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CT scan results; not good news

Monday, December 15, 2014

My CT scan that I had on Friday shows that 3 lesions that were on my liver in July have grown a little bit; they are growing slower, but they have grown, and there a few new ones too. The cancer has also now spread to my lungs; those spots are very tiny right now though, and also slow growing.

I wasn't expecting a "clean" scan, especially since I have had to postpone my chemo for over a month now due to the low platelet counts. (Which, by the way, when my CBC was done this morning, rose up to 91 from being 75 last week, a much bigger increase than I was expecting, but still too low to have chemo.) But what was hardest for me to hear, was being told that we may be running out of options with things to try. I knew that someday I would eventually get to that point with this disease, but to me, that "someday" was still quite a ways down the road.

The problem is that my bone marrow is just "worn out" from all the chemo I've had over the years, so that is what is limiting my options when it comes to treatment. He wants some time to do a little more research though, so I am going to go back to see him on Monday and I will found out then how we will proceed from there. If he does decide to continue with the chemo, I will have that the Friday after Christmas.

One of my cousin's was with me today, so at least I was not alone. It was very hard to hold back the tears and not cry until I had left the building. It's going to take me some time for all this to sink in, it still feels like a shock to me.

It's so hard to tell my close friends and my family about this, so soon after losing my mom. I know it's nothing I can control, and it's not my fault, but I can't help but feel that I am letting everyone down.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGELN325 12/17/2014 6:23AM

    I'm so sorry to hear this. That is such a setback and I understand why you may feel why you are letting everyone down, but you are not. You are a wonderful, caring person who even with everything she is going through, took a few moments of her time to respond to my blog and you do that consistently. I'm praying for a miracle for you. One good thing about this site is that it teaches us to eat healthier and I know of at least one person who stopped her cancer in her tracks by eating lots of green foods and there are other anti-cancerous foods out there too. Not saying it will work, but it may be worth a shot.

I believe knowledge is power so here's a link for you to look at so you are ready for a real discussion with your doctor: http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/
stage-4-treatment-options.

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FORZACHANDMATT 12/16/2014 10:18PM

    My heart and thoughts go out to you

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YELLOW09RED 12/16/2014 9:22AM

    Oh Shari,
You are the strongest person I know. You encourage me. I'm sad to read your news this morning. I know everyone of us here on Spark LOVES you and we will be here for you. I know everyone in your family will Hug you.
I also wish I lived closer to you so I could help you daily.
emoticon emoticon

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CASSIECAT 12/16/2014 9:04AM

    emoticon
There's no good time to get this kind of news, and you are definitely not letting anyone down.

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BETHGILLIGAN 12/16/2014 8:35AM

    Shari, I am so sorry to hear this news. You're right--this is not YOUR fault. You have been and still are such a fighter (and an upbeat one at that!). Allow your friends and family to lift you up! You have disappointed no one. emoticon

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JANET552 12/16/2014 7:46AM

    I am sorry to hear your news and it does come at an especially bad time, in many ways. I am sending extra prayers. I hope your doctor has some new thoughts for you on Monday.

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GOANNA2 12/16/2014 6:46AM

    Shari, I am so sorry to hear the CT scan results.
You are such a brave lady and a real fighter. Hang
in there and hopefully the doctor can find something
in the new research that might be worth a try.
Thinking of you and sending prayers to you. No, you
are not letting anyone down. You are amazing!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PIMPINELLAN50 12/16/2014 4:16AM

    Shari,
I am so sorry about the CT Scan results.You are most definitely not letting anyone down
Shari.You have faced every obstacle put in your path with incredible inner strenght and grace.Hopefully the platelet count will continue to rise so that you can resume the chemo.Or the doctor will find another treatment for you.The love,concern and admiration so many of us have for you is easy to see on every blog that you have posted.
You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers every day. emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon
Marianne emoticon



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JANIEWWJD 12/16/2014 12:27AM

    Do not feel like you are letting anybody down!!! You are such a warrior, a fighter with a wonderful spirit!!! All is not lost, and there are still options out there!!! The most important one is prayer and giving God control over your life!!! May His will be done!!! I am praying very hard for you!!! God bless you, my friend, and never, ever give up!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 12/15/2014 10:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You have let NO ONE down. Your bravery is admirable. Hopefully your doctor can come up with something to help you. My best friend from high school fought the good fight for 17 years, many of the last ones in experimental treatment programs that she knew would help others, if not help her. Her doctors were amazed at the number of times she rallied from hospice care. Take care.

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/15/2014 9:46PM

    Shari, My heart goes out to you at this very difficult and challenging time in your life. You have no let anyone down my sweet friend. No one at all. You have been nothing but courageous, strong, positive and heroic as far as I am concerned. That is how I see you. I will continue to pray that God will help your Dr. find a good treatment option for you. Love you dear friend. emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 12/15/2014 9:40PM

  PRAYERS,HUGS AND FAITH,SHARI emoticon emoticon

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CHERYLE51 12/15/2014 8:41PM

    I am so sorry to hear about the cancer. It's a very hard time right now for a lot of people. I have added you as a spark friend. Please take care.


