Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Postponed yet again...

Hello one and all.
I was scheduled for my last round of chemotherapy on Monday 01.21.13.  After being in the hospital for a week my Infectious Disease doctor requested I push back chemo from Monday 01.21.13 to  Wednesday 01.23.13.  Which I did.  Once I arrived to chemo on Wednesday 01.23.13, they drew blood work and my levels were too low and they wanted me to push it back yet again to the following Monday 01.28.13.  When I arrived to the Oncology office on Monday 01.28.13 they drew labs once more and my labs were still too low. 
Questions start to arise, why are my labs so low for so long? What do we do if they continue to be low?  What is our next course of action?  Well I have an appointment with Dr. Gadichi tomorrow at 11:15am.  I am still on the IV antibiotics she put me on when I was in the hospital.  I will continue to be on these until she says further. I hope we will know more once I see her tomorrow.  I will have more labs drawn on Friday 02.01.13 at Dr. Borst's office.  This will give us some sort of idea if my labs are going up or going down.  I have an appointment with Dr. Borst on Tuesday February 5th.  The appointment time with him is 9:00am.  I am currently scheduled for Chemo at 11:15am this same day.  That being said, I will meet with Dr. Borst on Tuesday, he will do a physical.  He wants to check the spot he did the biopsy on a few weeks ago.  Just due to the fact that I was inpatient for fluid pockets in the pelvis he just wants to do a recheck.  At this appointment he will also talk to me about my labs, and where we go from here.  That means he could decide to stop at 5 rounds.  If he does I just pray those 5 rounds have and will be enough to kill this monster.  He could decide to postpone treatment until my levels are up (no matter how long that is) and add addition rounds of either the same drug or another drug.  He does want additional imaging, I already have orders for another CT Scan of my abdomen and pelvis, but he wants to wait until the IV antibiotics are completely done before the CT scan is done.  By the time I see Dr. Borst on Tuesday, I will have already seen Dr. Gadichi and have answers from her.  Then Tuesday Dr. Borst will put all her answers together with my labs and give me a game plan going forward. 
I will keep you all posted as to what Dr. Borst says. 
Thank you for all the support and love! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013


