to get my things together because early in the morning Candes and I will head back to Little Rock for the radiation, I hope I am up to it because I just want to close another chapter. I am still doing the iodine free diet and will continue that until next Friday, I won't be able to be around people for about 5 or 6 days after my radiation, there are alot of things you have to do like wash my clothes separate from Clays, no one dries their hands on a towel that I have dried mine on. It is kinda crazy but I guess I will be radioactive for a while so you have to take all precautions.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I had my treatment on Tuesday, packed up on Wednesday to head to Little Rock on Thursday. Normally going down for test and to see the doctor is a light packing trip, but this time was a little different. I started the low iodine diet on Tuesday so Candes and I had planned our meals to have while we were there. We had to take everything we needed for the salads or meals we were having, no eating out or picking up fast food. We left at 7:30 Thursday morning in a light rain but by the time we got to Mountainburg the rain started so hard she could hardly see to drive, we drove in rain like this until we finally ran out of it right before Conway. I had bloodwork done on Thursday and that was it for the day, Candes and I decided we would go to a movie. Later that evening the chemo kicked in (this is usually about the time it takes) stomach issues and that night I had the pains in my legs off and on all night. On Friday my doctor's appt wasn't until 2 so we had all morning, normally we would have been off doing something but we just stayed at the apartment being lazy, I just felt yuck, didn't feel like doing anything. There was alot of waiting involved before seeing the doctor, you do see a couple of nurses beforehand though. We were walking out the drs office at 6:30, that is just too long to have to wait but oh well what do you do? Dr. Barlogie said that my myeloma is all incheck right now, all counts are good with that, but there are underlying issues with my kidneys. So now I have to go back to Little Rock this week for a kidney biopsy to see if they have missed something or something new has popped up. My kidney counts have not been very good for some time, we are actually back to where we were when this all started last year. Dr. Barlogie wants to hold off on treatment this week until we find out something with the kidney biopsy, I won't have a treatment next week either due to taking the radiation. So this will give me at least 2 weeks to get to feeling better before I will probably start back. I did ask him if I was suppose to feel this way or would it get any better, he said it would get better, but when, how long does it take? I take a treatment one day and usually feel good for a couple of days then feel pretty bad for about 3 days then ok for a couple of days, then it is time to do it all over again. Hopefully they will get it all figured out and I can go back to feeling better.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Not The Best

A few days after my first treatment I had a few issues, I really thought I was going to get by with just some tiredness and a little red face. Sunday afternoon I started having alot of stomach pains and just felt very yucky with this for a couple of days. On Monday I started in with leg pains, I wouldn't call them cramps because there was so much pain involved. I called Highland to see if there were any suggestions of what I could do, my potassium was a little low so they wanted me to up my potassium intake. We stocked up on bananas and cantaloupe, it did help to bring it up, Dr. Rosenfeld wanted me to also start taking Vitamin D. The pains have pretty much gone away, there will be some aching every once in awhile but not as bad as Monday. It was just kinda a draggy week, I am blaming it on not having any chemo since April and then that poison hitting me again, I think my body will just have to get use to it and adjust. I had another treatment Thursday and saw Dr, Rosenfeld, my counts were all pretty good except my blood pressure was kinda low he would like to see that up a little, I get light/heavy headed when I stand up alot of the times. I have just been a little tired but I am hoping this last treatment will be a little more gentle to me. I will have a treatment on Tuesday this week and then head to Little Rock Thursday and Friday for tests and to see Dr. Barlogie (my myeloma dr). We will see how this week goes hopefully it will be better. I have to start the low iodine diet on Tuesday to get ready for my radiation in a couple of weeks, it is going to be tough figuring out what to fix, everything has to be prepared, there can't be any type of preservatives in anything I fix, it's just a little different than what we are use to. No dairy whatsoever.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Moving Forward

Well things are much better this week, my throat is better, a sore throat is just the worse thing you can have. I started my chemo treatments this week, I went on Wednesday to Highland for labwork then on upstairs to the chemo room for my treatment. I will receive a liter a fluid then during this I will get my chemo push of Velcade. The fluids I will also take each week for my kidney issues, I am still having poor kidney function/filtration, so if I am not drinking enough (in which I am) they have to give me fluids to try to help. After my treatment I just felt tired, I napped in the afternoon and just rested, that night I started taking my other oral chemo, one of the side effects is insomnia, well it hit about 3 am and I couldn't go back to sleep, I just tossed and turned. I am going to give it a chance before I gradually move it up to earlier in the day. Last night was better, I slept better waking up some but never staying awake a long length of time. I just took it easy yesterday and that's the plan today, so far so good as far as the chemo bothering me, just making me tired but I can handle that. Yesterday afternoon my face broke out or looked like a real bad sun burn, it felt burning hot like I had a fever, I even took my temp when it first started, I'm sure it is either from one of the chemo drugs or the steroids I take on the day of chemo. This too I'm sure will pass, it was just very strange, the heat would just come and go but the redness would stay. This is just another step in my recovery of my myeloma, if I didn't go in once or twice a week to Highland what would I do with myself? Also trying to keep up with all the other doctor appointments I have, it keeps me busy. I at least know what I will be doing the next three years.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Third Week

Today is the 3rd week mark after my surgery, I seem to be doing good, still not much of a voice. I know he couldn't guarantee but hopefully by 6 weeks I will have my strong voice back. I started with other issues this week, Monday evening I started out with a sore throat, I just blamed it on the weather, these nice cool mornings we've had. By Tuesday it was worse and I was developing the old canker sores in my mouth as well. By Wednesday I was pretty miserable and thought I better call in, Highland wanted to see me, so I went in Wednesday afternoon. I was a little worried it might be running into strep, well it wasn't strep I had a bad case of yeast in my mouth and down my throat (Thrush) at least we found out what it is. It has been very painful, you can't eat hardly at all, I have been doing the ice cream/Jello diet this week. I am taking medication and using a swish and swollow, as long as I can keep my mouth numb for awhile I'm good. But I know that these things have to run their course, I know this to shall pass.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Recovery Time

It's been a week today since my thyroid surgery, I'm glad I have a week behind me. I am doing good, just trying to heal, my neck is still sore and I'm sure there is still some swelling in my throat area. Candes and I made a trip to Little Rock late Wednesday for my early post-op appointment on Thursday. Dr. Stack said I was doing fine, he said my voice would probably come back by 6 weeks, but he couldn't guarantee that. I am still very hoarse, most of the time it is just above a whisper and other times it sounds a little stronger, it strains my throat some to use my voice very much. Clay may be glad my voice is gone but I will be glad when it returns.