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IAM_HIS 12/15/2014 8:31PM

    Shari, you are not letting anyone down. You are showing all of us just how strong and courageous you are. I will keep praying for you and having faith that the doctors will find a way to help you. God is in control and I am so very grateful for this.

Never, never give up and know that you are not alone in this journey. Please keep posting and taking care of yourself.

Lord, I trust in you to take care of my beautiful friend Shari. Guide her doctors to help her get better.

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IMAVISION 12/15/2014 7:34PM

    You are not letting anyone down, Shari. When we just don't have it in us to be strong, it is a blessing to have family & friends to lean on. Let them be strong for you this time around.

I will continue in prayer for our Creator's perfect will to unfold for you, as He walks you through each day. And, I will share your need for prayer covering with other prayer warriors.

May our Creator give His wisdom to your physician in all matters concerning your health & healing needs!

God bless you, Shari!

Ima


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RAESUN54 12/15/2014 7:15PM

    Shari,

I too am sorry you received such shocking and disappointing news. Especially so soon after your mom passing. I somewhat can relate what has happened in my family this year.
You are such a very strong and inspiring lady. It is hard to tell family and friends especially when you have not quite absorbed what has been happening.
Please know you have lots of friends here that care a lot about you and We all are praying for you.

You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

emoticon emoticon

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NOMIS1 12/15/2014 7:14PM

    Oh Shari -
Letting anyone down? You are the bravest, strongest person I know. I know sitting from here it is easy to say don't go down that road, but please try not to.

I am so sad to hear this news and will praying for the best.

Please, please keep in mind all the lives you are touching in such a positive way.



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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/15/2014 6:51PM

    Oh, dear friend, I hated reading the title of your blog...I am so sorry it was not better news! I am glad you were with your cousin, but it is still is not the news you wanted and of course shocking! You have not let anyone down! You have been brave and
handled this with such courage! Please see yourself surrounded by love, prayers and
Wishes for an answer. I hope your Dr can be touched by our love and find something to try to help you! We are here, my friend...know we care and will be keeping you in our daily thoughts and prayers!
Healing Hugs,
Mary
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/15/2014 6:37PM

    Shari,

I'm so sorry to hear this. I have been thinking about you all day and even checked earlier to see if you had posted. I was afraid the scan would show some growth since you hadn't been able to get chemo on a regular basis and that you might be running out of treatment options.

I hate that you have to be dealing with this so shortly after your mom died and right before Christmas. Horrible timing...but, I don't know if there is such a thing as good timing when it comes to stuff like this.

They just had the annual Breast Cancer symposium in San Antonio. I wonder if your MO is going to be looking at the published presentations from that to see if there is anything new that might work. I've been reading about things for triple negative bc because that's my kind. I'm not up on treatments for the other types of bc.

I wish there was some sort of immunotherapy that was available to you that wasn't so hard on your bone marrow. That seems to be the direction a lot of research is taking....it just takes so darn long for it to become available to patients.

I'm heartbroken this is happening to you. I know you still have some time. You have fought a long hard battle and it is NOT over. I wish I lived closer so I could actually help you. You are in my thoughts.

Hugs,
Kay

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ICECUB 12/15/2014 6:33PM

    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THIS SAD NEWS. YOU HAVE NOT LET ANYONE DOWN. YOU HAVE BEEN VERY BRAVE MY FRIEND. I WILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS. PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE AND FOR GOD TO SURROUND YOU WITH HIS HEALING POWER AND LOVE.

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CELLOPLAYER1 12/15/2014 6:30PM

    I will keep you in my prayers.

You are not letting anybody down, we are all here for you.

emoticon

Julie

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 12/15/2014 6:28PM

    Such sad news at this time of the year. I was concerned because of the low platelet levels. Prayers for comfort and peace. Prayers that the supreme healer will step in and find a way for your physician to help you. Try to find strength. You have been so strong and an inspiration. Know that we are here for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/15/2014 6:26PM

    Reading this through tears; I am so fond of you as a dear SPfriend and feel as though I know you. Very saddened by this news. You remain in my prayers.

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SMILINGEYES2 12/15/2014 6:16PM

    I am saddened by the report--not what we had hoped to hear. Cuddle with your prescious kitties and you have every right to let the tears flow. Please call on us for what support we can give. Will continue to lift you up in prayer. Wish could hug you and just be there in person for you. Know how hard it was for my dh husband and I got the news nothing could be done. Those next days were so sweet and tender; will always treasure them. It was not a journey we would have chosen but one we had to travel. emoticon emoticon

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CRUISEGAL55 12/15/2014 6:16PM

    Shari,I am glad your cousin was with you, when you got the results.Please, know how you are loved & how many of us are praying for you. Praying for a miracle. From all the emoticon on this blog, we need to be careful not to squeeze you too tight.
Are you allowed to drink? Break open a bottle of Red(or White), Make a toast & write in your gratitude journal.