 Afternoon! :)
My last post, left off with me getting the transfusion.
The transfusion went well.  I was finished about 430pm.  I got two units of blood.  It is kinda scary thinking about a transfusion. Someone else's blood in my body.  It's creepy. However it saves many many lives at the same time. I have heard from other cancer patients that after getting a transfusion you have lots of energy. This was NOT the case for me. I was exhausted the following day. I just wanted to sleep all day and I did sleep mostly all day.  I didn't have any visitors until about noon on Friday and it felt really good to just sleep.  I saw my ID (Infectious Disease) doctor about 230pm on Friday and she told me I would be able to be released that evening.  They were going to get me set up with Home Health and get the IV antibiotics ordered to get my first dose that night before I went home.  I had my doubts.  I didn't think they would be able to get home health set up that night.  To  my surprise they did.  I had my first dose of the new antibiotics that night and was discharged about 8pm.  I have to say Good Sam is just an absolutely wonderful hospital.  Every time I am in there I have nothing but the best nurses, the best doctors and the over all care they give their patients is just amazing.  When I was discharged on Friday my nurse for the day was leaving at the same time, she says "instead of waiting for them to come up and get you, I'll take you down myself."  She was fantastic! Such a wonderful nurse. 
I was home about 9pm and it felt so good to just be home!! Out of that hospital bed and in my own.  Saturday my antibiotics were suppose to be delivered about 5pm.  I got a call at 5pm ON THE DOT saying "I am running an hour behind"  I let him know my Home Health Nurse will be here to do the infusion at 6pm, and my supplies needed to be there before 6pm.  He was there at 559pm with the supplies.  My Home Health Nurse calls and says she is lost about 630pm.  I give her directions and she says "I'll be there in 10 minutes" about 30 minutes later she is finally here.  She was a nice nurse but VERY unorganized.  I finally got my infusion done and it made me sick to my stomach.  I have thrown up more in the past week than I have my whole life...If I never get sick to my stomach again it will be too soon! I just hate that feeling!!!  We had a birthday party to attend on Saturday night as well as Sunday afternoon.  It was a lot to do just being released from the hospital, but I was a champ and I attended.  I was a lump on a log, but I didn't miss them! After the party on Sunday I got home and just passed out for a few hours. 
When I went to the ER two Sundays ago they accessed my port, that was a bad experience and painful!!! I have NEVER cried when my port was accessed, I did that day...I just had tears rolling down my face I couldn't hold it in.  I'm not sure the nurse had much experience with port access.  There is cream I use to numb the area, or they have a spray which freezes the area so you don't feel it.  Well this dumb nurse uses the spray then farts around for 15 minutes, of course it's not frozen by I ask if she can use the spray again.  Which she does...then farts around for 15 more minutes...needless to say I wasn't numb and I felt every inch of that needle!  I was released from Good Sam with my port still accessed.  Home Health was under the impression that my port was still accessed and the line would need to be changed out every Sunday until I wasn't on the antibiotics anymore.  This is to cut down on the chances of infection.  So when my second Home Health Nurse came to the house on Sunday I told her I would need the line changed out.  She was very uneasy and hesitant.  I asked her if she could change it she said "yes if I need to" So she takes out the line that was in, and proceeds to clean and sanitize the area.  She pulls the new needle out and starts pressing around on my chest to find my port and sticks the needle in.  I didn't feel anything, no pain nothing.  She then tried to flush it but couldn't.  She tried about 20 times to get the needle in and couldn't do it.  She says she thinks its my port.  I informed her I have had my port for 5 months, I have never had an issue having it accessed, flushed or even getting blood return on it.  She says "hmm...I really think it's your port" UH NO LADY IT'S FREAKING YOU!!!!!  So she says she needs to call her office to see what they want to do.  She asked if she could use my phone so I let her.  She says "nobody is answering, let me get my phone and call another number" she goes outside in which she was out there about 10 minutes and comes in to tell me, they recommend I go to the ER. So she leaves the needle sticking out of my chest and covers it with a tegaderm patch and tells me to take my antibiotics with me and they will do it all at the ER.  So I am off to the ER yet again...and a little pissed off.  Here is to the $140.00 dollar copay that I shouldn't have to pay since BANNER HOME CARE is more than incompetent.  I get to the ER and they got me right in and I even got a nurse that had 16 years experience accessing ports.  I was right at ease.  She was amazing. Like everyone else at Good Sam! :) So I have a few calls into Banner Home Care to make some complaints about the care I received.  I can't believe this! I am even a Banner Employee and I am getting this sort of treatment from a Banner facility.  I am so ashamed right now!!!  Had I gotten into an accident or something and was knocked out, and my port was accessed by the EMT's or the ER they could have blown my vein or my port right out of my chest.  Thank goodness nothing like that happened.  I did tell Banner Home Care I was NOT comfortable having any of their nurses coming to my home and accessing or de-accessing my port.  I contacted my Oncology office and Michelle Dr. Borst's PA told me she would be more than happy to change it out for me every week.  I will have a new line put in next Monday. 
I was suppose to have my last round of chemo this past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Since I was admitted the week prior my ID doctor said to push chemo back at least to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  So I did.  Well I went in on Wednesday and they told me based off my labs (they were drawn on Tuesday) my levels were too low.  They wanted to draw my labs again Wednesday to make sure they hadn't gone up.  All my levels were good to go, except for my platelets.  Dr. Borst said the only way I would get treatment would be if my platelets were 90 or higher.  Mine from Tuesday were 78, then when they redrew them again Wednesday they were 86!! DANG IT...So they said no go for chemo.  My last round was pushed back to next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  This will give my body some time to heal and recover.  I have high hopes my levels will be high and I will get treatment next week!  Once I have my last treatment done, It's just going to be eating healthy, taking my vitamins and exercising.  I have to get healthy and stay healthy!  I don't want this monster coming back! :)
I should have a PET Scan in the next coming weeks.  I know I will have a clean scan! :) I will keep you all posted on when that scan is and what the results are when I get them.  I hope to return to work in the next month or so.  I will more than likely go back part time for a few weeks to a month, until I can get my stamina back up.  I am still having to take naps once a day.  I get tired pretty easy.  I am so looking forward to the return of a normal schedule and life.  I know life will never be as it was before August 13th, 2012 but it will be as close to that normal as I can get. 
I decided to stop shaving my head, I want my hair back.  I miss my long dark hair so much!!  I last shaved my head on December 8th, 2012.  It has really come in.  I would say I have about a half inch of hair now, and it's straight as can be and DARK DARK!! I keep telling Scott I can't wait until I can run my fingers through my hair, its finally at the length I can do so...well a little bit! :)
So today I am just lounging around doing nothing.  Just relaxing.  I am enjoying these next few days of feeling pretty good.  Come Monday the vicious cycle will start all over, but this time for the last time.
Thanks for reading and supporting,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's my Birthday...I'll transfuse if I want to...

