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, October 24, 2010

Kaleigh and her New "Do"

My neice Kaleigh got a pink hair extension put in her hair for a breast cancer donation! There are some salons who are sponsoring this during October. I told Kaleigh that next year- I want one, too! My hair has been growing a little- it is about an inch long, but it it very fine like a baby's. I have some bald I still can't go without a hat or wig. Around the house the boys are ok with it. I have to keep a hat handy near the door in case someone stops by. The color is a little lighter- but still no grays! That's right.... my sister and I don't have any grays, either did our Mom when she passed. We swore she dyed her hair cause she was 74 and had no grays. I am hoping that since I am off the Taxol my hair might grow a little more.

My bottom is still so sore from those shots! I think I get the double shots again in 2 weeks. It was kind of nerve racking having 2 nurses come at me with big ol' needles and giving me the shots in tandum. I guess that's better than chemo.

As my friend Kim says, "Gotta go burn dinner."


Friday, October 22, 2010

Guarded Good News!

The CAT scan showed the tumors as being "stable", however there are 2 "hazy spots" that are new on one of my lungs. They don't know what the spots are. Sooooo- I am officially off of the chemo drug- Taxol and still on Avastin- which is an infusion drug that is suppose to limit the blood supply to the tumors. The Avastin causes me to have bloody noses and makes it more difficult to heal sores. I started on shots in my butt today that are estorgen inhibitors. It was weird- both nurses came in and gave me the shots at the same time in either cheek. It was better than doing one and then the other as the serum is very thick and hurts going in- better than chemo. I will still be on a monthly bone infusion drug. If the blood work comes out ok and I feel ok, the plan is to rescan in 2-3 months, based on the tumor markers in the blood work. This is sure more info. than you want to know!!!!

I have back surgery scheduled for Nov. 18th. The neuro surgeon will go in and drill holes in 2 vertebrae and fill the area with cement. This will hopefully get rid of some of the pain in my upper back where the tumors are. Later on, the other surgeon wants to go in and file down the stenosis that has developed in my lower back. What a life it would be to have less back pain!!!!

Football for Tyler is over and I am grateful we made it through without an injury. Only 3 more years to go. He made a touchdown last night which was cool. I was happy that I was able to go to all 9 of his games as I missed so many baseball games in the spring and summer.

Molly Jo is getting bigger and bolder. Like a 4 year old, she gets annoyed when I am on the phone. She is a diva dog, as she sleeps in with me when I need to. Hopefully- I will gain back some energy in a few weeks as I am off the Taxol. The pain meds cause me to be very tired but if I have the surgery- who knows? I may get that Type A personality back.

My Bunco Babes have been so helpful in making my family and I meals. It has been such a blessing. Two associates at work- Jenny and Barbra have also made me meals the past 2 weeks. Then Denise sent Chuck over with homemade stew and a homemade apple pie this week. I just wish I had more of an appetite- I am sure that will come with being off the Taxol. The boys are sure appreciative of all of the food. Having the meals has really helped me not to have to worry as much.

I so appreciate all of your prayers, good thoughts and positive karma. Keep it going....

xoxo, HTFM

Monday, October 18, 2010

A no chemo week

I was off chemo last Friday and started to feel a little better. It takes me longer to get back my energy now than when I first started treatment. I had a CAT scan last Thursday and see the dr. this week for the results. If the tumors are still "stable" I may be going off chemo for what I call a chemocation. We won't know for how will depend on the next set of scans and an MRI. I will have to go in to the Cancer Center every other week for an infusion of Avastin- a drug that cuts off the blood supply to the tumors, have a monthly infusion of the bone drug and have a monthly shot. Not quite sure what the shot is for- possibly a maintenance drug to cut off the estrogen to the tumors. So- pray for good results for this Friday......I will be so disappointed if I have to continue chemo. The chemicals seem to be just building up in my body and it is so difficult to rally and feel better. Still all I want to do is sleep. I woke up at 6 this morning to see Tyler off to school. Molly Jo and I went back to bed until Linda Sue called at 9:45 wondering if I was still sleeping! I was never a sleeper or a napper and that is all I want to do- sleep late and nap in the afternoon. (So does Molly Jo my diva dog!)

Tyler is finishing up football this week. It will be nice to have him home before 6 at night. His last game is Th and I will just be overjoyed if we get done with the season injury-free! Then only 3 years to go hoping he doesn't get hurt! I am such a mom....

Please keep the prayers and positive karma going. I appreciate everything!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Black Monday...

Yesterday was the worst ever. I am really weak today and am forgoing work tonight on the advice of my friend Denise. I am so hoping that last Friday was the final chemo for awhile. I think the toxicity is just building up too much and attacking everything else in my body. I am a strong lady and this sh_t is just bringing me down. I never miss work! Oh well, Chuck- Denise's husband - thinks I should just retire and play with him and his grandkids. Not a bad idea....

I think it is almost official....Karen from Kentucky is coming up for a weekend on the 22nd!!!! I just miss her so much. She was my next door neighbor in N'ville and our boys grew up together. Karen knows how to have fun and always cheers me up with her cards and gifts she sends in the mail. Just thinking about all of the fun times we have had makes me tear up. More later....


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sending hugs your way!

Hi Helene, I'm sending you strength to make it through your next chemo on Friday. Then-chemo holiday. I think you should not be nervous about taking a break. You are going to be monitored all the time. It will be nice to hopefully feel better for a longer length of time. Nancy's mom has had a few holidays from her chemo and has had good results for a couple years now. If need be, she started it up again, then took a break when the doctors said so. You need to regain your strength!

I'm so proud of you! You have powered through this like a super woman with special strength. When you are feeling better, we need to go out and pamper you with a fancy dinner.

Hang in there this week! And remember, sleep when you need to, eat when you want to and smile lots-it helps. Oh, and a glass of wine once in a while does wonders!

Love ya sister, Julie

Friday, October 1, 2010

23 down and 1 to go!

I had my 23rd chemo treatment today....Linda took me and just in her "spare time" made choc./peanut butter bars and oatmeal apple bars- some for me and some for our fabulous nurses. I don't know how she gets everything done! At the drop of a hat, she was here on Tuesday to take me to the pain clinic at Edward's in Naperville. I was going to go by myself, but she drove over when she found out I was going that morning. Thank goodness, as I had a really awful Monday and was not feeling the greatest on Tues. The neuro doctors want to put cement in my back where the tumors are to separate the nerves that cause me pain. Then after this heals, another neuro doctor wants to go in and scrape or file off all of the stenosis in my lower back. The pain I have in my lower back is from back surgery I had 25 years ago. I would love to not have so much pain and not have to take so many pain pills. The pain pills also cause me to be tired and lethargic. So..... more dr. appts. to schedule and another CAT scan and MRI.

Doreen called me on Monday afternoon and from what I must have said to her, she said that she would drop off dinner around 6 pm. This was such a blessing, as the thought and smell of food was making me nauseous. Tyler and Rob come home starving and I had a nice meal for them. What a friend!

I was lucky to be able to go to Tyler's football game on Thursday. I ran all of my errands on Thursday and was really tired by the end of the day. It felt good to be able to do "regular" stuff.

Continue those prayers and positive thoughts!