Thursday, February 28, 2013

Eight Days of Waiting

Only twelve days left until I get my PetScan results.  Karley and I will be flying to Atlanta on March 8th so she and I can visit with friends and family.  My scan is on the 11th and results on the 12th, but she's flying back on the 10th so she can make it back to school.  Plus, I don't take her to the hospital with me...

I look more forward to visiting friends and family (and eating at La Parrilla) than I do results (hence the title name).  Results are just not what I think of while I'm planning our trip.   Results will be what they will be, nothing changes that, so I don't dwell.

Since I last wrote, I joined an online lung cancer support community and met quite a few people with very inspiring stories and a few stage IV survivors!  Although I haven't found anyone my age on there, I did meet a woman whose husband was also diagnosed stage IV and he is only 34.  It's good to share stories and tips.  I feel like a Tarceva veteran now, even though I've only been taking it since the beginning of January, I've had the side effects.

The rash is getting better but I'm still losing some hair.  Now I'm not so sure it's all from the Gamma Knife.  I did read that a rare side effect of Tarceva is hair loss.   It's a small price to pay for it's benefit though.  I'm good with it.  Karley likes to tell everyone, "My mom has a big bald spot".  Kids are great! I'm so glad she loves to share everything!

I also don't have to regulate my eating schedule as much now since I finished some meds I had to take twice daily.  I can eat whenever I want (up until around 7:30 p.m.) now!  It's the little things :)

I've decided it best for me not to work until I get better.  Not because I don't want to work, but I get exhausted so easily when I try.  Saving my energy for Karley and housework is about all I can handle right now, or maybe all I want to try and handle right now.

Enough about me.  I have some prayer requests for those prayer warriors out there.

My dear friend Reggie, was recently diagnosed with a rare skull base tumor.  I know, we are a mess, what are the odds?  Hopefully he will be seeing my neurologist, Dr. Chandler at Piedmont, for treatment.  Dr. Chandler does amazing work.  Several doctors have suggested the Gamma Knife as treatment but possibly surgery.  Reggie needs our prayers very much right now.  He has been there for me since day one (along with Amanda, Brad, Mandy, Sam, Poppy, Stephen, John, Terri, my parents and lil sis who all have gone out of there way to be by my side).  He's even gone to appointments with me.  I love him very much and know the power of prayer and God's work can heal him successfully.

Additionally, please pray for Dylan Rosier and his family (Karley's cousin).  He has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and is going through chemo.  He's going through a lot for a 4th grader.  He needs our prayers for strength and healing.

Finally, please continue praying for Tim Gravitt as he fights his own battle.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers and support for my family and me.  I still have complete faith that He can heal me.  I love all of you for following my story and keeping me in your thoughts.  Unless something drastic happens, my next post will probably be the day I get the PetScan results (March 12th).

In the meantime, words I live by:

Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ."

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Circus!

Karley and I flew to Atlanta this past Friday.  It was freezing!!  Friday night I went out to eat with my friends Reggie and Amanda.  I eat so healthy when I'm in St. Simons and save my unhealthy splurges for the nights I get to visit with good friends. I eat at La Parilla EVERY time I go to Atlanta these days.

With a special thanks to Chanda Dabney and Phillips Arena, Karley got to see her very first Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus on Saturday.  It was such a gift!

We had a blast.  Reggie, Amanda, Conner, Ashleigh, Karley and I were all given tickets in the club section.  Karley said her favorite part was when the elephants "hugged shoulders".   Even though it was freezing outside, the trip was more than worth it!  It was a great show!

She looked a little nervous so close to that elephant!   I'm so blessed to be able to spend this quality time with Karley and my friends.  Some people are not so blessed.  I'm thankful for every moment.

I have no new information regarding my health.  I won't get that until March 12th.  I don't think of myself as having cancer most days anymore.  I sleep a lot more and save my energy for Karley.  I love hearing her laughter, it's so inspiring.  

I continue to pray daily and look to the Lord for my strength and healing.  He gives me the strength to not dwell on things beyond my control, allowing me to be happy and love my life regardless of my circumstances.   I still have complete faith in Him.

Thank you all for continued prayers and support.  I'm so blessed to have such great supporters and prayer warriors.  Please continue praying for Dylan, Jean, and Tim.  I mentioned their battles in a previous post.  Also, please pray for Maddie Briscoe and her continued success in remission from Stage IV Neuroblastoma.  Finally, my friend Reggie is having some health issues as well.  Please pray for his healing.  I know these are a lot of prayers and we appreciate them more than you all know!   God is capable of amazing things, Maddie is living proof of that!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Update

It's been a gloomy few days here in St Simons. I always said I wanted to lay around on the couch all day when it's raining (something I NEVER did in my old life), but I did it yesterday. It was nice, but not as great as I was anticipating.

So, almost two weeks ago, when showering, I noticed a lot of hair coming out. I noticed the bald patch on the back of my head last week when fixing my hair and its gotten a little larger. My neurologist explained it is the spot that had radiation and it should grow back. So, one side of my hair looks very thin in the back. It's okay though, Amanda took me to get hair extensions that totally match!

I can understand why cancer patients don't wear wigs that much and prefer soft scarves or hats. It is SO tender. I can't even sleep on that part of my head. I'm blessed to be on this pill because I know it must be very uncomfortable to lose all of ones hair. My rash is still present on my face, chest, and back but it's better than other side effects caused by traditional chemo.

I've noticed I'm breathing better. I can actually fill my lungs with air without trying so hard. I always thought it was normal for me to have trouble taking deep breaths because I had asthma as a kid. Oh well.

John has Karley right now because she is kind of sick. I've been trying to work a little (only a few hours a week due to fatigue) but EVERY person in the office is sick too. So, basically I've been a hermit yesterday and probably today too.

I'm still in good spirits and feel blessed to be able to be here. I'm keeping my eyes on The Lord and am more thankful for each day He gives me. I don't worry or feel anxious anymore, which makes some think I need to see a therapist because I should be upset. Lol! I'm not going to lie, it took me almost a month post diagnosis to write my first blog because I was so depressed. But after getting closer to God, accepting my journey, and the outpouring of prayers and support, I just have too much faith right now to let this get to me.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!  Please also pray for Dylan Rosier (Karleys 9 yr old cousin with leukemia), an old friend Tim Gravitt who is still fighting, and a new friend Jean Varner.   I know with God and your prayers, we can all overcome these terrible illnesses.

Nothing is impossible with Him!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 1, 2013


As you most know, I had some tests today at Piedmont.  My parents and Reggie went with me.  Thank you Julie (Reggie's boss) for letting him off today to go!

We just got home.  My first test was an MRI of the brain to make sure there wasn't any cancer remaining.   The neurologist came in with good results.  No trace of any cancer in the brain!  So, now I have to go in for an MRI every three months to make sure it doesn't come back.

Second, I had a chest x-ray and blood work.  The oncologist came in with more good news.  My blood work came back perfect and my chest x-ray came back showing that the primary tumor had already begun to shrink!  I've been on the Tarceva for less than a month!  The oncologist was amazed at the progress I've shown.

I go back March 11th for a PetScan to check progress.

Thank you all so much for all of your prayers!  I'm giving all of my thanks to God for this good news.  I was able to give all of my worry and anxiety over to God and leave all of this in his hands.  Complete Faith & Trust.   He's kept his word.

Psalm 107:19-21

"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind."

I may not be cured, but I have complete Faith that the Lord can cure me!