OXOXOX emoticon emoticon

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MISSM66 12/15/2014 6:14PM

    Keeping you in my prayers my friend, emoticon

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DAISYBELLEKIA 12/15/2014 6:03PM

    You are in my prayers...I wish I could give you this hug in person emoticon

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PICKIE98 12/15/2014 5:53PM

    As you already know the stages of grief, you know that deep down, you have done nothing wrong, have let NOBODY down, and will weigh options yourself as yo go along. Attitude, support, and faith are the strongest medicines a can administer to themselves.

I want to reach through my monitor and squeeze you until the hugs make you feel better.

Nobody here could do anything more than you have over the course of this trial of challenges you have had.

None of us can change what is, but we can be here for you, your vent, your support from afar. Any healing, anything you feel you need to try, go for it.
I love you sweetie and will help you in any way I am able to help.

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JENNY888 12/15/2014 5:43PM

    Reading your blog I was ready to share a couple of tears myself for you. Hopefully your doctor will find something that will help you. In the meanwhile enjoy every minute you can of the holiday season. We all leave this world some time and I am sure there is something around the corner at that time. If you need anyone to talk to during this difficult time know I am here for talking. I have added you as a Spark Friend so I can keep track of what is happening. I hope you don't mind.

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MABRYSMOMMA0329 12/15/2014 5:39PM

    i will keep you in my prayers that the dr will have something new for you the next time you see him emoticon

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Another "strike out" with the chemo

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Once again, chemo has to be postponed because of my platelet count. I was not surprised though; I really did not think that the counts would get up to 100 which is the minimum at which my doctor will allow chemo, since last Wednesday they were at 71, and had only crept up to 75 on Friday. I asked if I could get get my blood counts checked at our local hospital next week instead of having to make the trip to the cancer center when it's not that likely they will be up high enough next week either, and I was told that I could.

So, I'll be getting my lab work done at our local hospital Monday; I am on the schedule for next Wednesday but they will call me after they get my blood count results and let me know whether I am to come in or not. If I can't have chemo next week, (and I really don't think those platelets will be up high enough, based on past history) it will at least save me one trip next week. I can get the lab work done here in town if it's just a complete blood count needed, but I will still need to get it done at the cancer center once a month for the more specialized lab work such as the tumor markers.

Once my counts do get up high enough where I can start it again, my doctor is going to put me on a 28 day schedule, instead of once per week for 2 weeks in a row then a week off. Having it only once every 28 days will hopefully keep those blood counts from plummeting again, and it will be easier on the rest of my body too.

I also stopped to fill my prescriptions from the pain clinic. Unfortunately, the pain patches that I was prescribed were out of stock, so I will have to wait until Rite Aid sends out their order tomorrow and they probably won't be in until Tuesday. At the pain clinic I go to, all patients on pain meds must sign a "pain contract", and one of the rules are that all pain meds have to be filled at the same pharmacy, so I was not able to take it somewhere else to get it filled. I know they have that rule because there are people who abuse those kinds of medications, but it's sad that the ones who do make it harder for people who legitimately need them to get them filled. I will be ok waiting a few days though; I've never been on the patches before, and I've lived this long so far without them, so waiting a few more days will not be a hardship for me, and I still have my oral pain med, so I am not any worse off than I was before.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 12/15/2014 8:59AM

    Shari, I have you in my thoughts and prayers.
So sorry you can't get the patches - you are so
understanding and I hope the pain is not too,
too severe till you are able to get them It does
seem that thoughtless people make it hard for the
honest people who are really in need the meds.
Thanks for visiting my blog and your good wishes.
Hope you have a good week. emoticon emoticon

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RYDERSAUNT14 12/15/2014 8:38AM

    Shari, You are in my thoughts and prayers. Going through cancer is tough. When Mom had cancer we were all devastated but we were thankful that she was with us 27 months after her diagnosis and we fought with her every step of the way. I pray you will have the strength to continue on. God bless you! emoticon

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KATZEYEZ 12/14/2014 1:08PM

    Hope that your counts will rise and you can continue your treatment, sweetie. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs from us all here. emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 12/12/2014 9:04PM

    Seems like you're body is having a difficult time getting back on track. Hopefully, those counts will continue to rise and you can get back on your treatment plan!

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NOMIS1 12/12/2014 7:15AM

    Sorry things are not going smoothly.

emoticon

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YELLOW09RED 12/11/2014 7:05PM

    emoticon Shari,
I'm sorry.
I hope you will be ok until Tuesday with the pain.
God bless your waiting time.
Good night friend,
Debbie

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HANOVERLADY 12/11/2014 1:54PM

    Go, platelets, Go,platelets . . . Hoping that those little guys do what they need to do to increase! So glad that you will be able to have your test done at the local hospital.
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JUDITH316 12/11/2014 12:48PM

    I'm so sorry to hear this Shari, my prayers are with you that your Blood levels especially the platelets will come back to normal levels so you can resume your treatments again... As always I stand with you & send you BIG emoticon

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CASSIECAT 12/11/2014 9:24AM

    C'mon platelets! Grow and multiply so Shari can get her next treatment! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/11/2014 7:47AM

    Bummer! I was really hoping you would be able to get chemo this week. You are right, the chances were low since it's taking such a long time for your platelets to build back up again.

