Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Not-So-Good, The Unpleasant & The Bad

I know the last time I posted about my situation; I didn't leave you with very much information. Unfortunately, the way things have been going, I haven't been given the opportunity to update you until now. As you can see by the title of this post, I've warned you that the news won't be great :o(

On October 26, I met with my Oncologist. Since cancer cells were showing up in my lymph nodes and radiation would only treat specific locations and not the whole body, it was decided that Chemo was my next step. After a quick debate, I went with the oral form. I would take pills every day for two weeks straight and then take one week off. That would be considered 'a cycle'. At that time, we didn't know how many cycles I would be looking at.

So, that Monday, I started swallowing ten pills a day (on top of my others!) but then that same night I found myself going to the ER with an extreme pain in my right side :o( The doctors felt that I had backed up bowels (because of the narcotics I'm on) and sent me home with a prescription. Less than 8 hours later, I was back again with the same pain. Needless to say, I was not feeling very 'human' like on Halloween and missed seeing Junior and the children coming to the door.

During all this, I ended up stopping my Chemo for almost four days, not knowing what the real cause of the pain was and because I wasn't eating or drinking very much. By Sunday, I had had enough (the pain was still there) so it was off to the ER again, knowing that my doctor was on call :o) He thought we 'might' be looking at a kidney stone but he wasn't 100% sure so he ordered another CAT scan and luckily I got in on Wednesday afternoon.

A quick side note...because I'm given a drug called Pamidronate every four weeks, they have to monitor the creatinine levels in my kidneys through blood work. Too high a level can cause kidney damage. I was due my Pamidronate on Thursday so had my usual blood work but it showed my creatinine levels were high. After another repeat test and the levels being even higher, my treatment was cancelled and I was told to stop my Chemo altogether. By this time, I was just short of getting a full week in of Chemo when I should have been almost done a full cycle.

Anyway, when I got home Wednesday night I was NOT prepared for what awaited me when I came in the house :o( From the time my scan was done to the time I got home, DH had heard from my doctor and my Oncologist. The scan showed that a mass was blocking the tube that goes from my right kidney to my bladder and it was not a kidney stone. To add insult to injury, they found another mass on my left side :o( I can't even begin to tell you how defeated I felt at that moment. All I could see were years of my son's life being missed because I was gone. I had a MUCH needed emotional breakdown.

Are you still with me? LOL! The following day we found ourselves at the QEII in Halifax where Dr. B. placed a foot long (at least!) stint in the blocked tube. It was just day surgery but I was put under. Talk about a HUGE relief when I woke up though! Without the pain, I felt like a new woman :o) Depending on what happens with the mass, the stint will either be replaced or taken out in 2-3 months.

So that brings me back to those 'masses'. After talking to my Oncologist, this is what I know...a 'mass' doesn't necessarily mean a 'tumour'. It could be an enlarged lymph node BUT it could still be a tumour. Seeing as I had enlarged lymph nodes in that area back in June, we're hoping that's what they are but the only way to tell the difference is through a biopsy and they're not going to do that.

The action plan now is to repeat my blood work today (hoping the creatinine levels are down now that my kidneys are back in proper working condition) and if everything looks good, I will re-start my Chemo like it was a new cycle. It looks like it will take at least 2-3 cycles to determine if it is taking effect or not. That will be the hard part...waiting. My Oncologist still sounds very positive so that in turn has lifted my spirits enough to continue on this journey.

This journey, yes, that's what it is. Something I thought would only take over my life for a few months has lasted much longer. It's worse than an unwanted guest overstaying his welcome ;o) But as DH says, we'll have to look at it like it is a journey and we'll do it together as a family. My family, my friends and even people I don't even know have been there for me and I can't ask for more. Despite my situation, I am VERY fortunate. I have a devoted (and perfect) husband, a son who is a miracle joy, caring and thoughtful friends and a solid family wall of love and support behind me. THOSE are the 'things' I need to focus on when the road gets rough and there is no journey without rough terrain.

I know a lot of you have sent me things by mail or by email and I'm ashamed of my backlog. I have been keeping up with my Thank You notes so expect something in the mail if you sent me something and have not had a confirmation by email. Unfortunately emails have been put on the back shelf for now but I AM reading them all and appreciate all your wonderful notes and comments! So far I have responded to all comments on my Blog but for this once, if you left a comment before this post and don't require me to respond, I won't. I'd really love to clean up my inbox and that will certainly help. LOL! It doesn't mean that your comments mean any less to me! I hope you understand. Thank you :o) Let's see how life gets on now...


Parsley said...

Your blogging friends are supporting you with prayers on this 'journey'. HUGS

~*Sharee*~ said...

Awww hun, I am so very sorry your going thru this. Please just try and stay strong and we will keep you and your sweet family in all of our prayers. Take care..

Hugs, Shar

Marjorie said...

I don't know what I can say to make it better, but I do admire your strength and determination. I know that I would be a blathering mess all the time, never mind the occasional breakdown! I will keep you in my thoughts (no need to respond :)).

