Cameron and Kacey

Cameron and Kacey
My Beautiful Angels

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Please..No more bumps in the road for poor Kris:-(

Chip took Kris into DF yesterday for her radiation and bloodwork....only to find that her platelets were extremely low and she had to have a platelet transfusion. She also was running a fever and her doctor decided she needed to get things under control and she had to be admitted to see if they could find if there was an infection.

She got into Brigham last night and Chip was with her for quite a while before heading home. As she truly has no voice at all...bearly a whisper...she’s been texting a lot!! She had to go for a CT Scan to see if that showed any infection...and no sooner returned from that and they said she needed an ultrasound of her abdomen to check her liver, gallbladder and spleen...and her liver function tests were somewhat elevated. (ultrasound was fine!)

She was trying to get some sleep, when a resident came in and woke her at 12:15am to tell her she needed to have a scope to check into her throat. Now I’m not a doctor but this does not seem logical to me at she has a terribly sore throat and cough, having had 9 weeks of chemo and then radiation for the last 5 weeks which is making her throat worse...PLUS her platelet count is low (which clots your blood)....and they want to stick a tube up her nose into her throat???! They then say that they could see a sac of fluid in her neck in the CT scan where the tumor was and it *could* be necrotic (dead) cells OR it could be an they want to do a needle biopsy in the am! And she couldn’t have anything to eat or drink in case this was done. NOT the way to have her gain weight!

As if that wasn’t bad enough, they come back in this am and say the scope has to be repeated because they were unable to visualize clearly enough the first time!! That was done but when they mentioned the needle biopsy again, she said “NO...not unless you talk to my doctor at DF!”

As she was texting all this to me, I told her to refuse any invasive procedure and I was calling her doctor at DF. I truly believe that Dr. Limaye was an angel that was sent to Kris to get her thru this terrible ordeal. She has been wonderful since Day 1 and continues to be! She called me back and was furious that this all happened. She was at Brigham in no time and straightened things out and made it clear what SHE expected during Kris’ hospitalization!

It’s so hard to see Kris in such discomfort...trying to eat or drink just a bit. The coughing continues...which aggravates her throat...and the mucus is blood tinged (thank you, residents). They say that it is from the throat irritation and not active bleeding....thank goodness.

So far, they feel her fever has been from sinus infection and/or the tiny sac of fluid in her neck (which "might" be an abscess)....both of which will be treated with IV antibiotics.

They are trying to figure out why they can’t get her blood counts up where they should be and hemotology will be consulted.

And on a good note...Kris now has 6 more radiation treatments to go! There is most definitely a light at the end of this very long tunnel....just more bumps in the road than we would’ve liked.

Kris, I so admire you and love you. You are going thru hell and you still keep that head up and your spirits up. Damn, I know how hard this must be, honey.

I know you have lots of family and friends that are sending good wishes and prayers your way!

Thanks to all!


Monday, August 23, 2010


So here we are....the 23rd of August. I am down to 9 more radiation treatments! But, like the rest of my "road to being cured," I have hit another "bump". My platelet count was too low last week, so I was unable to have chemo on Tuesday. They said this is not uncommon during the end of this treatment. Radiation is the most important thing now. The chemo just adds a "boost". Unfortunately, my counts have not recovered and are still low this week, so no chemo again. Unreal that it can be such a disappointment to NOT get chemo. But I have to work with my doctors and my nurses this week to get those counts back up to where they should be so I can get chemo next Tuesday, my last week of treatments.

My hematocrit was low again, so I got a partial blood transfusion today and will get the rest of it tomorrow. My WBCs dropped as well, so they are giving me a shot every day for 5 days to boost that back up. And I am on another antibiotic to prevent any infections. Didn't help that I had a fever last night, but it has gone away. Thank goodness! They are doing everything they can to get my counts back up and help me feel stronger so that I do not end up in the hospital again. Amen to that!