I also agree about the pain clinic abuses making it harder for people like you to get the pain relief you need. It's frustrating. I imagine though that they treat your pain seriously at the clinic and you don't have to convince them that you are having issues. Do you have to wait long when you go? There always seems like there is a huge crowd at the pain clinic at Vanderbilt waiting to be seen. Their clinic is right next to the infusion center for the breast center, so I was very aware of how many people go there. It always seemed to be very crowded.

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JANET552 12/11/2014 7:29AM

    I hope your blood count gets up where it needs to be so you can move forward.

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JANIEWWJD 12/10/2014 11:33PM

    God bless you! I will continue to pray for you! emoticon

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RAESUN54 12/10/2014 8:51PM

    You are always in my prayers. I am sorry that the blood coints are low and everything has be postponed.
I hope all will get better for you. You have been through so much. You deserve a break.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday. And blessed new year.

emoticon emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/10/2014 8:32PM

    Dear Shari, I'm sorry things didn't work out with the platelets not going up high enough to get your chemo. I hope you'll be ok pain wise with your oral meds.
I am amazed at your strength and grit through all of this. You are an amazing woman. I know I keep telling you that, but it's true. I have never met a stronger, more determined woman in my life. A lot of others I know would have given up a long time ago. emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/10/2014 7:46PM

    Glad you will not have an extra trip to make! I hope things look up soon so you can get back to your routine! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
Warm Hugs,
Mary

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MISSM66 12/10/2014 7:37PM

    Shari I am keeping you in my prayers that things went okay for next week,please keep strong and don't give up, emoticon emoticon

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SMILINGEYES2 12/10/2014 7:02PM

    Dear friend, it is good you could arrange for testing nearer home. Also, the doctor's plan to space out the treatment should help prevent the plummeting of the platelets. Hope you have a couple of good reads to curl up to as you get those platelets up. emoticon

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CELLOPLAYER1 12/10/2014 7:02PM

    emoticon

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CELLA_P 12/10/2014 7:01PM

    What a mind-boggling mix of news, Shari... I'm glad that up ahead, you'll have that easier 28-day schedule, but for right now, I can't imagine how discouraging all this must feel. It is infuriating that a few irresponsible, abusive people have made badly needed pain medication so inaccessible to those who have a serious need for it. What happens is that those who are in such dire need of this medication have to jump through hoops to obtain it, treated with such tremendous suspiciousness.

It's a very sick system we have to deal with... Stay strong; this sounds like another of those very rough patches emoticon

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CRUISEGAL55 12/10/2014 6:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." Henry Miller

Shari you are a Warrior, a Goddess, the most powerful woman I know.
Prayers & Love
emoticon



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SLIMMERJESSE 12/10/2014 6:59PM

    I'm always wishing you the best and that you didn't have to go through all this.

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GARDENCHRIS 12/10/2014 6:51PM

    hope things look up for you soon emoticon

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PICKIE98 12/10/2014 6:49PM

    Oh hon, I am so sorry you are delayed yet again..There is always a reason though.. as far as the pain patch, I am happy you have the oral med. It is good news that you do not have to travel for that lab work.
I hope you are claiming all of this gas mileage on your income tax returns! Goodness, I do not travel that much in a year that you do in one month!!

Keeping away form sickness , bad travel weather, further illness from he treatment, are all GOOD reasons to be delayed. The new schedule is very smart to keep you strong.

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LUCYCAN7 12/10/2014 6:40PM

  So sorry Shari they had to post pone your chemo again.If your pharmacy is
out of your pain meds you are allowed to go to another pharmacy to get them
filled,some people are unaware of that,hope that helps you to know.Will keep
you in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon emoticon

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 12/10/2014 6:15PM

    Shari I wonder if the pain clinic might have one or two sample pain they could give you to use until the supply from Rite Aid arrives?

It does sound like a good idea to switch your chemo dosing schedule and hopefully the counts will continue to climb so you can get that next treatment in, and then be able to skip past the holidays before you need it again.

Sending prayers and hugs!

emoticon

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ICECUB 12/10/2014 6:05PM

    HI SHARI, SORRY THEY HAD TO POSTPONE YOUR CHEMO AGAIN. I FEEL YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET IT OVER WITH. I AM GLAD YOU CAN GO TO YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL TO GET THE BLOOD WORK. WILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS.

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 12/10/2014 5:40PM

    So glad you don't have to go all the way to the cancer center to get your blood work. But have mixed feelings about no chemo and no transfusion. I just want you to feel as good as you can and have the best life you can. You are a wonderful person and really deserve to be happy and healthy. Hugs Pat

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ICEDEMETER 12/10/2014 5:22PM

    I honestly don't know whether to feel sorry or glad that you got one more postponement. It's always hard waiting (and there's a definite grrrrr component to you having to go all the way to the cancer centre only to find out that it's no again), but it's really not a bad thing to give your body a bit more time to recover. I'm unreservedly glad that your onc is changing the schedule, so that your poor platelets might have a fighting chance. I'm kinda surprised, though, that they haven't given you a platelet infusion...

