When Mom was in the ICU I started this page to post status updates to reduce the number of phone calls the ICU nurses had to take. It takes me a while to get through my calling list and I thought this page might help those with internet access get info on her and keep from overloading everyone with emails. As I have new information about Mom, I'll post it here. Also feel free to call me at home (918.496.8346), my mobile (918.230.6145) or via email below:
Mom has continued to receive good reports from her doctor. This time they told her that at her next appointment she will join their Survivors Club because she will have been cancer-free for 12 years and they will consider her cured.
Mom went to her doctor appointment today and since she's been cancer-free for five years, she only has to go back once a year now. She's pretty excited about that.
Mom's latest lab report says her CA-125 is 11.
Mom went to her doctor appointment today and he said she's still doing great.
I was at Mom's this weekend and she anxious to show me her latest lab report showing her CA-125 was still 10.
Mom went for her checkup yesterday and her CA-125 was 10. The doctor told her she's one of their miracle patients. It's hard to believe this all started about this time 4 years ago.
Mom's CA-125 test this time was 9.7 and the doctor said everything still looks fine.
Mom went for her re-check. Her CA-125 test result this time was 11 and the doctor said everything is OK. From now on she'll go for a re-check every 6 months.
Mom went for her re-check. Her CA-125 test result this time was 9.7 which she was happy with since it was down from last month. The doctor told her she has to come back for one more visit in 3 months, then she'll go every 6 months.
Mom went back to the doctor for her regular re-check. Her CA-125 test result was 11.5 which had her worried to say the least. The doctor told her it will fluctuate, and 0-35 is considered normal.
Mom's CA-125 test result was 5. The doctor told her to keep doing what she's doing, she's his star patient.
Mom went back to the doctor today for her checkup. Her CA-125 test result was still 6 like last time.
Mom went back to the doctor today for her checkup. Her CA-125 test result was still 6 like last time. Hard to believe it's been a year ago since she found out she was in remission.
Mom went back to the doctor today for her checkup. Her CA-125 test result was 6 like last time and her bloodwork was good, and the doctor said she is doing very good.
Mom went back to the doctor today for her checkup. Her CA-125 test result was 6 and the doctor said she is doing very good.
Mom went to the doctor today for her first checkup after the chemo. Her CA-125 test result was 5 and the doctor said she is doing fine. Her next checkup is in 3 months.
Good news from the doctor today, Mom's last CT scan shows no cancer and her CA-125 test looks good so her cancer is in remission. She'll have exams and blood tests every 3 months for the next 2 years to make sure it stays that way.
Mom's CT scan had to be re-scheduled to October 28th due to equipment problems, which delayed her next doctor appointment to November 8th. Her white count on the 14th was the lowest it's ever been but was headed back up the next week. She sounds strong but has been feeling weak and is happy to have the chemo behind her.
We saw Mom this last weekend and she was doing very good. She's been having numbness in her fingers which they say is normal and should go away once her chemo is over. She had her last chemo this morning. Her next CT scan is scheduled for October 20th, and her next doctor appointment will be October 25th.
Mom went to her doctor appointment yesterday and found out the CA-125 test result from her lab work last Friday was down to 6, the lowest ever! There is information about the CA-125 test in an article entitled "Can Ovarian Cancer Be Found Early?" on the American Cancer Society website. CA-125 is used as an indicator of how treatment is working, and isn't reliable for screening for early detection. The fact that this disease is so hard to detect until it's too late underscores how blessed Mom is to have so many praying for her during this whole ordeal.
Went with Mom to her next-to-the-last chemo on the 6th, when I talked to her yesterday the nausea and fatigue were pretty much over. If her blood counts cooperate, hopefully 9.26 will be her last chemo.
Mom had another CT scan on Tuesday and a doctor appointment on Thursday. Her doctor said her scan still looks good and is pleased with her progress. Her blood test last week indicated her white blood cell count was the lowest it has ever been. Today's test shows it's up, but not high enough for chemo next week so that will delay it until after Labor Day.