I will have to do radiation, we have it scheduled for later in September. They will do injections two days and then the iodine radiation the third day, this will be done at Little Rock. I will have to be on an iodine free diet for two weeks before this starts, looking over the can and can't eat chart it looks like slim pickings. You can't believe all the things that have iodine in them, all dairy products like cheese, milk, sour cream and ice cream all have preservatives in them that I can't have. I'm glad it is only for two weeks and a couple days after, I wouldn't want to do this very long. But hey you do what you have to do, I found that out a long time ago.
Thanks for the cards that have been sent my way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Surgery's Over

Clay and I headed to Little Rock on Thursday, July 29 to be there for surgery on the 30th. They had told us that they would call us the day before between 3-6 to let us know for sure where to go and what time to be there, we did get the call on the way down there. I already knew that i was his first surgery of the day and that would be around 7:30 but you have to be there so early. So they told us to be there at 5:00 that morning and surgery was scheduled for 7:15. We went to dinner, there were certain things they requested I stay away from, such as anything marinated in heavy sauces, that really takes alot of things off the menu, I had a grilled pork chop that was wonderful. From then on that night just clear liquids, well water is about as clear as you can get and that's all I drink. I don't think either one of us got much sleep that night, knowing we had to get up at 4 and probably a little anticipation as well. We made it to the hospital, checked in, there was very little paperwork to do since we had done all that ahead and I am definitely in the system by now. They sent me on into the holding room to get things started, alot of questions then they started the IV, it only took 2 times so I was thrilled. Clay got to come in and stay with me till they were ready. The O.R. nurse came in as well as the anesthesiologist and other people as well. Once he gave me the shot to kinda take the edge off he started rolling me down the hall, after that I remember nothing, I don't even remember going into the surgery room. That's probably always a good thing though, the next thing I know a nurse is talking to me in the recovery room. She went to call Clay to come in, I think I was still kinda out of it, they sent him to get my scripts filled, in the meantime I was up and got dressed and was ready to go. I did throw up a couple of times while in the bathroom, I think it was just the getting up moving around so soon, I never was really sick at my stomach, which is always a good thing. Clay went to get the car and they wheeled me out to meet him and we were off to the apartment. I just slept/rested all afternoon, went into the living room setting/laying on the couch in the evening. Clay fixed our Chicken Alfredo for dinner, the noodles seemed to slide down, I did minus the chicken. I did have some Jello and ice cream later as well. I seem to have slept a little better Friday night. When we got up Saturday morning I said we might as well get around and head home, we didn't rush but we got home around 1:30 Saturday afternoon. I am pretty sore, my neck area and around the incision area it feels bruised type sore. I am doing better, knowing the soreness will go away. I was able to talk pretty good on Friday at the hospital and at the apartment but Saturday morning my voice was pretty much a whisper and that's the way it still is. I know this too will come back, it just may take awhile. I go back to LR on Thursday for my pre-op checkup.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Surgery Date

Clay and I went to Little Rock last Wednesday to meet with the surgeon, (Dr. Stack) and the endocrinologist, (Dr. Bodenner) about surgery. I had another ultrasound as I thought I would, the cancer had not changed or grown since last ultrasound, this was our good news. We set the surgery date for July 30th, I think he was so far behind after being out for two weeks. It will roll around before you know it though. I was also scheduled to do my pre-op work up as well, this included an EKG and bloodwork, since I had several of the other test needed done recently I didn't have to do a whole lot of tests. There was a 10 page questioner that I had to fill out though. The surgery is still planned for a one day surgery, they ask that you stay in LR one night, then we can head home on Saturday when I feel like it. I am just ready to get this part over with, recover and move on to the next phase of treatment, I can't start my other chemo until after my surgery. With the delay of surgery it backs up me starting my treatment.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Time

Where has the time gone? I can't believe it is already July, it has felt like July or August for awhile though, it has been so hot. I really don't have any complaints though, I am cold all the time, it is really too cold in the house for me so I like to set outside under the porch if I am not in the pool. Things have been going pretty good with me, still trying to build strength but I know it will still take some time. We will be going to Little Rock next week for a day to meet with the surgeon that will be doing my thyroid surgery as well as the endocrinologist . I will probably have to have another ultrasound but hopefully not a biopsy since they already know it's cancer. They will just compare the ultrasound with the one I had several months ago to see if there are any changes. They have tentively set up a date for surgery toward the end of the month but until we meet with them we won't know for sure, I will just be glad to get the surgery over with. Since the surgeon had been on vacation for two weeks I think he is backed up a little right now, this has also delayed starting my chemo treatment here, with my TSH level being up and some of my other counts Dr. Barlogie didn't want me to start treatment until after I had my thyroid surgery, a week or two after surgery I will probably start that. I just go from day to day because you never know when they might change plans or dates on you.