I sure hope that the counts get high enough for you to get on to your new schedule next week, and that the pain patches come in quickly and work well for you.

Thank you, as always, for sharing how to deal with all of the trials and tribulations of life with supreme grace...

Strong thoughts and gentle hugs

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Pain Clinic Appointment Today

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I had my followup appointment this morning with my PA at the pain clinic, it was scheduled on a day when my doctor was also there, in case anything on the x-rays of my left hip that were done several weeks indicated any problems that could possibly helped with an injection. My x-rays only showed healed bone mets and arthritis, and since the injections I have had for that hip for the past couple of years haven't helped, my PA didn't feel that any would help me today either. Even if they were to help, I cannot have them right now with my platelets so low because of the risk of bleeding.

He has also worked with my oncologist before, so he knows a lot about how the chemo is affecting my body and the pain. I've had more all over joint pain since starting the I.V. chemo again in October, but it's still in that left hip and knee where I have most of my pain.

He is going to have me try a pain patch. I can still take my oral pain med along with it, but if this patch helps, I might be able to cut down on the oral pain med. I'm sensitive to the side effects of so many medications though, that I am going to wait til Saturday to try out the patch, my biggest concern is how sleepy it might make me feel, so I always like to start a new med when it's a day I can stay at home all day, if possible. Tomorrow I go for chemo again (if my platelets are up high enough, which I am not getting my hopes up for), Thursday is a dentist appointment that was made 6 months ago for a cleaning and check up, and Friday morning I have the CT scan that my oncologist ordered.

At least today, since I did not get any injections, and therefore no sedatives, I can least do my workout this afternoon. I think if I can get 4 days in this week, I will be doing good, and so far, I've done my chair workout both Sunday and Monday of this week.

Just getting through this week by taking it one day at a time, it doesn't feel quite so overwhelming that way. I did my grocery shopping yesterday, so that's 5 days in a row where I've had someplace I have to go each day, something I haven't been use to doing in a very long time. I'm really looking forward to the weekend when I can just stay home and go at my own pace.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YELLOW09RED 12/10/2014 1:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 12/10/2014 9:18AM

    emoticon

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JANET552 12/10/2014 6:35AM

    I hope the patch helps you -- I think you are very smart to wait till you are home for the day to start it. I hope your appointments have/will go well for the rest of the week.

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PIMPINELLAN50 12/10/2014 2:28AM

    The suggestion for trying out a pain patch sound's, good,.And should be easier on the stomach if you tend to have that sort of problem.Also great that you can use both pain med's and pain patch together if you need to.I hope that you will have a very restful weekend Shari!Sending you warm hugs and prayers. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ICECUB 12/9/2014 8:56PM

    H iShari, hope the pain patch works and your platelets go up. You are an amazing woman. Taking it one day at a time seems like a good idea. hope you enjoy your weekend.

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/9/2014 8:06PM

    Dear Shari,
I hope the patch will work for you. I am also praying that your platelets go up so you can have your chemo treatment. Through all of this you still remain positive. I love an admire you and our friendship. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CELLOPLAYER1 12/9/2014 7:24PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PICKIE98 12/9/2014 7:07PM

    Be very careful with germs outside your home.. Gloves, mask,etc. I wash every doorknob in the house and at work every day.

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CELLA_P 12/9/2014 6:35PM

    emoticon emoticon Shari, I'm so sorry you had to endure this difficult followup at the pain clinic today. It couldn't have been easy to hear that the bone mets and arthritis showed up on the x-rays, but maybe it was somewhat of a reassurance that the bone mets were healed. I wonder if we don't all respond so differently to pain control for bone- or joint-related pain... I just had my right hip replaced, and I'm so grateful I've gradually been able to decrease the prescription painkiller I was given; it never fails to leave me queasy. Evidently, it's one that's an abused drug, but I can't imagine anyone who'd want to go through that kind of nausea for whatever "kick" it might deliver them. I cannot WAIT to be able to transition back onto my beloved ol' time-release Tylenol, although this has made the hours of PT a lot more endurable.

Your medical schedule right now is, unfortunately, such a necessarily full one, and the strength and resourcefulness you have consistently brought to it is a tremendous inspiration to me. I often think of the low platelet problem you've been experiencing and hope for a reversal of that, even if it comes along slowly (but surely). That you are exercising and getting so much accomplished DESPITE all these concerns has me in awe of you! I feel encouraged about the possibility of the pain patch; it might lessen the chance of tummy reactions to those painkillers.

Thinking of you and grateful you've taken the time to keep us up-to-date! emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 12/9/2014 3:59PM

  I so admire your strength,praying the patch will help and your platelets
are up.Can understand you needing the time for Home this weekend.
That makes me tired just thinking about all of that.Hugs and Blessings! emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/9/2014 3:49PM

    Sure hope the patch helps you!
You are a tough cookie...your spirit and perseverance really are amazing!
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
Hugs,
Mary

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 12/9/2014 2:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CRUISEGAL55 12/9/2014 2:10PM

    Shari, I love your spirit. You know the cliche- When the going gets tough, the tough get going! You're one tough Cookie!
I am praying for your platelets to be up, up & away!
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PHOENIX1949 12/9/2014 2:06PM

    emoticon

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SMILINGEYES2 12/9/2014 2:05PM

    Hope the patch gives some comfort. While it is good to stay busy we also need to slow down and rest. Focusing on the present--the day before us is wise for all of us. Keeping you in my prayers.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/9/2014 1:19PM

    Very sorry to hear this, Shari. Hope the patch will work for you.

