Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The CAT scan and echo cardiogram are done, and many of you have asked about the results. The next appointment is on Monday which is when we expect to find out the details. The technicians who perform the procedures can't say anything, so we're still in the dark.

The CAT scan folks were surprised to see a pregnant lady in their waiting room, and they only proceeded after talking to my doctors directly and informing me of the risks of radiation to the baby. I was aware that there are risks, but hearing about them in more detail made me worry. I spent the scan time praying that the Lord would protect our little one from injury because of the radiation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The CAT scan and echo cardiogram are scheduled at St. Joe's for Wednesday, February 25.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chemo #4

Today's treatment is finished. John Leland went with us so he could see how uneventful the process is. He was tickled to be given a sandwich and juice and plenty of candy.

My red blood cell count was still low, but not low enough to postpone the chemo. The doctor did say I would probably need a blood transfusion during this cycle, since the counts are likely to drop lower than they did last time. I'm hoping not, but time will tell.

I will be having a echo cardiogram and a CT scan sometime in the next ten days to help determine if I should have those extra rounds of chemo. The echo cardiogram is because I had "cardiac symptoms" with the anemia during the last round. They want to make sure my heart is up to more chemo. The CT scan is to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else.

The next three weeks will be full of visits to different offices. I don't have the dates for several of those appointments yet, but I'll try to post them when we find out and the news that follows.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Never Mind - It's Not Normal

Yesterday was blood work day. Between each chemo treatment, blood is drawn to make sure I'm still functioning reasonably well. I've had so much difficulty breathing over the past week, that we were beginning to get worried. The blood work showed that I've become very anemic. Breathing trouble could be caused by much worse problems, so we were relieved. The oncologist said that if my hematocrit falls any lower I will need a blood transfusion. I've been anemic before, although not like this, and have some ideas how to help this problem. The doctor didn't perscribe any iron supplements - my guess is because I would need so much of them that it would cause very unpleasant side effects. The blood counts should begin rebounding very soon on their own.

My doctor has been so easy-going about the alternative methods of chemo support I've been doing. She takes notes on everything I'm doing and waits to see if it seems to help. She has never once made me feel silly for drinking lettuce juice, or for using any of the other things I'm taking. She seems to be completely supportive. When I suggested I could take some of the supplements I have in the past to help with anemia, she was very agreeable. So we stopped by Whole Foods on the way home and picked up some things which I started taking right away.

I will be having a CT scan or something like it soon, now that the little guy is bigger and developing well. It should help the doctors determine when is the best time to schedule the delivery as well as giving them a better idea of the extent of the cancer. I couldn't have any scans earlier because they put the baby at too much risk.

It looks like I will be having an additional round or two of chemo to prevent going three or four months without any treatment while we wait for the delivery and recovery afterwards. The original plan was to have four rounds of Adriomycin and Cytoxan, then wait for the delivery, then four more rounds of Taxol, then radiation. As I mentioned before, the oncologist is very nervous about waiting for baby and not treating the cancer. She is planning to proceed extra cautiously with additional rounds of Adriomycin and/or Cytoxan. I assume these rounds will include extra testing to make sure I'm not falling apart.

All this info may be like Greek, but maybe it will help to answer some questions about what lies ahead. Several of you have been through this routine and know about the ups and downs of treatment decisions. We appreciate everyone's concern and your prayers.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We had another high risk OB visit this week. The little guy is still doing well - still slightly ahead in his growth and everything seems to be developing properly. The ultrasounds at the high risk OB's office are fun. The images are so clear. It's hard to believe this pregnancy only has about 10 weeks left. Most of my others have gone 42 weeks.

Tests checking on the chemo's effect on the blood cells are scheduled for Monday. This month has gone pretty well so far - no mouth sores so far, and a couple other side effects I've had before haven't happened either. I haven't felt as well over all - very little energy. I've been spending a lot of extra time in bed and sometimes have trouble breathing. The doctors say that's normal considering both the pregnancy and the chemotherapy.

The OB and oncologist are still trying to come to a compromise about the delivery date. Maybe some of those questions will be answered or at least investigated further at Monday's appointments.

Jon has been home quite a bit this week working on tax stuff. I'm so thankful for him. He's taken care of the kids a whole lot and I've had lots of chance to rest. We are surrounded by friends who have made life so much easier for us than it might have been right now. Thanks to all of you for the meals, laundry, cleaning, help with the kids, and encouragement.