We will have the family over for the 4th to swim and cookout.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Doctors Visit

Clay and I went to Little Rock on Monday, June 14th for my appointment with Dr. Barlogie. We met with him to get reports and results, I am thankful to say all scans, tests and etc. came back good. There were only a couple of things that needed discussing, my creatinine is still staying up too high, doc says drink more. I drink sooooo much as it is I don't know how I can drink much more but I will try. And then there is the issue with my thyroid, all along it has just been: we can just wait on it, there's no big hurry lets get the myeloma under control and then worry about that. Even though the thyroid itself hasn't really changed or the cancer my TSH count has started to elevate and he says it is time to get it out. He wanted me to start taking Synthroid in a lower dosage form for now, I'm sure the dosage will change later. It is probably a little earlier than we thought, we were thinking late summer or fall, but now it looks like it is going to bumped up to mid July. They are working on an appointment time now, the surgeon is on vacation till the end of the month or I would probably have it even sooner. So the plan was to start with my treatment at Highland next week and then stop a week before surgery. Things change everyday, I had a call late yesterday afternoon from LR, now they say don't start treatment next week, we will wait a week or two after my surgery, then I will start. This is all due to my kidneys, with the creatinine still being up and the filtration is still low, one of the chemo drugs doesn't need to be taken when I am having some kidney issues. Maybe after getting my thyroid out things will start to level out a little more. It gets a little stressful sometimes, keeping up with everything that's going on and everything you are suppose to be doing when they are changing things on you all the time, it keeps me on my toes. Your life is just kinda in their hands, I know that they know what they are doing, they just try to do too much at one time, they have so many patients and we all need something. So we are moving forward again to another phase of this process, I just wait till they call me with a surgery date. When I met with the surgeon a few months ago, he said it would be a one day surgery, so I will have it done and stay in LR a day or two before heading back home.
After thought: Clay and I did meet with Dr. Hey on Tuesday before Jeremy left for LR. he was going to research my issues but in the mean time he wanted me to have an ultrasound. This was scheduled for tomorrow but while I was in LR Dr. B wanted to have it done there and we would fax a copy to Dr. Hey, so that is what we did. Last year before I was diagnosed with MM they saw a mass on one of my kidneys so they just wanted to check that out. The report didn't show anything now. So that's a plus. My left kidney is smaller than my right, I don't think it's a problem though and my right kidney is normal.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Trip To Little Rock

Jeremy and I headed out to LR about 4:45 on Tuesday afternoon, we drove straight there without making a stop. We checked in the apartment and then back in to eat dinner, there were only certain things I could eat or there were certain things that I could not have for my testing on Wednesday. I was pretty well beat so I took a shower and pretty much called it a night knowing it was going to be a long day Wednesday. We left the apartment the next morning at 6:15, stopped at Denny's for breakfast, I could have scrambled eggs and bacon and that was it. Jeremy enjoyed a little larger breakfast than that, he needed to keep up his strength for all the waiting he was going to have to do throughout the day. We arrived at the hospital a little before 7:30 to pick up my packet to start the day. First stop lab work then on to the dreaded bone marrow biopsy, it hurt more this time than it did last time, I don't really know why. We had some time to kill so we just waited in the infusion center waiting room till closer to time to go to the MRI area. I decided since I was in the area I would ask for a copy of my lab work that I had done earlier, since my WBC was so low last week I was a little concerned that it might be still down. After getting a copy of my labs a nurse was going over them with me and noticed my Uric Acid was really high, she wanted me to see someone before I left LR. I was unable to meet with anyone so I just waited and they called me on Thursday. Uric Acid is a kidney issue, my nurse that I deal with all the time from LR said I needed to be on medication that it couldn't wait until Monday till I was back down there. So meds were called in and I started taking them on Thursday. The one good thing was that my WBC was back up a little. So back to the rest of the day, we waited an hour past my appointment time for my MRI and then it took forever, they had ordered much more this time than last to be scanned. We were real close on missing my pet scan, this was the last test and I just wanted to get them all over with and hit the road to home. We finally finished up and walked out of there about 10 till 7. Jeremy and I drove through Chic fil la , ate on the road, it was an uncomfortable ride home, we did stop at Alma to walk around just a little then back on the road. We pulled in our drive at 10 pm it was just a real long day. Clay and I will go back to Little Rock on Monday to see the doctor and get the results of all my tests. My back has been so painful this time, I don't know why sometimes are different than others but I have hurt really bad, hopefully in a day or two it will work it's way out.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Not Much Change

We had a really good Memorial Day weekend, we didn't do just a whole lot but it was nice. I guess it actually started out on Thursday, Jonah needed a sitter that day, my sister in law Darcy came out to help me watch him. As I have said before he loves being outside so that means you have to watch him every second. We definitely got a work out that day but he was so much fun, he took to Darcy in a hurry. She had also brought breakfast so Jonah and Nikko got interested real quick. (our dog) Clay and I kept Jonah on Friday night so Jeremy and Adrienne could go out to eat for their anniversary. Saturday morning Clay and I went to the Farmers Market on the square, I bought some fresh cut flowers, they are always so pretty and cheap. We met Clays mom and his Uncle Randy and Brenda there, it was really good to see them, I hadn't seen them since I have been sick but they have kept up with me and have been in constant contact with me or someone else in the family. Thank you guys!!!!! We came home for awhile then back in to meet others for lunch, Uncle Tim and Peggy, Uncle Jerry and Myra and their son Carey. Jeremy and Jonah went with Clay and I. We all had a good visit, we hadn't seen any of these relatives in some time, Jonah got to meet people for the first time too. Clay and Andrew went fishing tonight so J & A & J and Kara & Shelby and I went to eat pizza. On Sunday J & A & J came over with their friends Nick & Jamie from church to swim. Andrew & Kara were here as well, we snacked in the afternoon and the four of them left and we kept Jonah, A&K stayed and we cooked out burgers and dogs. I really got my Jonah fix this weekend, but I can really never get enough.