Today is birthday! :) I am 28 years old today.
I have been through a lot in my 27th year. Today marks another year of life, another of fighting and most important I made it to 28! :) I never had any doubts I would.
I know Ashley has been keep you all informed on what has been going on with me. I thank her very much for being on her toes! :) She really should be been in PR! ha ha
So let me update you on what's been going on the last few days...
I was transferred from Banner Gateway Medical Center to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center on the request of wonderful Dr. Borst.  He said it was in my best interest I be transferred since all of my care since I have been diagnosed was done at Good Sam, beside he sees patients at Good Sam so he would be able to follow my care. I arrived at Good Sam on Tuesday about 1230pm.  They hadn't had any orders put in for me yet, so I was taken to my room and was able to just relax and take a nap.  I took a nap for a couple of hours which was much needed as Gateway doesn't believe in letting you sleep!
We originally were told we would be able to drain the abscess that has been causing such a fuss. Well after getting to Good Sam and the IR (International Radiologist) doc looked at my CT Scan from Monday he decided it wasn't a good idea to go forward with the drain. It was too big of a risk.  The abscess are too deep into my abdomen to be able to drain it properly.  They could puncture my bowel or my bladder and I would be in a whole new class of infection and problems. 
So we are back to square one. We waited around all day yesterday waiting for Dr. Bhoola to come in and see me. I finally asked my nurse if and when he would be back. She said not until he did is rounds the following morning...GREAT, so NOW I have to wait 24 more hours to get answers. Well about 3 minutes later she pokes her head back in and says that Dr. Borst is here and will be in to see me shortly.  We were told that he was not at Good Sam this week and we would be seeing his partner Dr. Bhoola.  Well I guess he stopped in anyways. He is a wonderful doctor. I can't say that enough. He confirmed that the fluid pockets (he is not calling them an abscess, as he isn't sure it is an infection) are too deep into my abdomen and can't be drained.  Said they are about the size of a ping pong ball but not as big as a golf ball.  He believes these fluid pockets can be treated with IV antibiotics (like I have been on for several days now).  He wanted to keep me inpatient for a few more days since I am still spiking a fever at least once a day. I hope to be home Friday or Saturday at the latest. 
When I am released I will be set up with a Home Health Nurse that will come to my home and administer the IV antibiotics.  The ID (Infectious Disease) doctor wants me to get a dose once a day for 7 days.  She would like for me to complete the entire dose before having chemo, and then have a CT Scan done after antibiotics are done to make sure everything is healed up nicely, before moving on to chemo.  However Dr. Borst says it is very important I keep on my chemo schedule as planned and not postpone chemo is necessary.  There is a possibility that chemo can and will get pushed back a few days.  They want to make sure I am healthy enough to handle the chemo.  Dr. Borst would like me to be fever free for at least 48 hours before they will do chemo.  He is saying there is a chance (with no fever of course) at I am able to do chemo and the IV antibiotic at the same time so I don't have to push back chemo at all.  That was that latest word as of last night about 430pm. 
I was very tired and worn out mostly all day yesterday, I was having a lot of pain in my lower back (kidney) area, my bum and bladder.  So I was on pain killers off and on all day.  I finally felt like getting up about 1015pm last night and took a little half bath half shower.  As soon as I got out of the shower I felt 100 times better.  My body wasn't sore anymore and I was clean! ha ha I went all night without pain killers.  I spiked a fever late last night and broke it later last night.  I woke about 6am needing pain killers.  I was dreaming of a poisonous lizard that bit me in the calf, when I came to and saw Dr. Bhoola and his crew in my room! ha ha I hope I wasn't talking in my sleep!! :) He said we were going to change from Tylenol to Motrin to see if that will kick my fever I seem to spike once a night.  I will be put on Lovenox injections nightly for the remainder of my stay.  These help to keep blood clots from forming.  Thirdly my labs looked great this morning, other than my hemoglobin was on the low side showing I was anemic.  He wanted to set me up for a blood transfusion.  Two units of blood, and transfuse over 6 hours.  Each unit will take about 2 hours.  They will be doing the transfusion in my room. The reason for transfusion is that my levels will need to be up and as high up as they can for this last round.  Especially if we will be doing IV antibiotics with chemo. So I know when you hear transfusion one tends to freak out. My platelets were great 95! Up from 29 on Sunday!!! That's awesome! :) So we are just getting the blood to cover our bases for chemo on Monday.  We just started the transfusion and all seems to be going well! :) We will be done in about 4 hours! :)
Thanks for Reading and Supporting!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