Alberta said...

I thought I was prepared to read this post, but I wasn't. Tears are flowing for you as this battle continues and the rules keep changing. Stay strong, you have the prayers of many. Some are behind you to hold you up. Some are beside you, arm in arm fighting their own battle. Others are in front of you, marking the path.

I think of you every time I hear Rascal Flatts I Won't Let Go.
"I Won't Let Go"

It's like a storm
That cuts a path
It breaks your will
It feels like that

You think you're lost
But you're not lost on your own
you're not alone

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
If you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go

It hurts my heart
To see you cry
I know it's dark
This part of life
Oh it finds us all
And we're too small
To stop the rain
Oh but when it rains

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight

And I won't let you fall
Don't be afraid to fall
I'm right here to catch you
I won't let you down
It won't get you down
you're gonna make it
Yeah I know you can make it

Cause I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
And I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go
Oh I'm gonna hold you
And I won't let go
Won't let you go
No I won't

Lesleyanne said...

Will be keeping you in my thoughts during your journey. Hugs.

Mouse said...

((((huge)))) hugs coming your way ... paws toes and everything else crossed for you that they get to the bottom of everything and the chemo works too ... take care my friend and give junior a cuddle from his auntie mouse when you can :)
over due letter will be coming your way soon :) love mouse xxxxx

Lisa said...

Huge (((hugs))) So sorry I can't wave a magic wand for you. Sending lots of prayers from across the pond xx (no need to respond) xx

valerie said...

Hang in there and keep fighting towards better health. There are lots of people routing for you. So glad that you have wonderful caring doctors to assist you during this difficult time. *hugs*

Nancy said...

Prayers are being said on your behave daily asking God for complete healing of your body and strength, patience and hope for you and your family...May God's blessings, peace and joy rest on you. Hugs...

Annie said...

I'm sending you positive thoughts and a big virtual hug. It's good to know you have so much supportive family and friends around to help.

Vickie said...

Oh Cathey. {{HUGS}} I am so sorry. I am praying for you and your husband and dear son.♥

cucki said...

My dear friend you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers ..
Take care..
Love for you xxx

Annette said...

I can't know what to say.
You are so strong. wowww,
Keep it up.
You have a wonderfull and great support behind you.
Enjoy that!!!
I so hope it all will be gone soon, and you will be healty again, for many years enjou life you family and your son

Laura said...

Cathey, my heart breaks for you, but I am very glad to see your post and hear the details of what has been going on lately. No need to respond, but please know that I am thinking of you and praying that all will be well. There is great power in positive thought. ((HUGS))

Cath said...

So sorry for this latest bout of crap you have to deal with. I hope your journey gets easier and comes to a pleasant end where you can relax and be well again with your family and friends . Thinking of you and sending lots of hugs and best wishes. Don't feel you have to respond to this , just know you are in my thoughts .XXX

Daffycat said...


Danielle said...

Pumpkin, I am thinking of you and your family and hope you get through all of this relatively unscathed. Please know you are in my prayers. No need to respond to my comment. Just know that I am thinking of you.

Rebecca (AKA - Rebel In Ontario) said...

Well, it sounds like you have the perfect attitude for this journey you are on. I have another friend who has been traveling much longer on this road and she may be an inspiration you need to touch base with, you can find her at http://sometimesthefall.blogspot.ca/

All the best to you, I'll be cheering you on as your own personal REBEL!

missy said...

Prayers if health and strength for you.


Julie said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers xxx

Karen said...

So sad for all that you are going through! Sending good thoughts and prayers your way! I do hope that you get better news....

KDono62139 said...

You are so brave, I hope the new rounds of chemo can be started again, so glad to hear you got thru the kidney mass OK. I've been thru 14+ months of treatment for stage 3b lung cancers & 2 types of thyroid cancer including the most agressive one, but you are so very much braver than me with all you're going thru now & so positive writing about it now - good luck with then new treatments, you are in my prayers! Karen in Fla

Linda said...

Oh Cathey, I am so sorry to hear all this. My prayers are with you and I'm sending cyber hugs. Hang in there, I survived, and I know in my heart that you will also.


Gabi said...

Oh my gosh. I'm rather speechless. I can only pray for you and your family. You are often enough in my thoughts, and I really hope for the best.
It is good to know that you have such a great support around you on this unpleasant journey.
Don't feel bad by not answering emails or the such. That shouldn't have any priority. You don't need to respond to any of my comments.
Sending you lots of hugs and smiles(((((((((:))))))))

Devon said...

I am so sorry I will be praying that they are not tumors and your levels are down, hang in there,,,hugs and prayers coming your way..

Tracey said...

I've been thinking a lot about you lately... thanks so much for sharing your update.

It really SUCKS and is so unfair that you are having to go through all of this!! You are right; it really does make a big difference having the love and support of friends and family as you go through your journey (and keeping a sense of humour, too!).

Please know that I am sending you positive thoughts and many (((hugs))) all the way from here in Ontario.

Take care... (and no need to respond.)