Now that I have bored you with my weekend on to my health, I do have an appoitment to see Dr. Hey my kidney doctor on Tuesday, then we will leave for LR. Last week when I had my blood drawn it showed my WBC had dropped way down, it hasn't done this since I have been home, it has actually been climbing. It has been 4.0 or 3.6 or right around there but it nose dived to 2.2 last week. I talked to LR and they wanted me to go back in today to have it drawn again, thinking it was just a wierd thing, so I did but I guess it was real because today it is 2.3. This usually means that you might have been sick or ran a fever but I haven't had either. So the nurse at LR said today since I was coming down next week we would just run it again and try to get to the bottom of it. So that's where we are right now with the goings on with me. I am enjoying this weather, I have been in the pool a few times and I am really enjoying my backyard. Have a great weekend and I will update as I know something. There was more thing I did today that I almost left out, I also went in for a massage at Highland, it was wonderful, with the low back and shoulder pain that I have it seems to really help. It will last me about two weeks and then I will be ready for another one. Also I know some of you have tried to reply to my blog with no luck, here is my email address if you want to email me. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Update

Just to keep up with what has been going on lately I'll try to post a few things. I feel stronger from even my last post, but I still get tired so easily. Still going in for bloodwork, last week I cut back to once a week instead of two. Little Rock had told me that as my platelet count came up once a week would be fine, it has been continually climbing until yesterday, then it dropped some. So I don't know if I will have to start back twice a week or just wait till next week and see if they will jump back up. I also have other issues as well, my kidneys aren't filtering they way they should, this has just happened in the last month. My filtration rate has dropped 50% from April to May. They want me to go back to my nephrologist, Dr. Hey to see what he thinks. LR seems to think this has nothing to do with M.M. but with everything you read either chemo or some of the meds I have taken cause something like this. But it may just be kidney issues and it will have to be dealt with, my dr's office is trying to get an appointment for me.
The weather ha been great the last few days, the pool water is warming up, I can't wait for Jonah to be able to get in the pool. I think he is going to enjoy the water this year, he sure loves his bath time. Kara came over yesterday morning to watch Jonah at our house while Adrienne worked a few hours and I would get to see him as well. He played inside and out, Kara pulled him in the wagon and then he helped push the wagon, I tried to get them to push me (Mimi). He had such a good time, but you have to watch him every minute, no getting in the pool before its time and for sure no falling in.
I will go back to Little Rock the second week of June for a day of testing, then we will see Dr. Barlogie the next week to make sure all is well and get my orders to start treatment at Highland Oncology (the last phase) of treatment. Of course this phase will last 3 years and then I will be done besides an occasional visit to Little Rock.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nothing Much

Not much going on, I feel like I am gaining strength everyday even though I have a long way to go. I have alot of issues with my shoulders and back hurting when I do alot of walking, I just really get tired. We blame that on not having any muscle in my back, that was probably one of the first thing to go when I started loosing weight. I am trying to rebuild but it will just take time, I just want to rush things, I just want to be able to do anything I want but that is not possible yet. I want to be able to hold or carry Jonah but that isn't happening for a while yet. He is growing so fast, he loves to be outside more than anything, the last couple of times he has been over it has been too cold to go outside and that makes him mad. Yes, too cold, this crazy weather. I am so ready for it to warm back up, I stay cold most of the time anyway, most everyone else is fine but I am always cold, hopefully when it warms up I will get warmer too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Settling In

I am about to get use to being home, I have been home 2 weeks now and have enjoyed everyday of it. It is so nice not having to go into the hospital everyday, whether it be for chemo or fluid or just blood work, it is nice not having to do it. As I had mentioned before I do have to go to Highland Oncology twice a week for blood work, they overnight the blood tubes in once a week to UAMS in Little Rock. If they feel like something is off they will call and let me know and we will go from there. As my platelet count comes up I will just have to go in once a week, probably in 2 or 3 more weeks. I feel like I am getting some strength back but it sure is slow, just moving around alot just about takes it all out of me. I try to do a few things around the house then I have to rest. When I get tired or do too much my shoulders, neck and lower back hurt alot. I am just taking it slow and praying that each day will get better and better.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No Place Like Home

We were scheduled to be released on Monday, April 12th, even though Dr. Barlogie had dismissed me a few days earlier, he wanted me to come back on Monday to double check my counts before I came home. Clay came back home Sunday night and Candes drove down to bring me back home on Monday. We met with the physicians assistant and a couple of different nurses to get my home medications lined out and prescription orders written. All was well except they wanted me to take a shot that would help raise my red blood count, so we headed to the infusion center for that. Of course you would know that they were so busy, I just wanted to get out of there and head back home. We waited about 2 hours before getting my shot, then we headed home. We got home about 6:30 that night. It was so exciting pulling in the driveway, there were banners in the yard saying Welcome Home Barbara and It's a Happy Day (made me cry) Thanks Sharon and Taylor. When I got in the house there were also signs throughout the house, made me feel really loved. Thank you Kara and Adrienne. The kids were here and Sharon had brought dinner over. Thank you Sharon. I was glad to see everyone but I was so excited to see my baby, Jonah my grandson.

Since I have been home I have been doing ok, some days better than others, still pretty weak and I get tired pretty easy. I go to Highland Oncology 2 times a week for blood work. I will go back to Little Rock for testing and to get my maintenance orders the 2nd week in June, so besides that I am on break and it feels good. Maintenance will probably start the 3rd week in June at Highland, I will go once a week for 3 years for chemo and I will be taking another chemo in pill form at home. So this is the update on what has been and will be going on.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coming Home

At this point it doesn't even matter what happened on Saturday or Sunday just knowing I am getting to go home. We packed up the apartment and Clay loaded the car to head back to Fayetteville. He needs to be at work in the morning so Candes is driving down tonight to take me to the doctor and drive me home tomorrow. I will see the physicians assistant for discharge and visit with a nurse to discuss meds while I am at home.

