Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday April 30, 09 Six days past chemo#7
As I spoke to Dad this am Val was sleeping after eating a small breakfast. Today was the first day she refused to shower and wasn't able to come downstairs for breakfast. The pain in her abdomen is intense now. Val doesn't seem to get the relief like she used to from the pain when she takes her codeine. The options are to take 4 pain pills today. There has been some mention of a patch she could wear for pain, but I am not sure if that came from Dr Elttabback's wife the physician assistant or Eltabback's nurse. If anyone of our nurse followers has any advice on pain control please make a comment. Thanks as Val is not getting much relief, and we know there are many pain control options (we just don't know what they are).

I spoke to Jazanne my neice ( Baine and Denise's daughter) at 10pm tonight. She informed me that Val is having an abdominal CAT SCAN tomorrow. I just assume in Burlington, and that she will be getting the results on Saturday. Pray for Val's inner strength and peace as she goes through this scary time with the unknown of what is causing her pain levels to be so high at this time.

Love and Prayers to Val always.........Salynn

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 28,09 Tuesday four days past chemo#7
Val had chemo #7 last Friday with no complications. She received her CA-125 number which was 49 (this is 12 points less from chemo#6)! She and Dad were both pleased to have the number drop a little more. Dr.Eltabback was not there so his wife who is a physician's assistant helped to deliver the chemo and perform her physical exam. His wife was also present during Val's tumor removal surgery way back in Dec. Val and Dad felt like she was more forth coming in her explanations during the physical exam. It was reassuring to hear that Val has a small hernia right where she feels she gets her "ruto" feeling at the zyphoid process which has been bothering her for several months with no explanation. It was also good to hear that the lungs sound the same with no indication that the right pleural effusion is any worse or better (I know they are trained doctors, but I still feel this is a subjective call what one hears....) . The internal exam shows no signs of tumors growing where her ovaries used to be. Val only lost one pound at this visit. In total, she has lost 45-50 pounds. She is trying to eat, but Dad who cooks the meals feels she is eating less. They even went for a creemee (soft serve ice cream) after dinner on Monday and she couldn't finish the small cone. She seems to get full quicker. We did learn a time frame for Val. The last chemo #8 is May 15, 09 and 30 days after this she will have her repeat cat scan (we believe a full body) and repeat chest x-ray. This will give the MD her cancer scan of the body and tell us how the tumors responded in the lungs to the chemo.
MY vote is after May 15, go to Maine (Kennebunk) for 30 days of R&R. To get away and have some ocean therapy. Then come back to VT for the tests! She can rest and sleep just as well in ME as she can in VT, and a little change of scenery would be good for the soul! Just my opinion and food for thought.
Love and prayers to Val always.....Salynn

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday April 20, 09
Val had an unexplainable fever on Saturday night for about 6 hours. Sh runs low with her temperature at 97. So her fever of 99.5 for 6 hours was kind of scary for Val and Dad both.
Fatigue has been a big factor his month. Val continues to go downstairs for all meals, but hasn't made it outside for her daily walks in the driveway. Today Monday, she was having more pain in her abdomen than yesterday or even the day before. Baine my oldest brother went to Val and Dad's house today after lunch to help Dad with a few chores (move a rock outside and rotate a carpet inside). We all hope this last week before chemo #7 on this Friday brings better days.
Dad is ready for some new web sites to search clinical trials for ovarian cancer or even some chats of woman with ovarian cancer (as he has been on the computer a little bit). So if anyone has a favorite site (sites) please feel to put them in the comment section of this blog as he and Val both check the blog.

Love and prayers to Val.......Salynn

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16, 09 Thursday 13 days past chemo#6
A special thank you to Audry the kind neighbor who lives behind Val and Dad. She is an OR nurse at CVH in Berlin and sometimes works surgeries with Dr. Ettaback. She has been following the blog and came over yesterday to share some of her knowledge. She wanted to tell Val that some of her abdominal pain could be coming from adhesions and scar tissue. She also reminded them that the steroids Val takes every month delays healing.; it has only been four months since Val's jigantic surgery Dec. 4. It was nice to hear a positive, reassuring words. Thank you for being so thoughtful to share with us Audrey.
Dad and Val also mentioned that they spoke to their chemo nurse Tony and Dr. Ettaback about the Essaic Tea and the Resveratol from red grapes for supplementary treatment for Val's cancer. The answer they got was these are not recommended for stage 4 cancers. I take that with a grain of salt as it is only the opinion of one. If you asked a natrapathec MD or another cancer gynocologist they may have a different opinion. I would just like to see her battle this cancer from every angle, but it is not my battle to fight and I respect any decisions she makes.
Val had a great time at the ladies night out dinner last night Wed. to celebrate Cindy Catto's birthday. (Please read the comment from the previous blog where Cindy Catto wrote). Dad said she looked great all in pink with all her jewelry. She had planned her pain meds to be most effective in the evening, and had rested most of the day to save her energy for her night out. It was a Happy day knowing Val did this for herself and her friend. She needs to do more fun things like this!!
Love and prayers to Val...........Salynn

