Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update on Twins

Ok, it has been a couple days again....

More good news! Faith's head scan came back with more improvement / stability. The measurement of her ventricles further reduced from 3.0 cm to 2.7 cm. and the blood clot seems to have reduced a little in size again. The comments from the scan was an overall mild ventricular reduction and the word stable was used. The doctors are now going to do the lumbar punctures every other day now, so Faith had a day off yesterday. :-) We still won't know about reservoir / shunt stuff for weeks to months, but progress is occurring. Keep praying. Both girls are gaining weight and Faith is now above her birth weight too. Faith is ~3 lb 7 oz now and Hope is ~2 lb 14.5 oz (not quite 3 lb yet, but she'll catch up). There isn't a lot more to report, except we are getting rather tired (the adrenaline must be wearing off). Steph got to give the girls a bath again last night. I am going to try to work more of a full day today (I'll only get one visit today... :-(). Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers; keep them up they are working.

Prayer requests (still pretty much the same):

1) Continue to pray for Faith's hydrocephalus (enlarged ventricles) and the successful treatment of it.

2) Pray that both of the girls continue to do well with their feedings and that they will do well when they start learning to take food orally (probably ~1-2 wks out yet)

3) Getting a head start on praying about the girls not having retinopothy of prematurity (blood vessels not developing correctly in / around the retinas).
4) Continue to pray for the doctors and nurses caring for Faith and Hope.
5) Continue to pray for Steph and my health, strength, faith, courage, etc.

6) Continue to lift up our older children
7) Pray for the long term development, etc for Faith and Hope.
8) Whatever else God lays on your hearts...

Jason, et. al.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Twins Update

I was so excited to be able to watch Jason and Stephanie's little girls on Thursday so they could go to the hospital to be with Faith and Hope. I really enjoyed my time playing with the girls. This morning while I was waiting to practice with my Worship team the girls came in with their grandparent. They both ran up to me and gave me big hugs. I was very blessed! I asked if I could go back and sit with them again on Thursday. Ministering can be so much fun! The girls and I sang every song we could come up with. It was a lot of fun!

Ok, this is a two-for-one day... :-)

We just got back from seeing the girls. Faith is still in her "big girl" crib and seems to be handling it well. They both have been bumped up to 24 calories per whatever unit. We got to talk to the doctor tonight and she relayed some information regarding Hope's recent head scan that I couldn't keep in. She said the recent head scan showed some improvement in the portions of her brain that had shown up before as probably having been affected during the time of low oxygen and low blood flow. Praise God! Faith will have another head scan tomorrow. We pray that it shows continued progress or at least no worsening. There seems to be more and more talk of what type of things will take place before, during, and after the girls come home and that is also encouraging.

Prayer requests (still pretty much the same):

1) Continue to pray for Faith's hydrocephalus (enlarged ventricles) and the successful treatment of it.

2) Pray that both of the girls continue to do well with their feedings and that they will do well when they start learning to take food orally (probably ~2 wks out yet)

3) Getting a head start on praying about the girls not having retinopothy of prematurity (blood vessels not developing correctly in / around the retinas).
4) Continue to pray for the doctors and nurses caring for Faith and Hope.
5) Continue to pray for Steph and my health, strength, faith, courage, etc.

6) Continue to lift up our older children
7) Pray for the long term development, etc for Faith and Hope.
8) Whatever else God lays on your hearts...

Thanks again,
Jason and family....

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm doing a happy dance today!

I'm doing a happy dance today!

I'm soooo happy very happppppy. I'm on a different Chemo. NOOOOO meds! I feeeellllllll ggggrrrreeeaattttt!

I'll blog all about it later but I wanted to update my blog right away.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What to Do?

I am having an allergic reaction to the Taxol treatments. I am suppose to meet with my Oncologist on Friday to discuss my options. My hands get little blisters on them, when they pop they leave my hands very itchy and then it forms dry patches. Yesterday and today I woke up very puffy. I am retaining a lot of water in my hands and under my eyes. I really hate it this. My hands hurt they are so puffy today.

They said I could switch to a different kind of Chemo so I really just have to wait and find out all the information. They also mentioned that I could just stop taking the chemo altogether. So much to pray about today. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Update on the Twins (Faith & Hope)

Prayer requests:
1) Continue to pray for Faith's hydrocephalus (enlarged ventricles) and the successful treatment of it.
2) Pray that both of the girls continue to do well with their feedings, and that their bowls do not develop some necrotizing something or other thing that could be very serious
3) Continue to pray for the doctors and nurses caring for Faith and Hope.
4) Continue to pray for Steph and my health, strength, faith, courage, etc. (We have heard comments about how well we are doing with all of this and we know it is because of God and the prayers for us.)
5) Continue to lift up our older children
6) Pray for the long term development, etc for Faith and Hope.
7) Whatever else God lays on your hearts...