Thank you for the many prayers that have gone up on my behalf, I ask that you continue to pray for me as I do maintence at Highland for the next 3 years.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rewind a couple of days

I just haven't felt like posting so I will try to go back and play catch up to post most of what has been going on. This may post on 4/6 when I tried to start it but it didn't happen, so I will try it again tonight. When Clay and I went in I was nervous about the access of my ports, but I was blessed to have Nurse Karen and she was wonderful. Not to say there wasn't some pain involved but she made it much easier. She did the cultures on both ports to check for infection (it came back negative) after having bloodwork done I had to have platelets and a unit of blood. It was a long day, Candes came to the hospital and Clay went back home. Monday and Tuesday were the same routine going into the hospital, I started getting really bad pains in my stomach and was so weak, it was the lowest I have felt. Of course I had bottomed out with my WBC so that didn't help matters. They put me on an 5 hour infuser antibiotic, we will do this twice a day just incase there was any infection or bacteria in my stomach. It was good to have Candes here, she had the worse shift this time though. Darcy met us at the hospital on Wednesday so Candes could go back home. On Wednesday we had bloodwork, bandage change, antibiotic hookup and we were done. I was starting to feel a little better by then, I still wasn't much company though. I am feeling better but really pretty weak, my counts are coming up so that makes you feel better. I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Barlogie, he looked over all my counts, even though my WBC had just started to come up he felt like things were on track. He wants his physicians assistant to see me on Monday just to double check my numbers and discharge me. Darcy trained as a nurse, she got to learn the process of hooking infusers up to my port, on Wednesday night she was up and down alot hooking and unhooking something or another. I had the antibiotic and potassium/magnesium. She did a good job, she was a good nurse. Clay got here Friday morning and Darcy went back home, today was a short day at the infusion center, all was good with my counts, my WBC had jumped up to 3.3 so I was tickled to death , we didn't have to do anything. I didn't have to get a growth factor shot today since my counts were up. (I am done with those) Clay and I stopped to get a sandwich since I could actually be out in public. Clay and I took a walk around the apartment complex, I was pretty tired when we got back, I still need to gain alot of strength.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rough Day

I thought I wanted pancakes this morning so Clay ran down to the corner McDonalds to bring us breakfast, well 2 or 3 bites I knew that wasn't what I wanted. The syrup was so sweet I just couldn't handle it, so that was the end of my breakfast. Felt a little yucky this morning, we just had a relaxing morning, actually Clay did things around the apartment like laundry and things like that while I relaxed. The wait wasn't too bad in the waiting room today but by the time it was all said and done we were there again till almost 6. My B.P. stayed up again today, so bloodwork, a shot, IV antibiotic was the start, again we wait for the labs to get back, I was low on magnesium and I needed a unit of blood. This meant alot of wait time since they have to order all that and sometimes you think it is being delivered by a courier pigeon. On Thursday I had mentioned that they had accessed my other port to use for a week, I felt like when the nurse dressed it that the dressing was pulled too tight, I don't really know but last night it starting oozing some blood. They checked it today, wanted to take the old dressing off, they were a little concerned with the oozing, they ran a culture on the one port to see if there was any infection. After getting my magnesium and blood they took the needle out of my port to let it rest tonight, They will have to access both ports tomorrow because they wanted to do another culture before I had my antibiotic. The site where my port is still very sore and tender, it has just been about 9 days since I had it put in. I dread tomorrow already for when they have to poke the needle back in.

Please pray that my port will heal and there will be no infection, I am not sure what the process would be if something went wrong with it. Thank you again for your love, prayers and support.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Another Long Day

Clay got here by 10 this morning so Jeremy was able to head back home pretty early, I enjoyed him being here to help this week. Seems like things are always so busy we don't get alot of time to visit. We enjoyed our time together. Clay and I just hung out at the apartment for awhile before time to leave for the infusion center. They were really busy, we waited in the waiting room along time before getting called back. It was pretty much the usual, bloodwork, IV antibiotic, growth factor shot. At least my blood pressure stayed up today, I didn't have to get fluids. We had to wait for the labs to come back to see if I needed anything, if you don't wait it will never fail and they will call you back in after you get home, that's no fun. My white count is coming down but has a ways to go yet before I bottom out, but I needed platelets today, they were at 15 and they need to be at least 20. So this is what took alot of time, they had to match and order my platelets, it was another tiring day, again we were there about 5 hours. When Clay and I left there we stopped to get some dinner, he hadn't really had anything to eat since about 7 this morning, he was a little on the hungry side.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blood Pressure

Another restless night last night, I don't know what the problem is I usually don't have any problem sleeping while I am down here. Part of it was my stomach, just the yuck feeling not knowing if I would have to get up and run to the bathroom, just a panic. The stomach stuff is the worse, I will be so glad when it leaves me, none too soon. This morning was pretty bad as well and to add to it I got so weak I could hardly walk straight, I knew something was off. It was my blood pressure, what little there was. It was a total of 51/37 so of course that means fluids, fluids, fluids. They gave me a liter of fluid and that brought it up a little but not near enough, so another liter of fluid I received. It was a little higher after two liters of fluid they let me go, my counts were ok, I am still doing IV antibiotics since I had bronchitis before I came down, got my growth factor shot and blood work. It was a very long day, Jeremy and I were there from 1-6 today, it was a very tiring day. The fluid helped my energy level, still a little weak but not like this morning.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Long Time No Post

There's one thing about doing a blog, there is never a guarantee that you won't loose what you have typed, that's how I will start this blog. While Kara was here with me a few days ago I did a pretty long post about my time down here this time, I do it all the time so I know to save it a few times along the way but somehow it disappeared, there were two sentences only on the post. Needless to say I was very upset, just to have to go back and try to remember at least part of the information you had written about. Oh well, that's the way it goes, I will try again to cover most of what has been going on, so bare with me.

