Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Chemo Treatment Plan

It is with a heavy heart that I write update.  We went to Disneyland for spring break last week and had a wonderful family vacation.  The trip started out with the plane having some type of electrical fire right after takeoff.   The pilot turned us around and after the fire trucks circled the plane on the tarmac and the fireman coming on board for a physical inspection, we returned to the gate to deplane and wait on a replacement jet.  After a two hour wait we finally boarded our new jet and took off for Anaheim, CA.  Once we landed we learned that Continental broke Yolanda’s wheelchair.  After waiting at the airport for two hours dealing with the airlines customer service department, we finally headed to our hotel room (what a start to our vacation).   
Yolanda was a real trooper!  She was in such pain but fought through it each day.   The really enjoyed themselves and that was the whole point.  In Yolanda’s last post she informed you all that we received some distressing news from her Neurosurgeon regarding a possible surgery in the future depending upon if she starts to feel some weakness.  In addition to that news, on this past Wednesday we went in for her chemo treatment only to learn that based on her current ailments and complaints Dr. Osbourne decided to run a CT scan instead of the chemo treatment.  THANK GOD he did because the test would show us that her (already aggressive) cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.  The current chemo drugs were not working.  Dr. Osbourne told us that he would like to start Yolanda on a new set of chemo drugs immediately.  These drugs are much stronger and starting tomorrow (Thursday, March 24th) Yolanda will receive her chemo shots once every three weeks.  We had been moving forward under the impression that Yolanda was progressing and the chemotherapy drugs were working and arresting the cancer cells throughout her body.  Now we learned that not only were the drugs ineffective, but her cancer (which was classified as VERY aggressive at the outset) had six plus weeks to continue to spread throughout her body.  IT DID JUST THAT!! 
Today is Sunday, March 27, 2011 and yesterday I had to rush Yolanda to the ER.  She was in so much pain that she was unable to find relief at home.  The doctors ended up admitting her later that evening.  Yolanda’s liver is so swollen that it was pressing against her stomach and causing shortness of breath.  Dr. Osbourne visited us this morning and is recommending Yolanda start back taking her pain meds on a regular and consistent basis plus go back up on her pain patch.  Yolanda had started to drive (although only down the street) and was regaining her independence.  Now we are heading backwards! 
You all know just how long we have been on this journey, but it is very clear now that we face a new and even greater hurdle.  The new set of chemo drugs HAVE TO WORK!!  Yolanda is fighting but needs all of your collective prayers to pull through this crisis. 
GOD I pray that your will be done and that your will is for Yolanda to live and make it past this crisis.  You are all knowing and are the ONLY one with the power to heal her body.  GOD you are a mircale worker and she is in need of a mircale.  You have the power to arrest this cancer and I pray father that you will do just that.  LORD, I humbly ask that you have mercy on my wife and her body.  Please GOD deliver her from this pain and clear her body of these destructive tumors….AMEN!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The most difficult walk of my life

This week has been a roller coaster as I still keep my faith and try to endure this journey.

I've seen 3 people this week that I was really glad to see because I had not seen them in a while; one was at the Carnival on Sunday and 2 came to visit with me today. I used to work with them and their smiles, hugs, and words of encouragement were much needed. Yes... I ventured out and went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Carnival on Sunday. I walked some and rolled in a wheelchair the rest. It was a nice family outing.

On Wednesday, I went to Chemo and unfortunately my WBC and H&H were low. Chemo can do that and this is the second time for me. Well this time it was too low to receive chemo. I again recieved a $3500 painful Neulasta shot. That shot costs so much and hurts so bad it ought to cure the darn cancer. Luckily, I had one of my sisters in Christ transporting me who was able to give me some encouraging words. She told me the devil is a liar... and much more to encourage me and slightly prevented the tears. I again felt defeated though. The doctor wants me to go 3 weeks in a row and I haven't been able to do it because of my WBC. Now, I will go for chemo 2 weeks in a row and be off one week. I think all this does is prolong how long I will be receiving treatments.