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday April 13, 09 Ten days past chemo#6
Happy Easter to all from Val! We were in Vt for from Thursday to Sunday staying at Alison's. Joe and I brought lunch to Val and Dad on Saturday. Val said the pain in her bilateral lower abdomen was worse after this chemo (she points to both the old ovaries location). Then says " it is almost two pains with the second being the "routto" central pain right up the middle" as she draws her hand up her stomach to her esophagus. It begins early in the mornings so by lunch she is taking her first ("happy pill "as Alison calls it) vicoden. When Joe and I arrived she had taken it at 11, and so " I feel pretty good she said". I walked with her downstairs and noticed right away that as soon as she started walking she was out of breath, and seemed much more deconditioned than the last month I saw her. Understandibly so, as she has been walking less these past 8 days due to the pain. Her O2 levels remains at 90 and she remains off her oxygen. We all sat downstairs and ate lunch together. Joe helped Dad on the computer a little while Val allowed me to give her a pedicure. and a manicure. Much needed, as her big toenails both looked on the verge on being ingrown with potential for infection. Steffan will be happy to know that every time I see her she is wearing the white jacket over her PJ's. And that Val wanted to try the new foot soaker/massager that Steffan had given her also. We used Nancy's new towels for the drying part. Val was in good spirits and eager for conversation. She is planning on an outing this week so Joe and I encouraged her to make these plans happen! Val worries that the pains are her cancer growing back. I told her we all have those worries, but we hope that the pains are just the chemo working.
After the time with Dad and Val we stopped to see Rudy and Lea for an hour. Despite all our coaxing and peer pressure, we couldn't convince them to go to brunch with us on Easter Sunday. Rudy will start a little PT for strengthening of his legs on think on April 20. They seemed to be doing well and in the routine of a daily 2 hour visit to Val.
Love and prayers to Val SAlynn

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday April10, 09 seven days past chemo#6
Baine dropped off flowers from Mere for Val yesterday at around 5. He was invited in for some pasta which Dad has been making. Val has given her approval that he is getting pretty good at making the sugo under her supervision. Baine said it was delicious. Baine reported that Val looked extremely tired. Val spent the majority of the day downstairs despite feeling so fatigued and so much pain. By 6:30pm, everyday Val and Dad are upstairs relaxing in bed already and rarely answer the phone. They usually watch a movie at 8-10 pm before lights out. This is a special time of day for them as this is Val's time of day. (She, like Rudy and Lea, is a night owl.) She had her nulasta shot on wed., and all her blood levels remain good. We have invited Dad and Val to join us in Montpelier at 12 on Easter Sunday for brunch as Rudy and Lea are coming, but reluctant as they want Val and Dad to come too. We hope everyone comes, but Val's pain and fatigue may keep her home..understandably, but we want to give her the option.
Love and prayers to Val. Salynn.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7, 09 Four days past Chemo#6
I apologize for my lack of blogging...I give no excuses..Sorry
Last Friday, Val received her second full 100% dose of chemo at #6. That night began a very sick feeling and lots of pain which has basically been what she has been experiencing since. Usually, while she took the steroids those first five days (one before and four after) she has felt fair, but this was the first time since chemo #1 that she was sick that night of her chemo treatment and has stayed sick. We are thankful that she is not vomiting, having constipation nor diarrhea though. Val remains off her oxygen. She lost 1-2 pounds since chemo #5. Her Ca-125 marker went from 67 to 61. The MD didn't really have an answer for the boils she is experiencing on her if any of our nurse friends could comment on the blog about this we would appreciate it. Both Val and Dad left the chemo#6 treatment quite depressed as they had both hoped that the Ca-125 marker would have been in the 30's. Hey, I thought it was great news that the number continued to go down, but it wasn't the number Val and Dad thought it would be.

Love and Prayers to Val.....Salynn