It is kind of hard to remember what to write when I am not able to write more frequently. Yesterday morning we met again with the doctor and she also mentioned that the girls "tone" was good. She said it had even normalized in the past week or so. We asked what she meant by "tone". It is how rigid/stiff or even how limp they are. It wouldn't be good if they were either all one way or all the other. Somewhere in the middle is best and it seems that our girls are doing good that way. They increased Faith's and Hope's feeding amounts to 5 cc and 4 cc respectively. The doctor also expressed again how they want to be very cautious about not increasing too quickly. She told us that our girls are at higher risk of getting some necrotizing something or other in their bowls because of the low oxygen / low blood pressure during the early rough start they had. They have been doing well with their feeding thus far. I think it was yesterday that Hope had on a little onesie. It seems like Faith's heart rate has come back down too. I think they got ~12 cc of spinal fluid from her yesterday and she still tolerates the procedure well. This morning Steph and I both did the "kangaroo" time with them. I had Faith and Steph had Hope. We got to hold them for ~2 hrs skin to skin; it was a precious time. I think that they got another ~10 cc of spinal fluid from Faith today, and they said it is starting to not be as red as it was. This is encouraging in that is would seem to indicate the bleeding is ceased and her body is starting to break down the blood in the ventricles. I was beginning to be a little concerned about the spinal fluid remaining to be so red. They also upped the girls feeding amounts today; Faith got 8 cc and Hope got 6 cc every 3 hrs today. They seem to have tolerated that well too. We brought in a couple onsies today and tonight they both had one on. We took the older two up to seem the girls tonight too. They hadn't been up in a while, but they also had runny noses and coughs till recently too. Faith is off of her antibiotics again now too.

Well, I think that is about all I can remember now....

I'll write again later. Thank you for all your prayers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Taxol Chemo treatment # 6

As I do each week, I thank my driver. Without this person I wouldn't be able to get my treatments. I have written before that the benadryl they have to give me affects me really badly. I just can't seem to stay awake. I am then to tried to drive home; I would be a danger to others if I tried.

Once again, I want to thank my dear friend Maria M. She took the day off of work so she could pick me up and take me "but" that is not all she did. My husband had to go on one of my motor routes with me today so he could drive. It take a good half a day to get that drug out of my system. My one sub is in Florida packing her mom up to move her to MI. When I returned home from the route, there was a bag of medications on the table for my poor hands and toe. That is a long story I'll share on Monday. I want to thank Maria and my husband Jim for caring for me today. Your love and kindness will never be forgotten.

I have to make some big decisions this week concerning my Chemo. I am having an allergic reaction to the Taxol, it has been getting worse since my first taxol treatment. I'll share all about it after I have time to pray and think about it over the weekend.

I would ask you all to pray that I make the right decision next Friday.

My work hair has become a part of Me!

As you all know from my main blog. Boaz tries to be included in all the pictures. I thought I'd take a minute and post my work wig. I got this wig free from the Cancer program they have at the Chelsea Hospital. It is a great program that I really need to take a little time and post all the information. I'll do that next week! Anyway, back to the wig.
I have a hard time changing to my Sunday wig for church because I wear this one so much. Last week, I just wore this one to church.

I just had to post this one because I really don't think Boaz can just take a normal picture.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Peach Fuzz

My hair is growing!!! I can't believe it! I have a little peach fuzz all over my head. My Oncologist told me my hair should start growing back two months after my last chemo treatment but mine is growing back already.

I had bought peaches two days ago, my little boy picked one up to eat it. He look at me and said, "Hey mom, this peach feels just like your head". LOL! I had to agree with him.

I'm growing Hair! Woooohoooo!I'm doing a little dance this morning.

Tomorrow is my sixth Taxol treatment. Only 5 to go!!

Please keep praying for me! We are doing this together.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things Cancer patients should never Do!

Do not watch movies that have to do with cancer patients. We watched "Term (I think it should be call Tears) of Endearment" last night. I normally do not cry at movies. I might get a tear in my eyes but I never cry like a baby. When that young mom had to tell her boys that she would not be coming home from the hospital... Goodness, I could still cry! Her youngest son cried the whole time he was in the hospital room. It just broke my heart! I can't even imagine having to tell my little Bo that mommy wasn't going to make it. I kid you not! I was in the bathroom sobbing for at least ten minutes before I could get myself under control. I chuckle now but when I came out of the bathroom my husband asked me if I was getting a cold. LOL! I told him that the movie was way to close to home.