Tuesday, March 23rd Candes and I headed toward Little Rock at 7am, I had tests scheduled for most of the day. First stop was picking up my schedule/packet then on to have blood work, I met with a couple of nurses to talk about progress and medications. Then it was on to the dreaded bone marrow biopsy, after that we sat outside on a bench for quite awhile waiting for time to go to the MRI, it was such a beautiful day. Little Rock is just a little ahead of NWA with the blooming of flowers and trees, so it was just nice to set and look at the flowers, all around UAMS they have the most gorgeous tulips and various flowers, so since I missed the early Spring blooms in Fayetteville I was able to enjoy the beauty here. On Wednesday all I had was another nurse appointment so after that we or I should say Candes (I wasn't able to do much of anything) finished unloading the car, unpacking, we made a Walmart run to get the food and supplies that we needed for a little while. Thursday I had an appointment with Dr. Barlogie to see what the plan was as far as moving forward and hear the results of my tests. All the testing came back free and clear, still in remission so we were ready to move forward with the last round of chemo. I was scheduled to have my port put in that afternoon, we went with another type of port this time, it is a port that is surgically placed under the skin. This port won't have to be taken out when I go back home, it actually can be left in 15-20 years if needed. It was kinda a painful undertaking but it's done, it was really sore for two or three days but it has gotten better now. Clay came down on Friday and Candes went back home, On Friday I was hooked up to the 4 day 24 hour a day chemo bag to carry with me everywhere I went. Things went pretty well with the bag, Clay and I had a good weekend, even though I carried the 12 pound bag around I was feeling ok. We went out to eat a couple of times while I was feeling ok. Kara came down on Sunday to stay a few days and Clay headed back home to get ready for his work week. After our trip to the infusion center we headed back to the apartment before going to get a bite to eat. Monday was pretty much the same, that night we stayed in and had chicken alfredo and some wonderful bread, this was sent by a dear friend Sharon. Thank you Sharon, it was great!!! On Tuesday Jeremy came down to take a shift and Kara went back home, I enjoyed the time we had together. Jeremy and I headed to the infusion center pretty soon after he got here, I at least got the bag off today, it always feels good to walk away without that weight on your shoulders. I was already low on potassium so I had to get an infuser baby bottle to wear home. We came back to the apartment and both took a nap, I guess neither one of us knew we were so tired. Later we ran into US Pizza for a bite to eat, I started feeling a little yucky while we were there so it really didn't taste good to me and I usually really like it. Jeremy enjoyed it, he had never been to US Pizza before. About 9pm he unhooked my bottle, so I was free for the night, I didn't sleep real good, I was hot then cold, I also had some crazy dreams in which I don't usually do. I have been taking the blood thinner shots for several days in the stomach. (always fun) Today I started with the growth factor shots, this will effect my white blood count, these shots are given in my arm and they sting like a bee and keep on stinging for quite a while. All my counts were ok so I didn't have to have anything today, they actually took the needle out of my lower port so I came out of there today with only a bandaid covering my port. I didn't mention that it was a double port so they will access my upper port tomorrow and use it for a week, they will just switch back and forth.
Please continue to pray that this last round would go as smooth as possible and I will not have alot of issues as I move forward to the end. Thank you for your love and support.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Birthday and about that time again

I am still trying to get my body and mind ready to head back to Little Rock for my last big chemo treatment. I felt like I was about over the crud that I have had, but I'm really not sure. I think once you get it you can't get rid of it, I have been a little stuffy, ears still feel like they might have fluid or infection and a little cough, not anything like the cough I had when this stuff first started.
Hopefully it will all pass soon.

Well I had a wonderful birthday, my mom, sister and I had lunch at Olive Garden. It was really good, we just had the soup, salad and bread sticks, that way you can eat as little or as much as you want. Since I am not eating a whole lot these days that works great. They had picked me up some new clothes since pretty much all the clothes I have no longer fit. We keep switching sizes as I keep losing weight. It is not a good way to loose weight believe me. I got a sweater jacket from my sister in law, clothes from my girls so I am fixed up for a while now. We had dinner here at home and all the kids were here except Andrew, he had to work that night. We enjoyed Jonah, he entertained all of us, we had petitfores for desert and Jonah sure enjoyed a petitfore, he enjoyed it so much that he had to take a bath before he went home. It was just a great day all the way around.
I need to think about getting packed and gathering up the things I need to take back to Little Rock, Candes and I will leave early Tuesday, March 23rd. I have a busy day on Tuesday and then not much going on Wednesday, I will see the doctor on Thursday. As far as packing, I pretty much just stay packed, the things I take down are sometimes extras so I just keep things boxed up and we move it back and forth. I won't know what to do when I get back and can unpack for good.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Feeling Better

I am finally beginning to feel better. Sorry I haven't posted in a while, it seems like when I am back home I am either sick, not feeling well or just loose interest in my blog. In my last post I mentioned the crud that I had, seems like each day something else started. It started with bronchitis then a sinus infection, bad cough and runny nose. I don't know how many boxes of Puffs I went through. Then the second week I developed an ear infection, they tried 3 different antibiotic then I lost my voice for probably 4 days. I think I am on the mends with it now, it is truly nasty stuff, I know alot of people have had it and once you get it you keep it for a while, it doesn't want to go away.

As far as getting over my last treatment, I think I am also getting there. I am still tired and weak but it is so much better than it was. Seems like there is always something that hits you after you get home, you feel pretty good the first 3 or 4 days you are home and then bam there are issues. I have this week and next week to be home and get stronger before I go back. I will go back on the 23rd, I will spend my birthday at home on the 16th, I will miss Easter at home, I will be in Little Rock (that stinks) I will miss Jonah's second Easter. This will be my last treatment in Little Rock, I will go back and forth for tests and check ups but the rest of my treatments I will do here at Highland Oncology. I will take a treatment once a month for three years, I so look forward to the end, we are so much closer now.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fighting Bronchitis

I have been fighting bronchitis all week, I wasn't sure what it was when it started, but have found out now. I started with a real runny nose on Monday, thick but not yellow or green, so didn't think there was any infection. Tuesday morning out of the blue I started with a very deep cough, it seemed to just get worse. I had talked to the nurse on Monday, she started me on over the counter meds. On Wednesday I wasn't any better so they wanted me to have a chest ex-ray on Thursday, I am scheduled for lab and to get my line out anyway. They want to make sure I haven't developed pneumonia, so many people end up with pneumonia when they go home, this is something I didn't want to get. The ex-ray showed my lungs to be clear and had no fluid, I thought that was good news. They started me on an antibiotic and a cough syrup for bedtime, I hope I can knock this pretty quick, I know it seems to hang on sometimes. My stomach and ribs are sore from coughing so much. I go in for blood work tomorrow. Oh I did get my line out on Thursday, the nurse did a good job taking it out, not much pain involved, just pulling the tape was the only bad thing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good to be Home