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Friday's Blood Counts

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Yesterday, I had to go back to the cancer center to have my blood counts checked again. My platelets (which are what has been causing the delay with the chemo) went from 72 on Wednesday to 75 yesterday; hemoglobin from 10.4 to 10.6, and red blood count from 3.5 to 3.6. That didn't sound like an encouraging improvement to me at first, but my nurse told me that it was actually good improvement in just 2 days. My doctor was pleased with it anyway, and I'm glad that my counts went up instead of down. I was also told that the counts going up shows that my bone marrow is working hard to repair itself.

So for now, we will proceed on as usual. I am scheduled for chemo on Wednesday, depending on if my platelets are high enough by then. At least for now I feel like I can relax a little and not be so anxious about things. I was also told that Halaven, the chemo I am on, is hard on the blood counts, so it sounds to me like it's just the chemo causing the problems with the blood counts, and not anything new going on with the cancer.

One thing I've learned about worry; it gets tiresome when you do too much of it; it gets to a point where you just don't have the energy for it anymore. It saps energy that could be used for other things, such as exercise, house cleaning, etc. So for the time being at least, I'm content to just let things be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 12/10/2014 1:09AM

    Dear Shari,
It's only understandable that the unexpected drops in haemoglobin and platelet counts have given you cause for concern. I know what you mean about worry draining energy...general stress with a lot going on can do the same, a bit like the spike in adrenalin needed to get through certain situations, and then the feeling of being wiped out afterwards. You have been through a lot in the past month, and I am so glad you have some positive news and that it looks like the Haleven is the cause, rather than anything else . I am praying that everything continues to improve for you, my dear friend.
Love and hugs,
Nattacia

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JANET552 12/9/2014 8:01AM

    I am glad your news has been encouraging!! I agree about worry but sometimes it's hard for me to let it go. I keep working at it though.

Hope all goes well tomorrow!!

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 12/8/2014 6:29PM

    Glad your tests showed an improvement. Please rest, take care of yourself, and enjoy the holidays.

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RYDERSAUNT14 12/7/2014 8:17PM

    Hoping you have a good day today!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/7/2014 6:15PM

    Whoo Hoo! I'm glad things are pointing in the right direction....at last!

I hope your chemo can go ahead next week.

I totally agree with you about the worry. It's hard not to do it, but you are right....it is just draining and doesn't change anything. I felt like I wore myself out worrying last winter. I feel like I actually have learned a lot from you in terms of dealing with worry. You seem to deal with things best by being practical about them. I like that approach too.

Wishing you a good week this week.

Kay

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BETHGILLIGAN 12/7/2014 8:38AM

    That's great news about your counts!! Oh, I totally hear you about the worry! I am a major worrier and it drains me of all energy and enthusiasm! I continue to work on letting go of many of these "out of my control" issues but it's still not easy!!

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 12/7/2014 7:03AM

    That is good news. I agree, worry usually does not help, and is sometimes hard to avoid. Are the kitties getting into holiday mischief yet?

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JANIEWWJD 12/7/2014 12:21AM

    Praise be to God that things are looking up for you!!! Keep in mind that this is the season for miracles!!!
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FORZACHANDMATT 12/6/2014 8:29PM

    I'm so glad - do something to pamper yourself this weekend

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LUCYCAN7 12/6/2014 6:46PM

  Shari,that is great news so happy to hear.Will keep you in my prayers.Worry
does not help,you are right. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ICECUB 12/6/2014 6:45PM

    SHARI I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU. HOPE YOU CAN GET STARTED WEDNESDAY. I THINK YOU HAVE AN AMAZING ATTITUDE. YOU ARE A VERY STRONG WOMAN.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/6/2014 6:43PM

    Oh Shari, I am so glad to hear your good news! And that you can relax
And let go of it until at least Wednesday when I pray you have continued good reports! So please go and relax, have some tea, read, watch TV and have a great nights sleep!
Love & Hugs,
Mary

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CRUISEGAL55 12/6/2014 5:27PM

    Shari... I am so happy for you. Anything positive is just that- Positive! Since you have a few days until chemo, do some things that give you joy.
Keeping you in my prayers.
OXOXOX, Judi

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THROOPER62 12/6/2014 5:24PM

    emoticon

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PICKIE98 12/6/2014 4:06PM

    Picture those blood numbers like a chef trying to furiously prepare dinner for 20 and she only has two hands and enough food for 2!! Puts it in perspective.. You body is hard at at work!!

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WILDKAT781 12/6/2014 3:08PM

    Good report - so glad your counts are going up!!

