Friday, January 30, 2009

Good News!

FINALLY...some good news!! My scan came back CLEAN!! YEA!! We are so excited to know that it hasnt spread. It is contained to the left breast only. That is such good news. Although, they did find that it is in more lymph nodes in the chest and farther back in the chest than they thought-its pretty much as bad as it can get before it spreads. Its called stage 3 metastatic cancer. I am also HER2 positive. All that means is its really aggressive. The HER2 means that I have too much protein and it causes the cells to grow faster. I am so lucky that this was caught just in time. I know that this can be killed and cut out. Its such a good feeling just to know what we are dealing with. We are still waiting on the genetic test-that may take another week or so. So now since all the tests are done, its time to move on with treatment. Dr. C wants to do Chemo first. I have so many tumors and they are all over the place so they want to shrink them first to reduce the chance of spreading cancer cells during surgery. I will be doing a combo of 3 different drugs-they call it TAC. I will for sure lose my hair. I was really holding on to hope that the drugs I would be given wouldnt cause me to lose my hair-but the doctor pretty much squashed that. I was able to see the chemo room and meet the nurses and go through the whole process. I am waiting for the scheduling lady to call and let me know what day I will start, but it should be sometime next week. I will do it on the same day everytime. It will be once every 3 weeks for 6 cycles-so like 18 weeks. The day after each treatment, i will go back in for a shot of something called Neulasta-this is to boost my white blood cell count higher because one of the drugs during chemo causes the cell count to basically disapear. Before each treatment, I will have to do someting called a MUGA scan. Its a scan that will look at my heart to make sure that the drugs arent damaging my heart. I will have to do a blood draw every week to check my blood cell counts to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to. I also have to get a shot once a week for the next YEAR called Herceptin-this is to help those cancer cells that are fuled by the large amounts of protein to stop growing-its kinda like a helper to the chemo. After all the chemo, I will have a masectomy, then reconstruction and then radiation. There is so much information and so much to take in-its all a bit much. They went over the side effects and all the meanings and all these big names-its crazy. I think its going to take some time to all really set in. But...I have one last weekend of being chemo free and im going to enjoy it. Im gonna hang out, watch the Cards kick some bootay, and just relax and enjoy my hair while I have it. Go Cards!!
So, tomorrow is the big PET scan and we are all a bit nervous. I know that I should just have faith that it hasnt spread anywhere else, but to be honest, im way scared. I think its a mix of a lot of things. I know that from this point on everything is going to change. I have been so busy with moving and the kids that I really havent had a lot of time to let in sink in. I think its finally starting to. When I think of the road ahead, I start to freak out, so I just shut it out and find something to keep me occupied. So far it has worked, but I think its time to find a new technique. The scan is in the morning and then I have an appointment with my oncologist in the afternoon to talk about the results and to figure out the next steps. So tomorrow will be a crazy day but hopefully we will have more information as to what im supposed to be doing. Its time to get this thing started and kick this cancers trash!! Its almost 7-and you know what that means...AMERICAN IDOL!!! So ive got to get going, but I just wanted to send a shout to Tusi (DEUCE as he is known on the field) and wish him and the Cardinals good luck this weekend!!! He texted Bill yesterday and told him he got interviewed by Ross the intern (from Jay Leno) and it will be airing this Friday night-so set your Tivo's and dont forget to watch-apparantly its pretty funny!! GO CARDS!!!
We are finally here!! It has been the craziest week of my life. Bill decided he really wanted to be with me on my first appointment with the new oncologist, so we started packing the house Thursday night and had the truck loaded on Saturday afternoon. We cleaned up and tried to cram in the last random items and hit the road Sunday morning. It was so fast and so crazy and we couldnt have done it without all the help we received. My mom and my mother in law were both there and my two brother in laws and their wives and all the guys from the ward that sacraficed their Saturday to load the truck-it was amazing that it all worked out. The relief society had meals brought in all week. We had so much food-I think we all gained like 10 pounds! I am so amazed at the help and the love and support from everyone in our ward. Im sorry to anyone who emailed or text me or called me-I seriously didnt have 2 seconds to put together-not even a picture. Once we get all moved in and settled, I promise I will respond! It is so great to be home, but we sure do miss our Utah family- alot!!So today was the first appointment with the oncologist. It didnt start out to great considering we sat in the waiting room for like 45 minutes only to find out that the stupid Utah doctors office didnt send over my records and they had been trying to get them all day. I even went there before I left and signed all the paperwork and told them what day and time my appointment was and to make sure they were there. I was so mad. Bill called and ripped them to peices and wouldnt you know it, by the end of our appointment they came. But I will just say that I LOVE this doctor. He is so thorough and knowlegable and kind and funny-all the things you would want in a doctor when going through something like this. He asked me a bunch of questions and did an exam-a very thorough exam I must say. He was able to glance at the records that did come through just enough to know that he wants to do a few more tests. It was after 5, so tomorrow he will call and make an appointment for me to do a PET scan-this is a full body scan, its a bit more in depth than a bone scan. And in the morning I will go do some more blood work. I still havent heard about the bone scan or the genetic test-hopefully we will know more the next time we meet with the doctor-which will be the day after the PET scan. He said that I will start Chemo first and then do surgery-so I will start that probably next week. Its scary to even think about it so im just going to take it one day at a time-I will worry about things as they come. Im trying to decide if I want to do a separate blog for me and keep this one for the fun stuff that we still go through as a family. I dont have my computer so im not quite sure how to upload pictures to this computer and not make them permanant. So many things I want to do, so little time. Hopefully things will slow down a bit and I will have some time for all the things I enjoy. Wishful thinking, right? The kids start school tomorrow and they are excited and nervous. Tyson gets to go to all day kindergarten-he is beyond excited. Im a little sad to not have my ty-bo at home in the morning, but I know this will be so good for him. This school starts at 7:53-a bit earlier than our previous 9:15. Im not so good with the mornings. Looks like I better start getting to bed a little earlier!! Goodnight!