We also found out this week that I will not have a post-treatment PET scan until at least 12 weeks after the radiation ends. This is because the cells and tissues in the radiation field need time to heal and recover. If they did it too soon, it could show a false positive of the tissues that have been affected.

So I will take some time off from work this fall to recuperate and get my appetite and strength back. Hopefully my voice comes back quickly as well. It is really not effective at home or at work to have laryngitis so bad, I can barely whisper! My kids ignored me when I could talk...imagine life at my house now! Or better yet, a gym full of middle schoolers and me with no voice!! Yeah, right!

I hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of summer. It has been a beauty! Just wish I could have enjoyed more of it instead of watching it go by from a Dana Farber window. But it'll all be worth it in the end. When I have beat this DAMN disease again and for the last time! Take THAT, Cancer! I am ALL DONE with you!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lucky 13!

So, I have just 13 more treatments left!! I finally have the end in sight!! Was able to enjoy some vacation time with the family in Maine for the past two weekends. They stayed all week, but I had to come home on Monday for my treatments. I had twin lobsters both times I went up!! But apparently there are not enough calories or fat in lobster, as I lost three pounds this week. So now I have to supplement my meals with high protein shakes to try to maintain my weight so they will not put a feeding tube in.

Today is Tuesday and I see my oncologist before treatments on Tuesdays. Unfortunately, my platelet count was very low, so they had to hold my chemo this week. This is common this far into treatments, as the chemo does take a toll on your body. My liver function was a little off as well, so this break was probably for the best. Radiation is the most important course of action right now, so I am not getting discouraged. They will retest on Friday to make sure I am ready to go next week. My hematocrit was low last week, so I had a blood transfusion last Thursday. Now I might need another one on Friday. Whatever they need to do to keep my treatments going and working!!

On a good note, my WBCs were low last week, but increased slightly, so that count was good this week. This is also common with the chemo and radiation. Let's hope for good counts on Friday!!

Cameron starts school in two weeks. Can't believe my baby boy is going into first grade! Where does the time go!?!? Kacey starts Sept. 15th for her second year of preschool. She goes 5 days a week this year and is more than ready! So glad that both my kids enjoy school so much! Hope that continues!!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!! Could not ask for nicer weather, although I don't like the humidity so much and my lawn is now straw!! Oh well!! At least the sun is out!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

FINALLY.....A Little Break That I Have Been Waiting For!

I know what you are all thinking....two posts in one week!?!? Wow!! But I just had to share my little bit of good news that I received from the doctor yesterday!

On July 9th, I had a CT scan to have a "baseline" after the chemotherapy and before the radiation treatments began. When I saw the doctor later that morning, she did not have the official radiology report, but looked at the scan with me and stated that the tumor had reduced greatly in size. That was all I needed to hear before heading off to a few days of relaxation in Vermont with the family.

Yesterday, I saw the doctor for the first time since beginning my radiation. I had been seeing the physician's assistant, as my doctor was on rotation at Brigham and Women's Hospital for two weeks. While she was doing her weekly check up with me and talking about any issues I was having, we asked if she had received the final report from my last CT scan. The report stated that the tumor had reduced to approx. 1cm! It was originally 5 x 3cm in size and involved my carotid artery. This newest report stated the new size and that it was hard to tell from a CT scan how much of that 1cm is disease because there is necrotic (dead) tissue. They would need to do a PET scan to find that out. I am sure I will have that when my treatments are finished. The report also had NO mention of ANY carotid involvement!

So some of my prayers have FINALLY been answered! I am happy for today and still have 22 treatments after today. I will battle through those and four more weeks of chemo and hopefully keep the side effects to a minimum. Like I told the doctor yesterday, "I am NOT done fighting yet! And I will continue to fight with all I have!"

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and enjoying this beautiful weather!
Life is precious....take a deep breath and remember the little things that matter most!
They say, "It's not the number of breaths we take in life, but the number of moments that take our breath away." I truly believe.....