Saturday, January 23, 2010

Right next to the Santa Monica Pier
The pier. It looked so pretty later in the day.

I love this picture. Good job Shannon. : )

There were lots of surfers out.
Despite the fever I was so happy to be on the beach.
The movie room at my uncle's. I'd open all the windows and let the fresh air in all day long. Loved the breeze.
My best friend Ranger. He hung out with me the entire time I was at the house.
The fevers and bone pain did not let up the rest of the time I was in California. The last night I was there was especially bad. I had the worst bone pain and an awful fever where I was shivering uncontrollably. We all decided it would be best that I went to the emergency room to check and see if I had an infection and also to try and get some better pain medicine since the oxycotin makes me throw up. They took blood cultures and did a CBC. We did find out I was very anemic meaning my red blood cells (hemoglobin) were very low. That explained why I was so tired, out of breath and moving around even the slightest was incredibly difficult. They weren't able to get me any better pain medication except Dilaudid through IV while I was there. We were able to leave by 4am. We had enough time to go back to the house, shower, pack and take off for the airport. So after an all nighter I was trying to make my 7:30 flight. My flight was delayed until 11am. Finally they sent me to another airline and I flew out by 1pm. I didn't get home until midnight. It was a very long, exhausting day and being anemic did not help.

My doctor wanted to see me ASAP once I got back. My appointment was at 7:30am the next day. It took a long time to get everything taken care of and getting me ready for my transfusion. I was supposed to wait to get called from the hospital when they had a bed ready for me to get the transfusion. I guess they lost my paperwork and never called. I finally called by 5pm and they said "oops" and had me come in. The transfusion took FOREVER.

Since California I've had bone pain, fevers, bad headaches, and liver pain. We switched up pain meds and tried so many different things to alleviate all these symptoms. I got a spinal tap to see if there were cancer cells in my spinal fluid. We thought that could be a possibility since I had headaches all the time. It came back negative thank god. I had a CT scan done as well. Once again my liver tumors have grown and very fast. My liver is huge. My stomach is so hard from all the pressure. Everything else is stable, but the liver is the most important spot to worry about.

It appears that the chemo was not working. So, we stopped Gemzar and Carboplatin and I have switched to Abraxane. So far I am tolerating it much better. No more bone pain and I just feel better. The Abraxane is a weekly chemo though, so I will be at Beaumont more often.

Anyway, I am leaving out a couple emergency room trips out of this blog. Nothing really came of them. I honestly cannot keep up with everything that is going on with me. I have my fingers crossed that we picked the right chemo and hopefully next time I write a blog, I can write about something else other than bone pain, headaches, not being able to breathe etc...

Thank you all for your support lately. People have been making us meals and I cannot even explain how much that helps us. I have not grocery shopped in months. I never have energy to make anything at the house anyway. We are loving the meals and are so happy to have one less thing to worry about. Thank you!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Rest of the Photo Shoot Pictures with Melissa

Here are the rest of the pictures of the photo shoot. It was hard for me to loose my blanket. I literally had that thing wrapped around me the entire time I was out there.
Melissa was really good at posing me so I didn't feel too awkward at any time.
And of course I had Uncle David's commentary the entire time making me laugh so it was easy to have a natural smile.
A more serious one.
I did have a few of those fake eyelashes on so that is why my eyes look a lot better. My eyelashes are very short normally.

Laughing at uncle david again.
Melissa normally works with models. In some of her past photo sessions they have painted words on the models faces for the pictures. I was able to pick out the words I wanted written on my face. Hope, Love, Passion, Truth, Peace, Strength and a Chloe paw print is what I picked. I do have a tube top on and I have the blanket wrapped around me as well. The picture is cropped exactly where the shirt and blanket end.
After we did a number of these pictures we painted my lips white too.

And that is the rest of the pictures from the photo shoot. It was a lot of fun. I was surprised how good I looked despite having a really bad fever. The makeup worked really well for covering up black circles under the eyes.

I have a lot to update you on my health status. That will be very soon with some of the California pictures I took.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Photo Shoot With Mellissa and Uncle David

My Uncle David's girlfriend is a really good photographer. She wanted to take some pictures of me. These are the pictures of me and Uncle David goofing around before the more serious pictures started.
I still had a fever so while they were getting me ready for the shoot I was wrapped up in a blanket. Actually, I have been wrapped up in this blanket the whole time I have been here. We called these pictures our Snuggie Model pictures.
We were supposed to be making cold faces, but I was just smiling.