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LIZSPRINGSTEEN 12/6/2014 1:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/6/2014 1:21PM

    Yes, I've learned to let go of worry quite a bit and it does free up so much energy. Glad numbers are better and wishing you a happy day.

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UNICORN212 12/6/2014 12:50PM

    They say 80% of the things we worry about never happen, and in my personal experience, I try to not worry about things I have no control over. I can't change what happens, so why worry? So it is good that you decided to put the worry aside and concentrate on what you can do to make life better. Good for you!

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SNUZSUZ 12/6/2014 12:19PM

    Yay! I'm so happy to hear the good news!

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SMILINGEYES2 12/6/2014 11:50AM

    Glad to hear your bone marrow are still working. You are so right. Worry does nothing to solve a problem and only adds stress to our system so we do not deal as effectively to solve the issue. It is easier said Not to Worry than to do it. Meditation and journaling as well as getting support from others are great strategies to counter worry and you do this with your blogs. Thanks for sharing. You continue to be on my prayer list.

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/6/2014 11:49AM

    I'm glad your numbers are going up, albeit slowly. Worry is like a rocking chair...It doesn't get you anywhere! emoticon emoticon

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CELLA_P 12/6/2014 11:16AM

    Yes, this is very encouraging news, Shari - especially in so few days! It really does sound like the Halaven was the culprit, doesn't it? It wouldn't surprise me at all to see those counts continue to rise, too. I'm with you on worry, as someone who's had a different set of medical worries. It really does exhaust a person. Just trying to maintain emotional equilibrium when avalanched with a tremendous, tremendous amount of stress, as certainly has been the case with you for some time now, can be mentally, physically, and even spiritually taxing in the extreme. It's a good thing that usually, we're only confronted with one or two serious stressors at any given time - cold comfort, perhaps, but when I try to remember that, I often feel less overwhelmed. Sending you a big shipment of hugs, peace, and strength, Shari! emoticon

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UKNOWITNOW 12/6/2014 11:09AM

  Glad to hear things are going better. emoticon

It took me years to learn that worrying doesn't help. Actually my husband told me not to worry so I leave all the worrying to him now. Of course now he wishes I would worry a little bit. Men, you never can please them. emoticon lol

Have a great weekend.



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No chemo for 3rd week in a row/New haircut pic

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Despite the blood transfusion 2 weeks ago, and not having had chemo for the past 3 weeks, my platelets dropped more, from 87 last week to 71 today, so I could not have chemo again today for the 3rd week in a row. My hemoglobin dropped too, from 12.7 to 10.4 today; the hemoglobin isn't low enough for a transfusion, but my doctor is concerned about why that and the platelets have both dropped that much in just a week. I didn't talk to him today, because he was not at the cancer center today, but my nurse talked to him. It could be that my bone marrow is just getting worn out from all the chemo I've had in the past, or something else is going on.

I have to go back Friday to get my blood counts checked again, and they want me to stay and wait that day until they get the results back, in case something else has to be scheduled, like a platelet transfusion. My oncologist will decide after he gets my lab work on Friday whether to try to proceed with the chemo next week or not. We still have to wait and see what happens with the CT scan too; still waiting for the hospital to call me about getting that scheduled. When I asked my nurse about it today he told me they are probably just waiting for an opening in the schedule before they call me.

I'm really trying not to worry about things, but it's hard; it's the uncertainty of what might happen next that has me feeling anxious. I was just getting use to the side effects and the routine of this chemo, and now I might have to change treatments again. It's also hard to plan things ahead of time when I can't be sure of what my chemo schedule will be, and not knowing when my "official" weeks off are. I've dealt with low hemoglobin counts before, but in all the years I've been in treatment, I've never had a problem with the platelets before, and I've never had to have a treatment put off for more than one week due to the blood counts.

I brought my camera with me today, and while we were in the waiting area, my friend got a picture of me. I'm not looking my best in this photo, but at least you can see my new haircut.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/7/2014 5:50PM

    Shari,
I really do like your haircut.

I'm so sorry your platelet count was low again. I can imagine how nervous you must be about not knowing what is going on and not being able to get chemo as planned. I hope they get things figured out soon.

Hugs,
Kay

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IMAVISION 12/6/2014 9:48PM

    I continue lifting prayer on your behalf, Shari. May the good Lord give you His unique peace & comfort as you wait on His timing in all you are faced with. Also, may the physicians, & other medical personnel involved in your care, be given His wisdom in determining the best course of action to take.

I, too, like your new haircut --- it suit you very well --- I, also, like your smile & the color of your hair --- both are lovely!

God bless you, today & each day to come!

Ima

Comment edited on: 12/6/2014 9:49:18 PM

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HANOVERLADY 12/5/2014 1:31PM

    Great haircut - I love the bangs! It looks easy to care for, too.

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JANIEWWJD 12/5/2014 12:43AM

    I love your new haircut! I makes you look radiant!!! I pray that all goes well for you and that you are able to have chemo again!!! God bless you!!!
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PICKIE98 12/4/2014 7:04PM

    Isn't your hair cute??? I love it!! Praying for you to get back in the chemo routine, get it over with sweetie. hugs!!

