Helene the Fighting Machine!!!

Hope 4 Helene

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Plan and the Party

Rob, Linda and I met with my dr. on Friday and here is the plan:

I had chemo this past Friday and will have 2 more treatments.

The week I am off I will have a CAT scan. If all is well... I will go off the Taxol (the main chemo drug with all of the nasty side effects) I will stay on the Avastin every other week, have a bone infusion drug once a month (like I currently do) and then have some kind of shot once a month. I am hoping that my energy level will return and maybe my hair, too! Then wait 2-3 months with monitoring of blood work, then recan to see if I can continue on maintenance meds. I am very nervous about going off the chemo....I am afraid the tumors may return- or come back in other places......I guess we have to take a chance.

So, I leave the dr. office and go back for chemo- to the room I usually have that has a view of the waterfall and has 2 windows. I opened the door and closed it becasue someone was in there! Low and behold it was Tia and Sharon- who with the help of Linda decorated the entire room in pink: pink balloons, pink circles on the wall (pealable) pink candy, pink cupcakes, pink presents, pink streamers, pink suckers, the list goes on! What a surprise and the best chemo day I ever had! Linda baked sweets and Tia made the ham" sammies" and Sharon got these to die for gooy pink cupcakes....I was vaclempted!!! Then the gifts! Tai had on this really cute pink sweatshirt that said "Pink- the color od courage" then Linda put hers on, Sharon who was dressed in pink went and got hers- then I got one! More later on the party....I am burning dinner.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chemo and dr. day

I am sitting here, drinking my diet coke and eating my muffin- contemplating today and having chemo another round. I soooooo enjoyed feeling almost "normal" this week. I was able to go to our first bunco of the year and enjoyed seeing all my bunkettes- except for a few who were out. Last weekend I was able to go to Galena with 3 friends- Laura, Toni and Doreen to relax, shop and eat! Probably overdid it a little- as I slept until 10:30am on Mon. when Mollie Jo wanted to get up.

Rob is meeting Linda and I at the Cancer Center to go to my dr. appt. By now, my dr. should have gotten a note from my second opinion dr. at Rush. My dr. is a little more conservative and I am ok with that.

Well, Linda Sue will be here soon to drive Miss Daisy. Thanks for all of your support.
xoxo, HTFM

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thinking of You

No matter what the doctor says tomorrow about whether or not you will continue chemo I want you to remember this: you WILL NOT give up, you WILL NOT be defeated and you WILL remain Helene the Fighting Machine. Taking a chemo vacation just means you get to really enjoy all of the holidays that are coming, you have a birthday in November that we are going to celebrate to the fullest. We will eat so much chocolate that we will actually much fun does that sound?
Thinking of you always,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

so so tired...

I just can not get over how tired I am all of the time. I have been sleeping in as late as 10:30 and feel like I could sleep all afternoon- even tho I go to bed around 10pm. I have to go in to work this afternoon and I am gonna need some kinda pick me up. Chocolate????? diet coke?????

I am really mulling over the decision about stopping chemo. This weighs on my mind almost 24/7. My main fear is tumors coming back in other places- like my organs. The cancer is in my spine and I deal with the pain with a mess of drugs. This accounts for some of the sleepiness- taking the pain medication. Rob would like me to go to a pain clinic to discuss some of the concerns we have. I guess he doesn't want an addict on his hands! nI just hate making more dr. appts.

I am grateful that I can attend Tyler's football games. He only has 1 per week- unlike Baseball where he could have 5-6 per week and more if they had a tournament. He only has about 6 weeks left and then he will be in training mode for baseball. He won't officially start practice until Jan. (indoors!)

We had a great meal last night thanks to Jenn. She walked in with the food at the same time we came home from football. Tyler just started eating right out of the containers as she set them down. Trying to feed a growing teenager who exerts so much energy is a challenge! I appreciate all Tia has done to get the meals on wheels for our family. It has really helped out more than you can imagine....

Please keep up the postive flow of energy and good karma.

Friday, September 10, 2010

turned "21"

I had my 21st chemo treatment today and boy did this one zap me out for the whole day! Linda and I left at 9am, and basically I have slept off and on since we got home at 12:30. Linda made the nurses and chemo workers some delish treats and gave us a whole platter, too of homemade Twix bars.....I had lost a few lbs. but I imagine I will put them back on. I was sooooo needing a smoothie today around 3, Tia- bless her heart- went out and got me one from McD's. I am still a little nasuseous and my tongue is so tender that it tastd great and felt wonderful going down.

I think why I had such 2 bad days Wed and Th is because I screwed up some medicine......I went off it cold turkey because I thought I had ordered some in the mail - the 3 month version. Appartently I didn't and going off this med. cold turkey caused me to be so dizzy, lethargic, nauseous ect. Back on it today and hopefully I will recoup faster. It is difficult to keep all my meds sorted out. I am on 16 different RX ones and 5-6 OTC meds.

I was able to go to Tyler's football game Thursday and they got a win!! 14-0 vs. Plainfield South. I look like an old lady with my back supported chair- but with as many herniated discs as I have I would have a difficult time with the bleachers.

Those Bunco babes in Plainfield really are taking care of my family and me. We even had a friend of a friend- Tammy- volunteer to make a meal 2 weeks ago and this week Sarah really out did herself~ Tyler loved his special dessert! Besides helping out my family, it is fun to see what other people can cook. Again- much appreciation goes to Tia for organizing this. Through Tia~I have learned to be gracious and not say no when people are wanting to help me out. I guess you can teach a "seasoned" dog new tricks!

We are just taking it easy this weekend- may have over done it last weekend. I need to "save" my enregy as I am going to Galena with Toni, Doreen and Laura on the 18th- just one night. we plan to relax, shop and eat! I am so thankful to Laura as she is helping me out with all my medical bills- and just tells me what ones to pay. It is such a relief to have this off my mind. Some days I just can't think! I am grateful for her accounting assistance.

So off chemo next Firday :) :) then I see my dr. the week after to discuss what the plan is. Kinda scared.....
xoxo, HTFM

Friday, September 3, 2010

2nd opinion and chemo # 20

Denise drove Linda and I to Rush Hosp. in Chicago to see my 2nd opinion dr. This basically took the whole day with driving, parking and waiting over an hour to see the dr. she also said I am "stable" but more in a good way. she would like me to take a chemocation, stay on the zomata (for my bones) and on the Avastin (suppose to cut off the blood supply to the tumors- currently being looked at to NOT be approved by the FDA- which then our insurance won't cover. this medication costs $100,000/year. YIKES!) The Avastin woud be everyother week with the zomata only once a month. This is something I look forward to, yet also am impossibly nervous about going off the Taxol- the actual chemo drug. My fears include the tumors returning in other organs or places.....or them getting so out of control that they can't be shrunk. There is just so much to think of.

Today mi amiga Karen Morrison took me to chemo appt. #20. Mollie Jo really liked meeting Karen esp. when Karen took her for a walk after my chemo appt. Karen stopped at Panera and brought our favorite Cinnamon crunch bagels. I feel so bad that I just doze off after the IV benedryl......then the Taxol takes over and I am out.

I am looking forward to going to Tyler's football game Sat. at 9:30. Just a low key weekend- having some family time and maybe some retail therapy!

Shake the beads, bang the gong, cross your fingers that we make the correct decisions.