Decisions, decisions

I just got back from the doctor with more questions and more decisions to be made. The results of my chest x-ray came back clear-which is great news. My MRI showed more tumors in the breast which completly rules out saving the breast. No chance at all. I figured as much and actually I prefer it so I dont have to always wonder if it will come back. I still havent recieved the results for the genetic testing, so that may change it from a single to double masectomy. I also get a full body bone scan on Thursday to see if it has spread to my bones. Im hopeful that it hasnt and that it is contained to the lymph nodes only. So now our options are this...we can take all our records and go home and find our own doctors and do it all there (which is my first choice), or we can do the surgery here, with the doctors that we have already seen, and then go home for Chemo and radiation. If I stay here for the surgery, then we are looking at the middle of march for going home. I guess either way, we are pulling the kids out of school at a bad time, so that isnt really a consideration anymore. I really just dont even want to make any of these decisions. Just make it go away!!!So...lots of things to think about. but im leaning more towards home, and soon. If anyone knows of any doctors that we might be able to go to, please, please let me know. We are really just starting from square one down in AZ, so any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Its Official!

So, just a quick update. We are moving back home!! Its not necessarily under the best circumstances, but hey..IM GOING HOME!!Our plans are to be home by Wednesday. Its going to be crazy trying to get packed so fast, but we have motivation. I have my bone scan today at 4 and hopefully it will be clean. I think this will be my last test here. We are still awaiting the genetic test, but that takes a week and the least. I hope to have all the results back by the time we leave so I can make a clean break. I just want to thank everyone again for all the kind words and the love and support. It has truely been amazing. Its been a dark time, but there has also been so much light and I am so grateful!!I will try and update as much as I can. Thanks again!!