It is truly good to be back home, even though it won't be for long, knowing I just have one more round to go makes it all worth while. I can do this!!!!! I have just been home a few days but it has been nice. I am trying to get something, like a cold or some kinda crud in which I do not want. I have to be careful in what I take, I can't just take anything. We are doing over the counter right now, my nurse said if it changed or didn't improve we would probably need to go to an antibiotic. I just don't want it to develop into something bad. When I went to have blood work on Monday my blood pressure was good so I didn't have to have fluids, I hope it stays up so I can get my line taken out maybe on Thursday. Kara took me in for labs on Monday, she had just got back Sunday night, she had been on a cruise, enjoying some warm weather.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fluids and more Fluids

Wednesday Darcy and I headed into to have labwork done and to see what I needed. My blood pressure was a little better but not what they wanted to see, they say when it drops like 50 points when you stand up, it's just too much of a drop. I took in 1 liter of fluid while I was there and was sent home with a 2 liter bag of fluid to take over 24 hours. They are trying to get my BP under control before I go home. I didn't feel as light headed Wednesday morning as I have felt the last few days.

We will go in today (Thursday) at 1 and see how things are today. My BP was better today, I did take a liter of fluid, but I didn't have to take fluid home. I had to have a unit of blood today as well as a magnesium infuser, they hooked me up to the infuser and it was finished by the time we left. By the time they crosstyped my my blood and they got it up to the 7th floor it was 6:45 by the time we got out of there.

The bad news is that we have to be back at 8 in the morning to get another unit. I have an early appt so we can get out of there for my 11:30 drs appt. I also had to have potassium today, a 5 hour infuser. Clay got there before 11 and Darcy headed back home, we headed over to the drs office to see what the plan was. We met with Dr. Nair and he dismissed us to go home, we decided to leave my line in for at least a week or two incase I needed fluids while I was home. We went to the apartment so Clay could load the car, Candes and Darcy had done most of the packing up so it was just pretty much loading up. We headed for home, it was a good feeling, we got home about 6:30 (Friday night), I will be home give or take 4 weeks, then we will have 1 more round to go. That also is a good feeling. After chemo my veins are just worthless, they have to stick me several times to find anything. The skin on my neck is so sensitive it is just to the raw stage, I developed blood blisters this time due to the pulling off of tape. If I don't have to have anything then someone at Highland will take my line out and my skin can start to heal. Clay will have to flush my lines each day and put heparin in my line. I will go in twice a week for labs while I am home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More bad weather

Sunday night and all day Monday it snowed here and I mean snowed. I don't think I have ever seen flakes that big, we watched from the room at the hospital. It was such a wet snow that you were walking in snow as well as water. Candes and I had never seen anything like this snow, trying to walk into the apartment (on the sidewalk) the water was above your shoes. All I brought was tennis shoes who would have known I needed waders , it has been a mess. It froze last night so you have to walk on frozen crunchy snow.

On to the medical part Monday my WBC had came up to 2.67 so we are on the way up, of course my BP is still dropping when I stand up so that means fluid, 2 liters. I had to get an infuser of magnesium/potassium. I am still feeling pretty weak and light headed, they say it is probably due to my BP. Today my WBC had jumped up to 6.20 so things are looking up as far as my counts. Of course my BP was at an all time low 68/29 yes you read that right, it has never dropped quite that low. I got a liter of fluid and was sent home with another liter for over night. I had a drs appointment today, Dr. Nair thought with my counts I should be ready to go home by Friday, I will see him again to make sure nothing has changed. He felt like I needed a few more days of fluid to watch my BP and to keep an eye on my headaches. He prescribed a BP medicine to raise it a little, we will see if it will work, also wanting me to start taking something to increase my appetite. Candes stayed an extra day this time partly because of the weather and partly because we were seeing the dr and thought he might send us home and there was no need for Darcy to come down. But we will go with the plan Darcy will come down and Candes will head back home, she has had her hands full this week since I have felt so bad. I will always be her baby sister.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Things Change

Well I didn't have to get blood afterall, my counts are coming up a little more so I didn't need blood or platelets. All I had to do was bloodwork and fluids. I am just so weak, I am ready to get my strength back. It will get better as my counts continue to come up. I have a drs appointment tomorrow and then on to have labwork, it will be a full day. My CRP had doubled again today, this again could mean signs of infection but the APN is not real concerned at this point, they still think it might be due to my counts. I pray that she is right and there is no need to worry. I have had an awful headache today that I just can't get rid of, what's so bad is with the chemo I can't really take anything.

Low Counts

My counts are really dropping now (as they are suppose to) and it has kinda zapped me, you just wait for them to come back up to feel a little better. On Friday my WBC was 0.17, it had been heading down but this was a big drop. I had to get fluids and I was low on potassium, so they hooked me up to an infuser which Clay had to switch out at 10 pm and then again at 3:30 am. On Saturday my WBC had jumped all the way up to 0.19 (wow) so hopefully we are on the way up, just slow. My CRP was doubled from the day before, this could be a sign of infection or it could be just due to my WBC. They have had alot of sick patients down here and having to put several in the hospital, I just want to stay infection free. I had to get platelets again today, along with fluid and home with a phosphate/potassium infuser. Clay has been a trooper this week, he has had to do a little bit of everything, I haven't been much company because I just haven't felt good. He said he might even learn to cook.