At times, I can forget I have cancer. Really, I can. As I laid on the couch last night and watched that movie, everything seemed so real. I really could die from this. Am I ready to go? I don't know! I know that I am ready to be with the Lord. I'm ready to see my little Joshua again. I'm not ready to leave my family, my friends. I've never really allowed my mind to go there. Now that it is there, I just don't know how to feel. Oh, you've got to know I'm sitting here crying my eyes out just typing my thoughts about all this into the computer. How do you die? I have no idea! What do you say to people as your dying? As each one of my family members come into my mind, I'm wondering what I should say to them. On my other blog I started sharing with my family members what they mean to me. I started with just a few people but I think I'm going to make it something I do weekly. I don't want to wait until my death bed to let people know how much they mean to me. I'm sure God will give me piece, if and when, it is time for me to go home.

Enough of that! I have a to do list that I must get done this morning. I'm feeling ok today. I'm just tired!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Joint aches/side effects that come with Taxol treatment # 5

I'm still feeling pretty good. I think I have mastered how I will feel after my Taxol treatments. The joint aches are getting pretty bad by Saturday evening now. I need to remember to take Advil before they start to hurt next week. I am fasting Friday and Saturday's now. My hands and legs have been swelling pretty badly with this chemo so I had to do something besides walking on the treadmill for an hour, with a heavy sweatshirt and a winter coat on. Getting a good sweat going is the only way I could relieve the pressure. I don't want to be taking a diuretic on top of everything else I'm taking.

Only 6 more treatments to go!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Double Blessing Today!

This is my brother, Derik, and his lovely wife, my dear sister-in-law, Sandy.

I wanted to take a minute to thank them for taking me to my Chemo appointment today. Chemo was really fun today. Lets see! My brother made friends with at least two of the chemo patients. I think he is going to go boating with one of them. LOL! Funny thing is, I'm not kidding. This man talked to my brother while he was getting his chemo and after he was all done, stood and talked to him for a long while afterwards. He also entertained the chemo patent to his right. Lets just say, he was the life of the chemo party.

My dear sister-in-law did pay very close attention to me. LOL! They were both great.

O.K. here comes the miricles:

First, they are just amazed at my blood counts and so am I. Instead of going down, they are going up or at least staying the same.

I forgot to post them last week but here is the difference just a few weeks made.

My blood counts were up today. What a praise this is!

My blood count from last week


Secondly, (But the most important blessing) I got to go visit Jason, Stephaine, Faith and hope this afternoon. The babies are so cute! My couldn't be more on top of the world tonight than I am at this very moment.

I just received this update a minute ago 9:05 p.m. from Jason.

Steph and I both were able to hold a baby tonight. That is cool about twins we don't have to share! :-) I actually got to hold Hope for the first time and Steph got to hold Faith for the second time. The echocardiograms came back great for both girls and they gave them breast milk. While we were here, they gave a second feeding and they both had digested the first feeding. We haven't heard anything from Faith's head ultrasound today. We have been hearing several success stories from people that were in similar situations as we are with Faith. We will keep our faith strong!

Keep praying, God is answering your prayers concerning me and the twins. Yea!!!!


As for me:

I just need lots more sleep. I can't believe I slept for 11 hours last night. Goodness!! I'll be off to the hospital in a few hours getting my next Chemo treatment. I'll update any changes soon.

Update on the twins: Please continue to pray for Jason & Stephanie & family.

The result of Faith's EEG shows slight seizure activity which they are treating with medication.

Hope is off the ventilator (breathing machine), however, she still needs reminders to breath. She is on another machine called "CPAP", which forces air into her lungs. Hope had the EEG & the result was normal. No seizure activity or infection. Stephanie has been able to hold both girls for short periods of time. Both Jason & Stephanie are beginning to feel sick with sore throats, so they are concerned that they may not be able to visit the twins. Please pray. Thank you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

She Ain't What She Used to Be

Oh, the old gray mare...I might not call myself that but I really, I'm not what I used to be, before this Chemo. I could go forever it seemed. Yesterday, I got up and cleaned the church, got my children off to school, went to my house cleaning job, My Motor route, helped my husband cook dinner and then, I CRASHED. Oh, I know what your thinking. My word, you did all that in one day. Yes, but you have to realize, I used to be able to do all that and then go work in Awana and still have energy. I sat down to watch a movie with the family and before I knew it, my head was bobbing and I was sound asleep. I guess I needed it but I don't like to waste my night sleeping.

I did sleep well last night! I feel pretty good today. Pplus my feet are doing better. The inchy little bumps are still on my hands but I'm really trying not to itch. The hospital staff told me to just keep lots of lotion on them. That is what I am doing! All in all, I'm doing good.

Tomorrow is my 6th Taxol treatment. We are moving right along!