I am so overwhelmed by so much love and support from everyone. I have never felt so loved in my life. It has been such a huge comfort to know how many people have fasted and prayed in our behalf. It is truly overwhelming and I just want to thank everyone and let you know how appreciative Bill and I are. We love you!!I met with the surgeon on Friday to discuss possible options and to talk about the mammogram and the Ultra Sound. We were again given more bad news that we were not expecting. I had high hopes that this had not spread and that surgery and radiation would do the trick. Not so.He showed me the films of the tests and went step by step through each one. He is a very thorough Doctor and very to the point-which I appreciate. He said that their were tumors in the lymphnodes and that they were malignant. Those were the ones he was worried about. I thought that these lymphnodes were part of the breast and that it could just be removed-Ive learned a lot about the human anatomy. Did you know that lymphnodes cannot be removed? He said that the cancer was on the move and that was not a good sign. He showed me the tumors and in those tumors and around you could see a bunch of tiny white dots-those are the cancer cells that are spreading. He then said that a masectomy and Chemo were unavoidable. I really was not expecting that. Without more tests, its hard to know how far it has spread and what our next step should be. I was able to get in that day for an MRI, a chest X-Ray, and a genetic blood test. This blood test will determine in I carry a gene that causes this type of cancer. If it comes back positive, then I will need to do a double masectomy. So I will be a whole new lady at the end of this. New hair, nice perky boobs and at least 20 pounds lighter. Gotta have a bright side, right? So, as of this point, we are thinking about moving home to do treatment. We cant do this without our family-and we have so much support at home. Im scared out of mind about going through Chemo. Im scared about my hair falling out, im scared to get sick and im the most scared about throwing up. Im scared to lose my boobs and im scared to have implants. Im sad that my kids have to see me weak and scared. But, I also know that I can beat this. I have such a strong support system and my Husband as my rock. This is going to be hard and long, but I know that there is a light at the end of all this and I will hold on to that through all this. We had such a fun weekend with all the Lomus and it was just what I needed to keep me distracted and keep me happy and upbeat. We laughed and cried and I was the given the most powerful blessing by my sweet husband. I got to see my neices and nephew and my kids had blast. Thank you Lomus for the best weekend ever!! I have some good pictures that I will post a little later. My mom is on her way here-so I need to get some cleaning done!!I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss the MRI results and to see what the next steps are. Hopefully they include packing up my house and moving home!!Love you all!!

Just the begining!