Mom had another round of chemo on the 8th, six down, two to go. She's had more nausea and fatigue this time around but she sounds like she's bouncing back from it quicker, at least she sounds stronger on the phone when I talk to her. She's bummed out that she's lost her hair now, it took a while for that to happen. The doctor had said she might not lose it with the new chemo drug she's taking as part of the study, and she did keep it longer than they did with the old drug. She's very anxious to get this behind her and move on.
Mom's had another doctor appointment today and her lab work last Friday indicated her CA-125 test results were 9, and her doctor is still very pleased with her progress. She hasn't had much nausea this time, but she's been more fatigued than usual.
Mom's white count was up enough Friday so I took her to chemo this morning. Five down, three to go. She's noticed more of her hair coming out so she bought a wig this weekend.
GREAT NEWS! Went with Mom to her doctor appointment today. He said the CT scan shows either no cancer where it had been, or it is so small it's not detected. The tumors they had seen on the liver are gone. He says she's making great progress and couldn't expect any better so she'll continue the chemo schedule.
The chemo center called yesterday and said her white count is too low for her to take chemo. We see the doctor tomorrow to find the results of the CT scan.
I went with Mom to her CT scan last Thursday, and we'll find out the results at her doctor appointment on June 30th. She is feeling better.
Mom had chemo on Monday and the experience has been the same as the past, Monday-Tuesday she does well, then Wednesday-Friday nausea and fatigue, then it lets up for a week or two. Fortunately she has more marks on the plus side than the bad; she hasn't lost her hair, her nausea meds take care of the nausea for the most part (easy for me to say since I'm not going through it), and her cancer counts keep dropping. She has a CT scan scheduled for later this month, and a doctor appointment the following week to discuss the results.
Mom's counts are back up so she's scheduled for chemo on Monday.
Mom's white blood cell count is low so they're postponing her chemo.
Mom's been doing pretty good overall, a few days of bad nausea and fatigue but for the most part she sounds strong and in good spirits when I call her. The nurse called yesterday and said her white blood cell counts were low in last Friday's test; they will look at her blood test tomorrow morning and determine whether she can take chemo on Monday. My sister took her to her doctor appointment today, and the doctor was very happy with her progress; her CA-125 count has gone down again to 8, which is great!
She had a pretty rough 3 days last week with nausea and fatigue but last night when I talked to her, she had been out running errands and was feeling OK.
Mom's counts were good so she had her 3rd chemo round yesterday. She was tired today but was able to work out in the yard this morning. She's only lost a little bit of hair so far. The nurse said yesterday that if she were on the regular chemo instead of the trial, she would have lost all her hair by now.
Mom said the chemo center called and told her they are going to postpone her chemo for a week because her white blood cell count is too low.
Mom went to her doctor appointment this afternoon, and he said her CA-125 count in last Friday's lab work was 14! That is down from 225 on April 18th! He said 35 is considered normal so he was very happy about this (so are we!). Lou Ann's Mom and Dad are going to drive her here for Mother's Day on Sunday, then I'll take her home and get ready to go with her to chemo on Monday.
I talked to Mom last night and she had some nausea yesterday but didn't feel as tired. She has sounded a lot stronger the past few days when I talked to her.
Mom had her second round of chemo this past Monday and it had about the same effect, nausea for a few days along with being tired all the time. I talked to her a few minutes ago and she's pushing herself to be active like the doctor said. Mom's got a huge bed of Irises that started blooming a week ago so she spends a lot of time out in the back yard now.
Mom called a few minutes ago, she's back from her chemo and is feeling very good - so good she's going to drive to Walmart in a few minutes and get more plants to put in the back yard. The result of her CA-125 test (indicator for ovarian cancer) in Friday's blood test was 100 points less than what it was before she had surgery (325).
