Friday, April 30, 2010

Recovering Well, Chemo on Monday

Although none of you will probably believe me at this point, Mom is supposed to start Chemo on Monday. No really, for real, she should start. :)

She is recovering well from her minor surgery. Very sore, but doing well.

We are looking forward to moving this show on the road, getting to the next stage of this treatment.

We continue to prayer for her recovery, for the Chemo and it's effects on her body.

Thanks for all at you are doing for her!

Monday, April 26, 2010

No Chemo Again...

Quick Update:
No Chemo again today. They did a CT scan on Friday as a prerequisite to her starting this new type of chemo. When they did the CT Scan on Friday they found a small issue with her port, so they need to do a minor surgery today to fix that issue. Hopefully it will all be very minor and she will start Chemo next week. She should be in the hospital overnight.

Prayers that this surgery is very minor, easy, and that she will recover well. Prayers that we start chemo next Monday, I know that they are all anxious to get on the schedule.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for Mom.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Information and Change of Plans!

Once again I apologize for my delinquency. I am trying to figure out a good schedule to update this, and when I feel like I have enough information to update this.

So last week they were unable to start the chemo because of Mom's white blood cell counts. Later in the week they gave her a call and asked her if she would be interested in doing a trail Chemo therapy that they are just starting to use on Ovarian Cancer patients. (There are going to be a lot of facts I am missing on what this means, but I will do my best). After they talked with the doctors about it, Mom and Dad decided that this new routine, with the new drug is the way they wanted to go with her treatment. What this means is instead of being on two different Chemo drugs, she will be on three. Sadly they will not be using her port for any of these drugs though. The other big change by going this way is that she will get Chemo EVERY Monday for the 18 weeks of treatment. They are not going to do anything with the port, but if they get into this treatment plan and decide it's not working, or they don't like how it is working, then we will revert back to our original plan and do IV and port. For now all her drugs will come through IV.

I don't know too much about each specific drug that she will be one. I know one of the original two is one that kills fast growing cells (i.e. why you lose hair, it's one of the fastest growing cells in our body). I am not exactly sure what the other original drug does. But I know this new study drug is supposed to stop blood flow to the cancer cells. It blocks new vascular blood supply from being created. The thing with cancer is... it needs lots of blood, lots of energy to grow. So if we can stop it from getting blood supply... then it can't grow. The hope with this new drug is that it actually keeps the Cancer in remission, eliminates the ability for it to reproduce more tumors. (I hope that kind of made sense)

To take place in this study they needed to do a few more tests before they start her Chemo, so they again will NOT be starting today (Monday, April 19th) but instead next Monday April 26th.

When we look at these circumstances, it is so interesting to see God's work in play. If Mom had started her Chemo last week, she would have been ineligible for this Study. So... in a way we can be thankful for the tests being off. I am also excited to see how this all plays out, and proud to know that my Mom is advancing the study and treatment of this type of Cancer.

Another great thing is... because she didn't start Chemo last week, and then had to delay the start of the chemo again this week... She was able to fly out and meet her new Grandbaby!! God really does work in mysteriously awesome ways. Miah and Lindsay were admitted to the hospital on Thursday (Tax Day) and they gave birth to a healthy, chubby baby boy on April 16th! (Noah Stephen France, 9lbs, 21 inches). On Friday Dad talked Mom into flying out there to meet him, since this will be the last time she could travel because of Chemo. Although she is still recovering from surgery and is still very tired, she decided to go. What a great thing!! I was so excited for her.

Dad with Noah... still wait for pics of Mom with him.

Anyway, there is your updated. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will do my best to answer them. Or leave a special note for Grandma Kim! :)

Reminder: Chemo start date: April 26th.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not Today, Better Luck Next Time...

Well, Mom went to her appointment, did the gamut of tests they wanted... and they decided they won't start Chemo this week. It's disappointing, but I believe one of the Dr.'s first conversations with us about all of this was basically to say..."Expect the unexpected". Her blood culture was borderline and they didn't want her to take the risk, so they are putting off starting until next Monday.

I think Mom is pretty disappointed... just ready to get this first one over with. But it is not meant to be, and we pray that her blood levels are more in line next week. We obviously would much rather her be healthier going into this, than getting sick with no immune system and being stuck in the hospital for it.

Keep the prayers up! Keep praying for her continued recovery, and for whatever infection may be throwing off her blood culture to go away!

Thanks for the Prayers! Until next week!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Long Time, Sorry

So I apologize that it has been a while since you all have gotten an update on Mom. I left for Cleveland on Friday April 2nd with mixed feelings about coming back. It's hard to not be there for her, I struggle each day with wanting to be down there, but knowing God needs me up here as well.