I decided to make a separate blog about my time with breast cancer. I wanted to keep my family blog fun and happy and all about my kids. I think this will be a good place for me to write down everything that I go through and all the things I am feeling. I know that this isnt going to be an easy road, but I plan on coming out of this so much stronger than I ever was or ever thought I could be.
I want to start from the beginging-for journal sake.
About a year ago, I found a small, hard lump in my left breast. I was still nursing, so I just wrote it off as a clogged duct. A couple months later when I stopped nursing, it was still there, but then I also found one in my right breast. I knew it was a clogged duct. About a month later, the lump in the right breast went away, but the other one was still there. It just got bigger and harder. I really wasnt that worried about it because I am young, I breast fed all 5 kids and it runs NOWHERE in my family. I also didnt have health insurance-which in hindsight was a STUPID excuse!!While we were in AZ for Christmas, my good friends mom died from breast cancer. I think it scared me a bit-enough to make me tell Bill about it and go the doctor. I went to the OB on Jan 8th (my anniversary) and they sent me for a mammogram and an ultrasound. That was scheduled for the following tuesday, the 13th. It was such a long weekend. The day finally came and i cant even tell you how nervous I was. We fasted all day and by the time of the appointment, I thought I was going to faint. I was the youngest one in that office by like 30 years-it was so uncomfortable. All I could think of was I should NOT be here-this is crazy. I could see the screen after the pictures were taken and I could definatly see something...BIG. I knew something was up because the lady got a doctor and he took one look and immediatly wanted to do a biopsy. So I went in to the ultrasound room. The lady did an ultrasound and she was taking pictures and measuring things. I was too scared to ask what it was she was measuring, so I just looked up at the ceiling. The doctor came in and did some picture taking of his own. He moved the ultra sound thing over my armpit and up popped 2 big black holes. Uh-oh. Not good. Bill was able to come in for the biopsy and Bill started asking all the questions. What is it? Is it bad? You know, all the things I didnt want to ask. The doctor said it was multiple tumors and that there were also 2 in the lymphnodes. He did a biopsy on the lymphnodes and 2 spots in the breast.
Waiting is the hardest part. Trying to be positive but still wondering. If I didnt have such a strong support system here, I think I would have gone crazy. My mother in law had made plans a while back to come visit during January-she is crazy and she likes the snow and the cold. It just happend that she was coming on the same day as my appointment. She and my sister in law Andrea watched our kids. I was so glad to have her here for this waiting period. She is so calming and it was really good for Bill to have his mom here. I wish I had my mom here too. I think it was worse for my parents not being able to be here-just waiting for news. We were able to stay busy for the 2 days of waiting by going to lunch, I got my hair done, we had family dinner and just hung out. Today we all fasted and tried to stay busy but I had my phone in my hand the whole day just waiting for it to ring, but not really wanting in to. I finally had had enough and called. The nurse said she had the results back but she was waiting for the radioligist to read them and then they would give me a call. I ran to the grocceri store with my sis in law and Mom in law to get some things for dinner-I thought I had about an hour. I was in the hair gel isle when my phone rang. The nurse asked if I would talk to the doctor. When he got on the phone he told me that he was sorry to have to tell me that it was in fact cancer. I really didnt think they were going to tell me over the phone. And to be honest, I really wasnt expecting it to be cancer. Not at all. I had been fasting all day and I literally almost fainted. He kept talking but I really didnt hear much after that. I just wanted to find the others and get out of there. Bill kept calling me, but I couldnt answer. I didnt want to tell him over the phone. Just as we pulled in, the bus was dropping the kids off, so Andrea took them back to her house so Bill and I could talk. Bill called the doctor back to ask some questions since I had no idea what he had said, and I called my parents. My dad has a way of calming me with his words of wisdom and I was so thankful for the things he told me because I really needed to be calmed. The radiologist said that it doesnt look like it has spread anywhere past the lymphnode, but until they do an MRI they wont know. So we praying that it hasnt spread. I have an appointment tomorrow with the surgeon to see what our next step is. Bill has been a rock to me during this time. Bill has some health anxiety and I was really worried what this might do to him, but he has been so great to me and has picked me up when I felt like crawling in bed and pulling the covers over my head. I love you babe!!I just wanted to tell everyone how grateful I am-we are- for everyones overwhelming support. My parents have told me how many people have called them and given their support and how many people fasted today in our behalf. People I dont even know, but know my parents and love them. It has been such an amazing experience. I have felt comfort and love and I know its because of all the prayers. Its the scariest time of my life, but its also the most amazing. I have never in my life experienced anything like it-and for that, I am truely grateful. Its all so overwhelming. We told the kids and they are taking it pretty good. Im not sure that they really understand, but it makes me feel better to know that they arent worried. My mom is going to come up next week and stay for a while to help out with the kids during the surgery (and we all know that sometimes you just need your mommy), my sister is coming, as well as my brother and his wife. Just a few hours ago, Bills whole family called and said they are packing up the cars and coming tomorrow. Just like that. And anyone who knows the Lomus knows that they are not spur of the moment kind of people. I feel so loved and so blessed to have family that is willing to drop everything to come and give me the support that I need right now. How could anyone with this much love not have a positive attitude?? I really feel comfort from my Father in Heaven and I know that I will be alright. He is blessing me and my family more than we deserve. I know that this is a novel, but im glad I was able to write it all down so I will remember how I felt. I still have a life and kids and lots of happy things to keep me grounded, so dont expect any doom and gloom here. I have a weird sense of humor. Thanks again and Love to you all!!!