I stopped by on my way home from class last night and spent the night with her. I had planned to cut her hedges but her neighbor came over and did it for her, and two of her neighbors are keeping her lawn mowed. Her blood counts look ok so they're going ahead with chemo on schedule. They check it every Friday morning and the Friday afternoon before chemo she calls to see if they're OK or if they have to re-schedule her appointment. I came home today and my sister will take her to her chemo appointment on Monday.
Talked to Mom, she worked in the yard most of the day and is feeling pretty good.
I stopped by and saw Mom this afternoon on my way to a class and she is doing fine but occasionally has bouts with nausea and fatigue. At her appointment yesterday, her doctor told her the nausea shouldn't last more than 4 days after chemo, and that her fatigue is due to recovering from her surgery, not the chemo. He said she needs to push herself to get exercise to get through it.
We saw Mom this weekend and she was pretty weak at times but in pretty good spirits. She forgets it hasn't been that long since she had surgery and was in ICU and tries to do too much when she feels better. The nurse from the chemo center called her and said her white blood count is low and cautioned her to stay in as much as possible to avoid catching a cold or the flu from someone which could put her in the hospital. My sister is taking her to her doctor appointment tomorrow, and I'll be seeing her on Wednesday and Friday.
She's occasionally having spells with nausea but she's been working in the yard and baking so overall she's feeling OK; she sounds stronger.
Mom had a pretty rough last few days but today she got outside and worked in the yard and is feeling better. She has a doctor appointment on the 12th of this month, and her next chemo will be the 18th if her blood counts cooperate.
Yesterday the nausea wasn't as bad as on Wednesday, and today it's gone, she just feels very tired.
Mom worked in the garden and ran errands most of the day yesterday and was feeling pretty good. Today she's starting to experience some of the nausea and aching they warned her about.
Mom had her first chemo this morning. It took around an hour and a half and she's doing pretty well, no side effects so far, but they say it's usually 2-3 days after when they start to appear.
We met with Mom's doctor and the chemotherapy nurse today. They will start her chemo this Monday. I was incorrect on the drug used in the chemo trial. The chemo drug that only targets cancer cells is used when the side effects of the regular ones are too excessive. The trial she has been accepted for uses a drug that has far less side effects than the one they typically use for ovarian cancer. The deadline for entering this trial is Monday so we're fortunate they were able to get her included. They are seeing good results from it so far. She will have as many as 8 treatments once every 3 weeks. What an eye opener as far as medical costs. The study provides the trial drug for free, but the cost of the second one is around $2,250 per treatment. And I thought the worst side effect was nausea!
Mom was up at odd hours last night, up at 3am for breakfast. At the hospital they'd come in at different times between midnight and 6am to take blood and check on her, so maybe she's still on that schedule. If you knock on the door in the middle of the day she might be asleep. She went through the night without pain medicine but had to have some this morning.
She was upset with my sister and I because she wanted to stop off at her favorite discount supermarket and do some shopping on the way home from the hospital and we wouldn't do it. So I see glimpses of good 'ol Mom getting back to normal (as normal as you can be on pain meds anyway!). My sister stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and Mom got pretty tired out just waiting for the prescription so it's good they didn't make the grocery stop. We meet with the chemo people Thursday at 4 to discuss her schedule.
The doctor released Mom, my sister is picking her up this morning and taking her home.
Talked to Mom, her blood count was OK tonight so she'll be going home in the morning.
We met with the doctor this morning. They will probably let her go home tomorrow. In the CT scan they ran last week, they found a tumor in her liver the size of a ping pong ball. This had not shown up on the CT scan done weeks ago at her doctor's office. The treatment will be the same, using the same drug except modified to target only cancer cells. They are going to include Mom in a research study for the drug. The side effects should be less, and more of the drug should target the cancer instead of healthy cells allowing her to tolerate it better. We meet with his chemo staff on Thursday to visit about the schedule. They're going to start the chemo earlier (week after this next week) and make it more frequent (every 3 weeks instead of monthly).