Today, I went to the Neurosurgeon. He was very positive but I can read between the lines. What I haven't shared is that I've started back sleeping in the chair because of this vice like feeling that has been tightening around my back and chest. It is so uncomfortable and sometimes painful that I wasn't resting well. Dr. Kim said that basically the rod that was placed is opposing the natural curvature of the spine. If I should get weak, loose sensation or have increased pain, as before the initial surgery, that I should contact him immediately. For what you might ask... To perform another surgery opposite the rod to stabilize the spine, but he would have to go through my chest. I held it together in front of him, but I lost it with my dear Michael when the MD left the room.

All afternoon, except for when my friends visited, I have cried, cried, cried. Just when I thought I was turning the corner; going to church, shopping (just a little), and getting about, I get this blow. Again, I felt defeated, worn, exhausted, a loose- loose situation. I went to Dr.Kim for him to give me permission to drive, not this. I have never thought this cancer was all about me but now I just don't know. I love my friends, family, coworkers, but what really makes me fight and determined to stay on this side of the dirt is my wonderful, handsome, awesome, fun husband and my wacky, challenging, funny, full of life children and my mother who (I think) needs me. I will be honest in saying that I am terrified of having to endure another surgery of any kind. They can pump my veins with more meds and do procedures, but God please no more surgeries.

Walked and talked with God today. I figured if Job could express his dissappointment with God's trial for him and question the purpose, I could too...and I did. Then I turned on a gospel station and just began to read a book someone gave me entitled "A Believer's Authority". Although I've only read 3 chapters, the message helped dry my tears and redirected me to the word of God; acknowledging where my strength comes from and facing the devil's deceitful ways head on.

We are all going away for Spring Break and hopefully that will give my mind and body a break. I still need you all to pray for me. It is written that the prayers of the righteous (the believer's) availeth much. Whatever is for me, I suppose it is for me, according to God's purpose for my life. Honestly, however, I am tired of the pain; don't mind rehab, treatments, etc. Just tired of the pain, setbacks, additional challenges, and sadly enough sometimes I just feel like my God doesn't hear me. But just like I said at the beginning of this journey, if someone had asked me if I could handle this disease, I would have responded that God would not have placed more on me than I could handle. Here I am and here I stand determined to fight this battle with God on my side. I will do everything I reasonably can until He says it's time to through in the towel.

I love you all and PLEASE continue to pray for a physical healing and spiritual strength. This journey has shown and taught me love I never knew existed. It has also taught me the power of prayer. Wrap your arms around yourself...that's me giving you a warm hug. I love you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What's on my mind

Just happy to be alive. I looked at the calendar the other day and realized my birthday is on a Saturday this year. I immediately called Mike to tell him that I didn't necessarily want a PARTY, but I did want to celebrate just being alive. Mind you my birthday isn't until June, but since I have already proclaimed and believe that I am healed, I expect that I will be around June 2011. Usually we think birthday --- Party! Now, I am thinking birthday -- blessed to be alive.

As for me, I am doing well. I am continuing with physical therapy 3 times per week and taking my chemo. I am on my 3rd cycle; the plan is for me to have a total of 6. I had a treatment last week and I was able to handle it better this time. My greatest challenge has been the nausea that occurs usually two days after the treatment and then praying that my WBC does not decrease. When it does I cannot receive the treatment.

I have so many people that have given me spiritual and health literature on healing the body of cancer. I am reading and reading and taking from it what I think is beneficial. As a nurse, I can't believe everything I read and I first believe that my healing comes from God. I do believe that there are perhaps dietary things that I can change or amend while I am battling this cancer; but for everyone, what is written, other than God's word, is not meant for everyone.

Have you ever wondered how you've made it through the most difficult time in your life? I have a new understanding for when people say "God will wipe your tears away". I have cried so much during this journey that I don't think there are any more tears to cry. I think when all the tears are gone (or running low), God is then able to work on or work through you. He is able to reveal Himself to you. I initially cried the "whoa is me" and "why me" songs; but now I can praise God for the days He has spared me thus far. Am I afraid to leave this Of course I am; I am not prepared. I want to see my children grow up, marry, have children, etc. I want to share more and more time with my husband; love, laugh, travel, etc. But, "what God has for me it is for me"; when it is time, then it is time. This is reality!

Y'all... I'm not going anywhere and I haven't received any bad news. This is just what's on my mind. I am waking each day, thanking God for each new day, and praying for each of you that are reading the blog and praying and/or thinking of us.