As many of you know, Miss Tanya was admitted to Banner Gateway Medical Center on Sunday evening for persistent fevers of unknown origin.  She spiked a fever Friday and broke on Saturday, but kept coming back despite Tylenol.  She was taken to the ER on Sunday with what she thought maybe was a Radiation flare up, as she’s had before, and possibly a UTI or something going on with her kidneys.  She experienced pain early in the morning on Monday so she asked for a CT Scan of her Abdomen and Pelvis.  She had the scan yesterday and results came back about 415pm yesterday that she had two abscesses around the sigmoid colon.  There was only one size noted and the abscess measured at 2.3 x 3 cm.  The resident with Dr. Schuster’s group (the general surgeon who did her Gallbladder surgery) stopped by yesterday evening and explained it this way:  Radiation is good because it can be directly given to one specific area, unlike chemo that goes all over the body, however, with radiation it kills the bad and sometimes the good cells, thus making an easy target for bacteria to present and form what she has, an abscess.  Abscesses are fluid, usually pus, filled pockets of infection.  Thus the reason why she’s having fevers. 

She was started on Zosyn, an IV antibiotic and will have a new bag every 6hrs, this medication hopefully will touch the infection, but if the abscesses are too big the antibiotic cannot get to the center to heal them.  This is where Interventional Radiology (IR) would come in and drain them.  They would basically do a fine needle aspiration to remove the fluid, they use CT technology to guide the needle in so it’s less invasive.  The other option is surgery if the abscesses are too small for IR to drain or too big where surgery is needed.  