Today we already know that I am going to have to get blood and I am sure fluid, beside that we will just have to wait and see. Clay will take me today and later Candes will probably meet us there and Clay will head back home.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Counts Dropping

It is a rainy day here in Little Rock as well as most of the state I think, a nice day to stay in if you could. Clay drove in the rain the whole way here as well as Darcy driving back to Fayetteville, they both made it safe. They transferred me to 7-C today so I could be assigned an APN, I had been on the waiting list, luckily I haven't needed one. My WBC had really dropped today, almost to zero so it is on with the mask to protect me from any germs. My blood pressure did it's thing again today so I had to get fluids, not just 1 liter but two, I also had to get a 2 hour magnesium infuser while we were there and I also needed platelets today. They loaded me up today, they also sent me home with an antibiotic infuser just in case my temp went above 101. Hopefully my counts will come up as fast as they went down.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hump Day

I guess just a normal day around here for us, we have made our trip into UAMS for lab work and we are back at the apartment. The last three days I have had to get a liter of fluid due to my blood pressure dropping so low when I would stand up, today it was better and I didn't have to get fluids. Clay made it home on Sunday as Candes made her way down to stay a couple of days. We have changed our schedule around somewhat since we had to let one caretaker go, Andrew was my beginning of the week person from the start but he was recently hired by the Rogers Police Department, so duty calls. He is real excited as we are for him, it will take me a while to realize I have a policeman for a son, and it is always a little sary. So like I said Candes was here then my sis in law Darcy came down Tuesday afternoon, she will stay till Clay gets here on Thursday doing the weekend shift. And then we start all over again.

At this point we are just watching my counts waiting for them to come down and then go back up to get me on the mend. I take a growth factor shot to help my white count. The lab work wasn't back when we left so if I am low on anything they will call and we will have to go back in. On the most part I am doing ok, just a little weak, tired and having a few stomach issues. Hopefully my counts will go down and be back up in no time.
Please pray for strength and courage to keep me moving forward with this journey.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Weather Concern

This is the main concern for all of Arkansas right now, right now here in Little Rock it is freezing rain/sleet. Back home in Fayetteville I hear it has been snowing for a while. It is suppose to get worse here as the day goes on, depending on the temperatures. We are a little concerned because I have a 3:30 appointment, not knowing what it is going to do because I usually don't get out of there till 5:30 or 6.
Seems to be going pretty well so far, when we get the chemo bag changed out today it will be my last night to have to sleep with her. I should get unhooked tomorrow late afternoon, when you get a new bag it weighs right at 12 pounds so it gets a little old to carry around.
Clay and Andrew made the switch late yesterday afternoon to get everyone to where they needed to be today instead of waiting to do the switch this morning, probably a good decision.
Clay ran down to the store to pick up a few things for us for dinner and breakfast tomorrow, thought it would be better to go now than later, hope they are not out of everything when he gets there.
Everyone stay safe out there today and tomorrow or until this nasty stuff moves out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bag Lady

That's what you feel like for 4 days while you are taking chemo. By that I am talking about the 4 day-24 hour a day bag of chemo like I did when I first started my journey here in Little Rock. My appointment was at 1:00 today, they were really busy we left there at 6, it was a very tiring day. It's the bag you carry with you everywhere you go, it is hooked to your line so you have to remember to take it with you each and every step you take, we call her Martha, she is a sound sleeper yes she sleeps with me as well. I will have this until Saturday before they unhook it, we go in each day to get the chemo bag changed and do blood work but I still carry the bag. I am back on several meds now and as I have said in the past I do not do well taking all those meds. I am taking Dexamethasone in the morning and Thalidomide in the evening, this is the nasty stuff. Kara will be leaving today when Andrew gets here around noon, I have enjoyed her time here with me, she has been alot of help as well. My appointment is at 3:30 today, hopefully we will not have to wait as long today.
We are a little concerned about the weather that is suppose to hit the next few days, it will mess up our changing of the guards. We are just going to keep an eye on it and hope we will know what to do.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back in Little Rock

I was in Little Rock last week, Candes brought me down last Wednesday for testing. I was scheduled for testing Thursday and Friday, it was pretty much routine testing. Each time I come back it is always the same type of testing like a MMR, Pet scan, Bone Marrow Biopsy, meeting with about 3 different nurses. I didn't have anything scheduled for Saturday or Sunday so we headed home Friday afternoon.

Kara and I headed back to Little Rock Sunday afternoon, I have a doctor's appointment at 10 Monday morning. We will find out what the plan is for my next treatment. My thought is that I will have my port put in tomorrow and start chemo on Tuesday, but I don't make the treatment plans they do. So until they give us the word we will just wait.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year

Dropping off the face of the earth I'm sure is what most of you think has happened to me. Well I am still around, I just haven't really been in the mood to post in a while, I apologize to the ones that keep up with my blog. I will try to get started back with my treatment and progress. I have been home for 7 weeks now, the first month probably was pretty rough with alot of stomach issues and appetite problems. My stomach issues are better but I still don't have an appetite, I get a little hungry but I haven't really found anything that tastes right. I eat but then I get full real fast. My energy level is very low, I move around the house and it just wears me out. Seems like anything I do it takes all my strength. And with the weather we have had lately it keeps you in the gloomy mood. I still have another week and a half still at home before I go back to Little Rock, I am not looking forward to it but if I want to get my treatment over with I have got to get started. I just want my strength and appetite back.

I had written the above paragraph a couple of weeks ago, but I never did post so I will just try to finish it up this morning and post it. Things are going a little better, that always happens when it time to go back, I leave tomorrow (Jan. 20th) for testing Thursday and Friday. I will see the dr. Monday, Jan. 25th, I will probably start my chemo that day or the next. We will just have to wait to see what the doc says. I will probably be in Little Rock 3-4 weeks this time, we will be staying at the same apartment complex as we have been.

I have enjoyed my time at home over the holiday season, even though I haven't felt the best I have tried to get everything in that I could. We had a wonderful Christmas this year, we enjoyed having baby Jonah around. Even though he is not a baby anymore, he just turned 1 yesterday (Jan. 18th) we celebrated his birthday actually on our other baby's birthday. Andrew turned 23 on the 16th, I am glad that I got to be home for these special days.