Uncle David's commentary during the shoot kept me laughing.

Uncle David had me cracking up most of the shoot.
This is our catalogue model picture. Don't we look really surprised by what we are looking at?

Anyways, there are more pictures of just me. I'll put those up on another post. I think Melissa did a really good job.

I'm flying home tomorrow.
Feeling better. Still have fevers and pain, but it is getting better, so that's good.

Lots of love

Monday, January 11, 2010

Going to California

The Santa Monica Pier yesterday

Me and Ranger hanging out with Uncle David. Such a cute dog.

Well, my platelets were in fact REALLY low. The next day I got a transfusion of two units of platelets. I had to go to the hospital. It took almost 7 whole hours to get done. It took forever. After my transfusion I went home and booked my flight out to California to stay with my Uncle David and his girlfriend Melissa. I got bloodwork done before I left. I was given the okay except I developed a upper respiratory infection and had a 103.3 fever the day before I left. I left on this past Wednesday in a hurry to get in some warm weather and to fit in the trip before my next chemo treatment (antibiotics and pain meds in my carry on).
The first day I pretty much just chilled around their house. I opened every window in the sunroom, layed in the sun on the huge comfy bean bag and smelled the freshly cut grass as the lawn crew did all there work. There was a perfect Breeze to cool me off when I needed and it would also bring the grass smell rushing back in the room. After the
yard crew was done I got in little shorts and a tank top, grabbed a
lawn chair, a book and some shades relaxed and worked on my tan. Some
would say I did nothing that day, but for me it was awesome. Plus I got
to hang out with a really cool, smart, carrot loving dog of my uncle's, Ranger.
I might have overdid it in the sun because my skin was burning up all
night and I was completely drained, but oh well. I usually feel like
that all the time anyways, so what's the difference.

Day 2 I woke up with a mission. I was going to the beach. Now, it
might seem like everything is a-ok with my body, but nothing could be
further from the truth. When I left I was dealing with horrible bone
pain and 103.3 fever. Well, the infection picked up and my throat is
pretty raw. I still have fevers but lower grade. My bone pain was
replaced with some muscle pain that was very intense. I think my
muscle might be pinching a nerve. Then, the bone pain also came back.
On top of all that I have a headache that will not go away. I am so
sick of taking pain medicine, but I can't function without it the pain
is so bad. Moral of the story is, I can change my environment and love
it, but I can't change what is going on with my body.

Honestly though, just changing my environment is proving so refreshing
to me. Not being in my bedroom where I sweat all the time and have
sleepless nights. Not being on my couch where I resort to when I have
no more chance of going back to sleep. Not looking outside at the same
yard covered in snow and seeing the usually grey skies. Out here
everything is alive. There are flowers in bloom. It smells different.
I'm in a different bed without any negative stigma that I created like I have with my bed at home.

The beach was great. I went to Malibu first and watched the surfers.
There were some big waves. Then I drove down to the Santa Monica Pier
to have lunch. Afterwards I sat on the beach again. It was so nice and
relaxing. I love the smell of the ocean. My sense of smell has been
like a dogs since I started chemo. I can smell things from so far away
and everything smells so strong. Bad thing is, most of the smells make
me feel sick. All colognes and perfumes, anything scented, laundry
detergent etc etc.... But this day I could smell the ocean from inside
the resturant I was in and it was wonderful. I wish I could trap that
smell and somehow tape it over my nose.

My uncle's girlfriend Melissa and I watched Julie and Julia at night
and ordered Chinese. It was very nice and relaxing.
Today is day 3 and I have the worst bone pain ever. I was stuck in my seat and couldn't move because it hurt me so bad. I had the same thing a couple days before I left for California. I have to take Oxycodone and Oxycotin together. Those two combined make me pretty sick. I was throwing up a lot. I can't handle those two medicines combined. Actually I threw up here in California on just the 4-6 hour Oxy, so I just cannot tolerate that stuff. Anyway, just because I was in pain didn't stop me from getting a lawn chair and sitting out in the sun until I finished my book. I'm getting by though. I'll let you know how the rest of the trip goes. I am very happy I came out here. Still having a great time despite what is going on with my body.
Sending sun and warmth to everyone

darker pink dots