Tanya said she had a rough night last night, that the pain she’s having in the abdomen and back was its highest at an 8.  This morning Dr. Schuster came in to see her and told he was waiting for the IR doctor to get in so they can talk but ultimately it's his final word on what happens as he is the head surgeon. Said he was sorry this was happening to her and he would fix it as soon as he could.  Made a few jokes and said he would talk to Dr. Borst and make a plan. He said this situation is delicate. It's not just do surgery or go through IR.  He wants to get everyone involved and get answers. There is an infection in there but he doesn't know why or how it go there. He needs answers. So said he would be back later to see her…

Dr. Schuster came back and talked to Dr. Borst and they will be putting a transfer request in to have her transported from Banner Gateway to Banner Good Samaritan sometime today because that’s where Dr. Borst is, her Oncologist.  He said he wholeheartedly believes in his radiologist at Good Sam since that’s the hospital he works out of, so she’s showering and eating then when the transfer goes through she will be taken by ambulance (so she doesn’t get a bill).  They are still thinking the IR can drain them, but Dr. Borst wants her there.  This is good…at least her doctor wants his patient to be taken care of by himself and no one else.

I will keep you up to date as we know what’s going on…please keep her in your prayers and pray everything goes well and she’s home for her 28th birthday on Thursday and that she can still have her 6th and FINAL round of Chemo on the 21st!

Love, Ashley

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Year for the Books...

Sorry it's been awhile since I have posted. I got a few texts messages from some of you this past week wondering how I was doing.  SO I figured its past time of updating.
Last week (specifically the 2nd, 3rd and 4th) was my 5th round. What a way to bring in the new year! :) I have HIGH hopes this year is going to be nothing short of FANTASTIC!!!!  However, It never fails the day before my first day of each round I get really anxious and my nausea kicks in.  I am almost positive this happens because I know whats in store for me. I know whats about to happen and how I am going to feel. This 5th round wasn't all that bad.  I still sike myself up it though. I just knew this round was going to suck.  My infusion was on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Then I have a few days to feel like crap.  Then I get my neulasta shot on Monday.  Why does this suck you ask....the neulasta shots make my body hurt.  It feels like I have the flu with body aches but the ache is x3!!  So about the time I start feeling good from my infusion I get the shot and now I have to deal with the body aches. This should last a few days and then I'll be in the clear.  :) So I have probably today and tomorrow of feeling crumming and all achy before I'm back to my new normal. Just in time for all the BIRTHDAY parties!!! :) We have  five birthday Parties this month to celebrate, MINE INCLUDED, all within a weeks time!!! I will be the dreaded 28 years old. BLAH! Oh well at least I am not 30 huh Dustin!!! ha ha
I know the last time I posted (or one of the last times I posted) I had mentioned how my doctors are possibly wanting to add 4 more rounds.  We still don't have any answers on this.  I will have more information on the 21st.  My last and final round with Chemo will be on 01.23.13.  This is about 2 days earlier than what my last rounds have been.  My rounds now are 3 days of infusion, 4th day injection then off for 21 days.  My last round actually falls on a Wednesday, but they are allowing me to have it on Monday which puts it 2 days early.  I am excited to get it done.  I will have a PET scan done at some point after the 23rd, I just don't know when yet. This will again tell me that I am cancer free! :)  I will follow up ever 3 months to make sure my scans continue to come back clear. They say your in remission when you have been cancer free for two years.  I however say I am cancer free from the day my PET Scan is clear. :) Once I see my doctor on 01.21.13 I will then know more about when my PET Scan will be done, and if I have to do the extra 4 rounds, Also I will know when I am released to return back to work.  I never thought I would be excited to get back to my job.  I am ready for the daily routine more so than the actual job! It will just be nice to be doing SOMETHING during the day! :)
I am even planning a "I KICKED CANCERS ASS" Party!!  So let this be your save the date notices, without a date! ha ha :) I'll keep you posted on that when I have a date nailed down! This time we are going BIG!!! ha ha so you all better have your party pants on and be ready to celebrate! I expect you all to be there too! :) None of this "I'll be there" and then not showing know who you are!!! I won't call you out, let this be your warning now!
That's about all for now, keep saying your prayers as they are greatly appreciated! :) I can't thank you enough for all the love and support you all have shown me and my family in our time of need.  I truly have surrounded myself with nothing but the most amazing people we have on planet earth! :) Here's to 2013 and a FANTASTIC year!!! :) I know, and I have a strong feeling this is going to be a year for the books! :)