Thanks for praying for me and for the twins. (Faith and Hope) I have no new news on them today. They are supposed to have test today. Keep praying for that miracle! I know God hears our prayers. Please pray that the girls will have no lasting side effects from being born early. Pray also for their parents, (Jason and Stephanie) I really can't even imagine what they must be going through right now. I have just been praying that the babies live, not what they might be facing if they live and something is wrong with them. I didn't get it until yesterday.

Psa 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Please pray for a Miracle!

I really am doing pretty good on the Taxol and have no new information to share right now so please pray with me for this family. My heart is breaking for Jason and Stephanie. Words can not descibe how badly I feel for them. As a parent and a mother that lost a baby to SIDS when Joshua was three months old.Living for the simple things in life: Joshua's Story: "Links" I know how helpless they must feel. They are looking for a reason why, or blaming themselves. We live in a fallen world were things happen that we can't understand but one thing we know, God is our Master and Savior. He is and always will be GOOD, FAITHFUL, and in control of everything that happens.

A few days ago I posted a post about a dear sister in the Lord and her family situaton. She had twin girls last week. They really need our prayers. This is an update on how the girls are doing.


We just got bad news. Faith has a grade 3 bleed or accumulation of fluid inboth ventricles of her brain. She also has evidence of damage on theoutside of both the right and left side of her brain. While this does not absolutely mean that she will not recover from it, it does mean that she is much more likely to have long term problems. Both physically and/ormentally. We are praying for a miracle; we pray that God will choose togive her full recovery from this. We have total faith in God for our little Faith. She is getting an EEG right now; I don't know if that will bring more bad news or what will come of it. They said that Hope is doing well, but may have a tiny bit of evidence ofsomething on the outside of her brain too. Not nearyly to the severity thatFaith has, and it may go away. We don't know what to do or say right now other than pray. Our hearts are so heavy and crushed to hear this after seeing such good progress. We immediately prayed and our spirits continually pray.

Monday, September 8, 2008

5th Chemo Treatment/ update on the Twins

My fifth Chemo treatment went well. I have to admit, I slept most of the treatment away. I feel pretty good this morning.

Side effects seem to be pretty much the same each week now.

On Friday's they pump you up with steriods and then give you the Benadryl so your body pretty much is trying to figure out if you should be up or down. By Friday evening I was pretty wired up so I thought it would be a good evening to change my front brakes on my truck. In between taking Bo to be a ball boy for the JV and Varsity soocer teams, I ran home and took care of business. The steriods make me so hyper!

By Sunday morning my joints alway seem to hurt; mainly in my hips. This always seems to go away in a few days.

This morning I have the tingling in my fingers and toes. Nothing major just some tingling. This also seems to pass in a few days as well.

My feet seems o.k. this week. I've been wearing socks more to keep the moisture in.

The only other side effect that I am having is little blisters are forming on the tops of my hands and oh boy, do they itch. They said, it was just the chemo fighting its way out.

Again, thanks for praying for me and for Faith and Hope. It sounds like they are doing better.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request!

I just want you all to know I had my 5th Chemo today and I'm doing fine. If anything changes I'll update this blog in a few days. I know this is my cancer blog but I just can't write about myself when Jason and Stephanie are going through a much harder time of it than I am right now.


This prayer request is not for me. A while back I wrote about a dear young woman in our church that was pregnant with twins. On Wednesday morning she was rushed to the hospital. They had to take the babies by C-section, I won't go into a lot of detail but this dear family needs our prayers.

The babies names are Faith (3lbs 6 oz.) and Hope (2lbs 8 oz.) They are both in CRITICAL condition. Pray for strength for Jason and Stephanie. This is a very trying time for them and their other 3 children. Plus, please pray for my dear friend and singing buddy Barb, her husband Bill, (Grandparents) Bradley and Amanda (Stephanie brother and sister-in-law) Also for Jason's family.

"The Lord is watching His children, listening to their prayers". ( I Peter 3:12,)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Feeling Good

Everything is going really well this week. I have really been trying to lotion my feet several times a day. I think, I have finally figure out when my feet are at their worst. It is the third day after Chemo. I'm going to start soaking them a bit sooner this week and see if that seems to help.

Really, if that is all I am facing. This isn't going to be so bad.

Tomorrow is my 5th Chemo!! It is just flying by.

As you can all tell, my spirits are up this week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My darn Feet!

I felt really good all weekend. The only problem I am still having is my feet. They keep blistering! I could hardly walk on them yesterday without them killing me. After a long soaking, they seemed better. The chemo wants out and it's using my feet in the process. My toes were pretty swelled and blisters were starting to form on my right heal again. I was able to get my walk in this morning so the soaking really did help. YA know, if I didn't have to walk on them it wouldn't be so bad! LOL!

Besides my feet, I feel pretty good. I had a lot of joint aches yesterday and last night. Mainly in my hips. After taking two advanced action advil I was able to sleep just fine.