Talked to Mom, the doctor wants to meet with us at 8am Sunday to discuss her going home and treatment later. She will be able to take her chemo close to home instead of returning to the hospital. She will probably be released from the hospital this coming Monday.
They've removed all of her IV's except for one, she had solid food to eat today, and they're thinking they might send her home this weekend.
Mom had a CT scan, it shows the cancer in the abdomen they couldn't see during surgery, which they expected. She could be going home next week, and starting chemo in 2-3 weeks. The doctor said it may not make her sick, but extremely fatigued.
Mom's sounding stronger but the pain medicine is making her sound different.
Mom did get moved out of ICU this afternoon and is doing pretty good.
Mom's healing well and only had pain meds twice last night. They think she could be moving out of ICU today.
They took Mom off the heart medicine today and her heart rhythym is good without it. They started giving her some nutrients in her IV today which has helped. She hasn't eaten since last Tuesday. They had her up and walking to the door and back today which wore her out, but it was good for her. The doctor says she's doing good. They still think it'll be 1-2 days before they let her out of ICU. My sister said she looks good, starting to be more bossy. She is breathing normally now, not labored.
Mom's vital signs are good and she's feeling OK, doing OK.
We visited Mom today and she's in pretty good spirits but of course still in pain. They had her sitting up in a chair again this morning. She had a few more visitors today which make her tired, but it forces her to be active and breathe deeper which is helping, so the nurse is OK with visitors as long as they don't stay too long. She's smiling more and "expressing her opinions" more often so I know she's on the mend.
They had Mom up in the chair again at 2 this morning. She's still having some heart rhythym problems, flutters sometimes, which causes some breathing problems. She's always wanting something to drink, wants to see us. Visiting hours are a little more lax on Sundays, but they won't allow anyone to camp out. She feels if it weren't for her heart, she'd be upstairs (out of ICU) by now.
The nurse had Mom sit up in a chair for about 20 minutes until she got tired. Mom said she's able to breath easier today, but it's pretty painful to breathe. The doctor said her kidneys and heart are working OK now. I'll call tomorrow morning and see what they say about having visitors. She started giving orders to my sister this afternoon so she knows Mom must be feeling a little better.
Mom is still in ICU and has fluid on her lungs and labored breathing but the doctors say considering what she's been through, it is all expected. The doctors said they're working to get the fluid out of her lungs. At this point in time after the surgery, ups and downs are normal. She is tired but knows what she'll have to do to get better. Because of the pain around the diaphragm it hurts so bad to breathe deep. She is remembering more today. The doctor said Mom knows enough about this that she told him she needs to be turned to get the fluid moving (probably from what she learned working around the hospital) so she's aware and knows what to do in order to recover, and determined to do what it takes so she's an excellent patient. She had reduced kidney function yesterday which reduces the ability to remove fluid but that should return but that's the critical thing right now. She will probably be in ICU for another two days, and her nurse recommends no visitors at least for today. She has to get her rest to keep her strength up to work through this.
My sister just left visiting Mom. Her breathing is labored and has fluid building up in her lungs. She had all the doctors in her room this morning pretty concerned. The nurse started enforcing the stricter ICU visiting hours.
Mom had an irregular heartbeat last night so they put her on heart medicine. This has happened after her other surgeries so I'm not *too* concerned. She also has some fluid on her lungs and they've put her on medicine for that too. They ran a CT scan of the chest to make sure there wasn't a blood clot, and an EKG. She's resting and thirsty. They will know about the tests around 9:30am.
Mom is pretty groggy from the pain medication. It's painful for her to breath. We are able to talk to her. I told her what happened yesterday in surgery. Tonight, she asked my sister what happened yesterday, so as I suspected she didn't remember much. Considering what she's been through she's doing pretty good.