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BOPPY_ 12/4/2014 6:29PM

    Hello, again.

Your blog posts are always interesting.

Thank you,

Lee

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TODDERICKV 12/4/2014 11:03AM

    Well, you look well!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 12/4/2014 9:34AM

    I absolutely LOVE your new haircut!!! It looks terrific!!!
So sorry about the delays and issues you are having. Waiting is the most difficult thing to do...try not to worry or be anxious although it is hard to control. Prayers that everything works out this week with your tests and you are back on schedule again quickly. Keep your positive attitude. You are such an inspiration to me and many others including my DH. THANK YOU!!!
Prayers, blessings and hugs,
Helen

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BETHGILLIGAN 12/4/2014 7:50AM

    Love the haircut!! It looks great! So sorry you're having all of these delays and medical issues. Praying that they get these figured out and you get back on track soon!!! Hugs!

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JANET552 12/4/2014 7:48AM

    LOVE your haircut!!

I am so sorry to hear about all the waiting. It is hard to just wait and so easy to worry about as you are waiting. I hope it gets worked out soon!!

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JUDITH316 12/4/2014 4:41AM

    emoticon I LOVE your new hairstyle and cut ...Really suits your face...

Just read your status up-date and what you have shared here, I'm so sorry you are having such trouble with the platelets being too low, I do hope your medical team can come up with a better plan and solution to help you so you can proceed ahead with your treatment...

My prayers and thoughts are with you, hope you feel better soon... emoticon

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PIMPINELLAN50 12/4/2014 4:32AM

    The haircut looks great on you Shari,and you have a really beautiful smile!I hope that your doctor can get the platelet situation sorted out soon so you can resume chemo again.
As always, daily thoughts and prayers is coming your way.
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RENATA144 12/3/2014 10:38PM

  emoticon

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RENATA144 12/3/2014 10:38PM

  You look great !!!
Stay Strong Love emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/3/2014 10:36PM

    I love the new "do"!!! You really look good!
I am so sorry things are so up in the air...it is hard enough without throwing this in, too! I hope Friday brings you some normalcy...I will be thinking of you!
Healing hugs!
Mary

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 12/3/2014 9:35PM

    emoticon your haircut is cute and sassy! I love it!

If you have to stay all day for the resukts, I am hoping there is a place you can also rest with your feet up. You remain in my prayers Shari.



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ICECUB 12/3/2014 9:00PM

    I LOVE YOUR HAIRCUT. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME. I AM KEEPING YOU IN MY PRAYERS. HOPE YOU GET GOOD NEWS FRIDAY.

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DAKARISAH430 12/3/2014 8:46PM

    One day at a time. Wishing you the very best. The haircut looks great. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 12/3/2014 7:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 12/3/2014 7:43PM

    I love your hair cut. You look younger and the cut suits your face shape and all. It's just adorable on you.

I'm sorry you're having such difficulty with your platelets. I pray they find an
answer soon so they can resume your chemo. I understand you're being worried. It would be hard not to be since we are human. I think on the whole you have done remarkably well and have been a real trooper through all of this.I'm not sure I wold be as upbeat as you are.

Have a great night. emoticon

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SHARONSIZE8 12/3/2014 7:41PM

    I hope the doctor figures out what is going on and can find a solution for you soon. I really like your new haircut! Very cute! emoticon

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CELLOPLAYER1 12/3/2014 7:19PM

    I like the hair cut.

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LUCYCAN7 12/3/2014 7:15PM

  Shari I am so sorry to hear about all of these platelet issues you are having it is
understandable to be worried.Love your new haircut,so adoreable.Hugs and
prayers. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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CELLA_P 12/3/2014 7:14PM

    Shari, for a lovely lady who's been battling so many serious health problems and complications for a long time now, I have to say you look gorgeous - especially with that darling new haircut! I'm sorry you were unable to get chemo, and I know you must feel anxious to hear from your doctor what might be causing this drop in your platelet count (and hemoglobin, too). It can't help that you've got to wait for the CT scan you also need. Being in a "healthcare holding pattern" is highly stressful; I know from many of my own experiences. You sound strong, though...and you certainly look wonderful! (Great color on you, too :) emoticon

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 12/3/2014 6:24PM

    Praying for some good news from the DR. for you and that you will feel better soon. The new doo looks like it will be easy to care for. Hugs for you.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/3/2014 6:21PM

    Very cute, Shari. Wishing you better days.

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FRABBIT 12/3/2014 6:20PM

  Really sorry to hear the issues with the platelets. Please keep us posted on that. On a positive note your haircut is adorable. Really love it.

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CRUISEGAL55 12/3/2014 6:17PM

    Shari, the haircut is adorable. I'm so sorry to hear about your new challenges. What is your blood type? ( I'm O+ ) If we are a match, is there a way I can donate in your name? I would be glad to donate whole or platelets.
All my Prayers & Love for you.
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CAYCESMOM 12/3/2014 6:14PM

    I really like your new haircut!! I'm sorry to hear about your health problems, I hope it gets worked out soon. It's hard to not worry when there is so much uncertainty. My thoughts are with you.

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