On Monday Mom went back to meet with the doctor and get her staples out (the zipper is less.. zipperish). Everything looked good for that incision, and they took the staples out. The doctor thinks she is doing great in her recovery. Each day gets a little better. The biggest news we received from this appointment is that they won't be able to start the IP (port, directly into the abdomen) Chemo this month. That wound is still healing, and hasn't healed enough for them to feel comfortable starting that, so for the next month they will do wound care, and hopefully when she starts Cycle 2, it will be good to go. The doctor didn't seem too worried that we weren't starting it on the first one. They have make it pretty clear that most women don't make it through all the cycles on IP chemo anyway, so starting it in the second cycle isn't going to be a very big deal. Their thought process is that every cycle they get in with it is a bonus to her treatment. So we are praying that it heals, and that it stops causing mom so much pain. (The port itself is causing pain.)

She will begin her IV chemo on Monday (April 12, happy birthday Miah! ;) ). She will NOT have to stay at the hostpital this first time because they won't be doing the IP chemo, so they can do the IV chemo in 6 hrs instead of 24. She will loose her hair before cycle two ever starts. I think it's kind of a blessing that they don't start IP until next time, because hopefully it will kind of ease her into the Chemo, vs. going full force the first time. She won't have any day 8 treatments this cycle because of the no IP. So really just day 1 with the 6 hr drip, and then nothing until after day 21. Around May 3rd is when the next cycle will start.

For those of you who have been wondering what you can do... PRAY! Of course our biggest request will always be prayer. I can honestly tell you that we have seen the power of prayer over and over already in this journey. There have been so many small blessings, so many things that we have prayed for that have been answered. Our God is awesome! Other than that, in talking to Mom and Dad about what their needs are, I think at this time it is just mostly Food. We are trying to get good cooked meals in the house so that mom will feel like eating, and keep her strength up. So right now I am trying to put together a list of people who may be able to bring a meal once a week. We don't want to burden anyone so at this point they are just looking for 1 meal a week, on Monday nights. IF you are interested in helping out in this way, please email me. caitlinfrance at gmail dot com . I have to type it that way so I don't get spam mail, so please put it all together in the correct way. :)

Current Prayer Requests:
That my Mom continues to get her strength back, is able to walk around more, and doesn't feel so tired all the time.
My Brother and Sister-In Law are expecting their first baby (Mom's first grandbaby) on April 18th, so prayer for Lindsay in these last weeks and that the delivery is relatively easy, and that we gets lots of pictures quickly after. Ok ok that last part is a selfish request. :)
That my sister (also pregnant, due in July) will be able to keep her strength up as she is in Houston helping out Mom. And that her Husband survives in Missouri without her.
For my little baby bros, that they have patience, but also just enjoy having all the people around. Prayer for them as they try to understand this all at such a young age.
Prayer for my Dad as he balances work, home, helping mom, people in and out of town, and all of that Chaos!
Prayer for my Grandma who has been in Houston with my family since before my moms surgery, I know she was a huge help even just to ME when I was there. I pray her strength and energy stays up. As well as when the Grandmas switch and she goes home and Grandma M comes into town.
Of course we always are praying for those who are coming in and out of town to help. We appreciate all of the support you all are giving.

We could never face this battle alone, thanks be to God who is in control. His strength is our strength, His will will be done. Our Faith is in Him. Through all of this, if anything, it is strengthening our faith, and witness in Him.

Again, please email me or leave a comment if you would like to get in on the meal schedule. Thanks!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We are moving into phase 2 of our marathon. I (caitie) have gone back to Cleveland, and Emmie has take over being with Mom. I will still be updating the blog even though I am in Cleveland.

Mom seems to be feeling a lot better, every day is a little bit closer to full recovery from the surgery. Right before I left she was able to get her self out of bed from a slightly reclined position. This was a big step! (Being cut straight down your abdomen really takes away your muscle control. Tomorrow (Monday) she will get her staples taken out. One week after that she will begin her Chemo treatments.

She was able to get out for a little bit yesterday and went to lunch with the family. Slowly she is also starting to eat more which is good.

Prayer Requests would be that she continues to heal from her surgery. It would be nice for her to feel almost normal before she begins Chemo. Prayer that the process of taking her staples out is not a painful experience. Prayer that as a family we remember that we are not in control, but God is, and he is good! He has given us many blessing in this journey already, we need to focus on those. He is so good to us! As we celebrate Easter today I am continually reminded of the ultimate gift that God has given us, and the gifts he continues to keep giving us. He has blessed our family greatly. I pray He continues to give Mom the strength she needs, the Spirit to influence those around her, and the Love of Christ will be evident to those around her. We are also praying that she stays away from all Illnesses as she begins her Chemo process, she does not need to be getting sick.

I know a lot of you have been questioning our family calendar and needs. Right now we are trying to figure all of that out, but once I know our needs more I will be sure to let you guys know. I think right now needs that we are going to be having is as Mom has to stay in the hospital over night for days 1 and 2 of her treatment that people might be able to bring meals for the boys and Dad. Other needs would be to help by just keeping Mom company, or taking the boys out. Again I will fill you in as we figure out specifics for their needs.

If we haven't said it before, I'll say it again, we really appreciate all of you! Your prayers can be felt, and I've never been more thankful for it. God is good ALL the time, and All the time God is good! Also, He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.