Setting up shop and updates

January 6th, 2014

Mom and I made it to Houston this morning with zero traffic.  I think I shot the gap between Beaumont and Houston morning rush hours as I was hoping.  Mom was pulled straight in for her simulation and a very helpful resident came and sat down with Mom and I right in the waiting room for a good 15 minutes explaining everything and even writing Mom’s prescriptions right there in the waiting room with us.   Mom’s radiation will be low-dose full brain radiation for 10 business days at 5:50 pm and last just 10 minutes each – no weekend treatments.    Mom will have a little memory loss and some headaches but she has new prescriptions to deal with that now.  The nice doctor even explained the results of the biopsy which does confirm that this is the very same cancer that Mom had back in 2010 as we suspected.

The lack of weekend treatments is a welcome change as we can come home Friday after her treatment and not return back until Monday.  I will be adjusting our hotel plans accordingly.  We are currently waiting on meds to be filled and then we will be looking for something to do until check-in time at the hotel.  I think a trip to Denny’s is in my near future.  Once in the hotel or after her treatment tonight I will post another update detailing more of where exactly Mother’s disease is.

Thanks!

Home Sweet Home

December 31st, 2013

Mom has made it home.  She was discharged this morning with her next trip back to Houston on the 9th.  She will be in contact with the doctor she will be using locally for the radiation and chemotherapy.  The radiation on the brain can start ASAP but the chemo for the rest of the spots will wait until the results of the biopsy in a few more days to determine the best cocktail to use to battle her individual cancer.

She is still battling her RSV and a rough cold / sinus problem but is in fairly good spirits.  Be sure to text and give her a call to keep in touch.

Plans coming together

December 30th, 2013

The Drs visited Mom this morning at gave her more of a diagnosis and plan of action.  She does have 3 “BB” sized tumors in the brain, the ones in the lungs we knew about, and the abdominal CT scan did show a few in the liver.  The Drs were expecting there to be something in the abdomen because Mom’s original cancer, which they suspect this is from, normally makes its way up from its original location through the abdomen to the lungs and head.

There will be radiation for the brain tumors and chemotherapy for the rest.  She will be released form the hospital after her biopsy and a meeting with the neurology oncology department.  Biopsy results in about 5 days to know for sure what kind of cancer we’re dealing with.

A little more information…

December 29th, 2013

Well Mom summoned one of the Drs to have them show her some images.  In comes a Dr with a laptop and images of her chest and brain.  Here is what was said and what I saw.  Mom’s lungs show “a good number” of small nodules a centimeter or less in diameter.   I saw them and can confirm the areas of interest in various locations in both lungs.  The Dr also pointed out the largest nodule that the biopsy will be taken from in the morning and we’ll know much more about the type of disease and how treatment will unfold.  She’s the most upset that they are keeping her on a liquid diet until they can do a swallowing test as Mom said she had trouble swallowing sometimes.  She’s kicking herself for saying that.  This Dr had only the CT scan of the brain and showed us the one small point of interest.  She also gave Mom hope by stating that there is of course going to be a plan of action to treat this.

The Neurologist then came in and discussed the results of today’s MRI scan of the head.  The more detailed MRI showed a total of 3 to 4 small lesions in the brain but not affecting Mom neurologically and not changing the plan as if there was just the one small lesion that the CT scan showed.  The brain still seems to not be the main area of concern.

The big days for diagnosing and planning will be over the next 2 or 3 days.

Stay tuned!

Getting more facts…

December 29th, 2013

Here is what I’ve learned since arriving at the hospital this morning.  Mom was alert and awake when I arrived.  She had just been given more morphine to relax her throat and keep her from coughing as much not really for pain.  She was not on any Oxygen or any other medications.  She was also not running a fever nor has she developed any blood clots.

Her main Dr over the weekend came in shortly after I arrived to let us know she was being placed in isolation and guest would have to wear a mask, gown, and gloves.  This is not necessarily bad news as she explained that Mom tested positive for RSV, the respiratory virus normally found in small children.  The Dr was debating whether to treat Mom with anti-virus for this but wanted to let us know that the virus was at least in part causing Mom’s current distress from coughing and shortness of breath.  I was pleased to hear there was something other than the primary cancer causing the immediate problems that can be treated or allowed to run its course.

While digesting this news her Neurologist came in to introduce herself, ask some questions, and examine Mom.  The Dr let us know that the single spot in Mom’s brain is “very small” and could be other things than cancer.  Obviously good news but she went on to stat that “even if God forbid it is cancer” that there would be no need for surgery because it is so small and that “just some radiation should shrink it down quickly”.   Notice the quotes as I try and remember word for word what Drs say to avoid confusion.  When I place quotes around something I want you to know that it is 95-100% exactly what came out of the Dr’s mouth.

Mom is currently out of her room getting an MRI and will be prepping for another CT scan – this time of her abdomen.  The Dr said this CT scan was needed just so they have a full picture of all the areas of concern and to make sure not to miss anything.

I will update with the results of all the scans and with more of the possible plan of action once more is known.

Round 2

December 28th, 2013

Mom is once again battling cancer.  I will update more as time permits.

Change of plans

September 22nd, 2010

Welcome change of plans happened today as Mom found out she can forgo her last two chemo treatments during radiation and instead just have the already planned six week chemo regimen a month after her radiation is finished.   She’s had a couple of really bad days recently and was hoping to get a reprieve or at least more medication to control all the side effects.   We are all just waiting for the 6th in a couple weeks to head back to Sulphur and our friends and family.

Keep those thoughts and prayers a-coming.

Things picking up

September 2nd, 2010

Mom has had her first couple radiation treatments and so far is tolerating it well though it may still be too early to fully tell.  Her sessions are lasting about 20 min and will continue until October 6th, which just happens to be her birthday.  I have updated both her and Dad’s schedules and you can view them here or by clicking on the schedule link on each blog.  You will see she gets her first chemo treatment of Cisplatin on the 7th.

We have family, Traci and kids, visiting this weekend so Mom has that to look forward to.  Don’t forget she is starting 5 weeks of radiation and chemo with 6 weeks of chemo after that while she is also planning for the worst and Dad’s possible funeral.  I’ve never been more proud of Mom than I am right now – talk about a strong woman!

Prayers and thoughts still very much welcome!

Pathology reports

August 3rd, 2010

Mom’s reports are in from her hysterectomy and it looks like the cancer was in fact contained to the endometrial lining of the uterus.  Even with this great news she has learned that she will undergo about 5 or so weeks of radiation and up to 6 weeks of chemotherapy as a precaution due to the agressive nature of the type of cancer she has.  We will know more when the doctor speaks with his treatment team and calls again tomorrow.

Discharged

July 30th, 2010

Mom has just been discharged and is in the ICU waiting room waiting to hear if Dad will be sent to a regular room today.  We have also just received some good news that the next few nights we’ll have a place to stay courtesy of the social workers here at M.D. Anderson.  We’ll be at the Quality Inn on the corner of Kirby and 610 across from Reliant Stadium.

**Update** The free nights at a hotel didn’t happen due to red-tape but we have a hotel at a slightly reduced rate.