Seven hours after surgery started, they said it was over. The surgery went fine, no problems with her heart, average blood loss. The cancer did start in her ovaries and had spread to several locations in her abdomen, which was expected. He removed all of the tumor that had wrapped around her colon, spleen, pancreas, diaphragm, and several places in the fat pad. He also removed a section of her colon, her spleen, and part of the lining below her diaphragm. They will leave her on the ventilator overnight because of how long the surgery went. He feels very good since it appears it was isolated to the abdomen. The took multiple biopsies, and will have the results next week.
Another update from the nurse in surgery; the ovaries are out, found other abnormalities, about 1 hour left then she'll go to ICU.
The nurse called from surgery to update us, they have sent a mass to the lab, getting other cells they can find. Should be another 3 hours.
I'm at Moms, and we returned a few minutes ago from her appointment. The doctor Mom is seeing is one who has worked with her ob/gyn before and specializes in ob/gyn oncology and surgery. He said based on the facts he's put together from her other doctors and their tests, he's 95% sure it's cancer, but the blood test they did last week hasn't come back yet. They're going to contact the lab to get it moving. He said it feels like the tumors are located in a "fat pad" that lies over the bowel. He said that is fortunate because cancers in this area, or in the abdominal wall, are very sensitive to chemo and have 95% success rate of a cure. They said they've done all they can to determine what's really going on short of surgery, and that's what's up next.
The doctor told Mom that he's leaving town tomorrow night for a week but that this morning they had just received a cancellation for a surgery tomorrow morning at 8am so she took it. He has 3 other doctors practicing with him and that all of them are capable of helping her after the surgery in his absence but that he'll be there to perform it.
The surgery will take 3-4 hours, and she can expect to be in hospital 5-7 days.
If it is ovarian cancer, the surgery will be followed up with 6 cycles of chemo over 6 months, start 3-4 weeks after surgery.
We have to be at the hospital at 6:00 AM tomorrow; the surgery is scheduled around 8:00 AM.
Growing up with Mom, she always showed me by example that you ask God for answers and look for signs from his guidance. I know the surgery appointment became available because of prayer and I thank everyone so much for continuing to pray for her and us. Then imagine how I felt to receive this in my email this morning from my Upper Room subscription:
FRIENDS IN FAITH
Mark 2:1-5 (NRSV)
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
There was no room left, not even outside the door. - Mark 2:2 (NIV)
The story (written by someone else) that was with the Bible passage was:
Our friend Jim seemed to grow a bit weaker each day. Cancer had left him emaciated and in constant pain. The doctors who supervised his care were grim about his chances of even surviving surgery to remove the tumor. As Jim's body grew weaker, his faith in God's healing power began to waver and become weak as well. Then a small group of us began to pray for Jim. We recalled the four who lowered their crippled friend through a hole in the roof, a hole they had made with their bare hands. Imagine the four carrying their friend to Jesus, only to find they could not get to the healer because of the crowd! Hear the people below complaining as debris begins falling on them from the ever-widening hole appearing in the roof! But see the four refuse to be denied. They persevere until they place the man in front of Jesus. And, scripture tells us, Jesus heals the man not because of his faith but because of the faith of his friends. We realized that we needed to bring our friend Jim into Christ's presence for healing. We began to pray, and God answered. Jim is recovering now and hopes to be back to work soon.
So I'll be forever grateful for our friends and their faith and prayers!
Mom's ob/gyn checked her, said she felt several lumps, scheduled an appointment for her with an ob/gyn oncology surgeon she works with at 9 AM tomorrow.
Mom's doctor made appointment for her with her ob/gyn on Monday. He sent her to the lab for a blood test for ovarian cancer, results back Mon-Tue. She has more than one tumor. They are up high by her ribcage. He wants her ob/gyn to check her before scheduling surgery.
Mom said the doctor told her the CT scan shows fluid and a tumor high in her abdomen. He said usually when women come in with that it's a malignancy in the ovaries giving off fluid. He made an appointment for her with him tomorrow, wants to examine her.
Mom went to the doctor for a full feeling in her abdomen. He has scheduled her for a CT scan tomorrow.