Frances said...

My heart is breaking for you as I read your post. It does sound as if you have a committed group of Doctors working on your behalf which is positive news. Wishing you healing as you journey on with the tremendous support you have from family and friends. But what joy to have that cute baby to cuddle. Prayers for healing.
(no reply, save your energy for family & healing)

Barbi said...

God bless you sweetie! My thoughts are with you and your perfect little family....stay strong.
(no response necessary :)

Olga said...

You are an amazing woman and a wonderful mother, you really are.
My heart goes to you and your family.
Lots of love and hugs from

Christina said...

Continued prayers and good thoughts going out to you.

Brigitte said...

You're a remarkable woman and I'm full of admiration for you. Stay strong! I'll be thinking of you.

April said...

know that you and you little family is in my prayers!!!

Patty C. said...

Hugs & prayers!

Chris said...

Just know that I am sending good thoughts and well wishes your way.
No reponse needed. Hugs!

Stitchinowl said...

Hugs and prayers coming your ways. Try to just take things one day at a time.
Lots of love and good thoughts,

Teresa said...

Many prayers are being said for you and your family. Little Jr is so cute, can't believe how big he is.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Siobhán said...

Do NOT reply to this comment. That is an order. Focus on yourself and your beautiful family and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless.

WendyCarole said...

You are in my thoughts as always xxx

Valma said...

awww sweetie, I'm so sorry you're going through this :(
When I saw Pumpkin face I understood the news weren't very good
don't be sorry to not answer all the mails and comments you receive, just be sure we are always with you (it makes lot's of people in the same room, really =D) and that we keep continue sending you positive waves
just try to stay strong and focus on those so important 'things'
lot's of love for you
big hugs

Stitching Noni said...

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am amazed at your strength & courage. Life is a journey with so many twists & turns & an awful lot of bumps. You have hit another bump in your journey but I know that you will get through. Enjoy the love of your family & friends & that very special little boy who brings you joy. I wish you all the best with the next round of treatments & I will keep sending your lots of positive vibes.
Please don't worry about responding I think you have enough going on without worrying about your inbox!
Take care, hugs & prayers xx

Catherine said...

Oh Pumpkin, my heart is going out to you and your sweet family. Prayers and healing thoughts will continue to be sent in your direction, as well as warm hugs!

Rita said...

I'm so sorry you're going through all this and you're definitely in my prayers.

No need to respond. :-)

Terri said...

Hugs and Prayers!

Melanie said...

Sending lots of prayers and good thoughts your way!!!!! You are such a fighter and so brave. Wishing all the best for you and your family!!!! *hugs*

Carol said...

Darn! I had so hoped you would get some encouraging news, Cathey... You continue to amaze me with you bravery and courage. I'm so happy you have your men there to hug you and love you in good times and bad. Please know how often I think of you and how very much I'm hoping that you respond well to the chemo. Give your little one a big cuddle for me, okay?

Take care now and know you have people all over the world praying for you...

Kathy A. said...

Dearest Cathey - there are no words. I am sending you all the love and hugs I have and I hope it is enough to fill your heart.
I will keep praying for a positive outcome!

Angela said...

I struggle with finding the right words to say :( I am thinking of you and praying for you to stay strong, positive and determined to beat this once and for all!

No need to respond, just please know I am thinking of you :)

Lili Bear said...

Pumpkin, I come to read about you and how you're doing and every time, I am amazed at your vital strength (I don't know if this is the right expression in English, I have just translated from French). You are a wonderful person.
I think of you a lot, and I'm sending you many many careful hugs.
Lots of love.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Oh, Cathy. I am so terribly sad to read this post. I know you will get through it but I also know it will not be an easy journey. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sharon said...

Cathey, I truly am at a loss for words with which to respond. Just know that I am thinking about you and praying for you daily. There is no need to get back to me. Just take care of yourself and focus on getting well. {{{{hugs}}}

PS: Love Jr.'s new picture-he is so cute!

Tatkis said...

I wish you all the courage and health!
Big hugs and prayers from me!
You don't need to reply :)


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're able to update, even if sporadically. I've only just read this, I haven't read blogs as diligently as I used to. I'm thinking of you and hoping your treatment is successful. Hugs to you. <3

Anne said...

Oh my dear. I don't know how you can cope with all of what you are going through. I'm glad you have such a supportive family and a beautiful little guy to fill you with love. Big hugs to you and I'll be praying for you.


Rachel S-H said...

You are, as always in my prayer, Cathey.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Sending prayers your way.


Lynn said...

I wish I had the words to make everything better. Instead I'll continue with my prayers and send lots of positive vibes your way. I have several friends travelling this same journey right now so you are not alone. I'm so glad that you have a great support network.
Sending you lots of hugs and a special one for Junior too!

*-* said...

Hello Pumpkin,

I'm new to reading your blog & can't begin to guess how your stress levels are right now. I'm sending you enfolding thoughts & warm wishes for all good things & especially good news.

Chiloe said...

Always thinking of you ♥ ♥ ♥