Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Not Such Good News

Early November I was sick on and off for a week. As the week progressed I wasn't getting any better. I thought I had the flu. I emailed my oncologist and general practitioner and told them that I wasn't getting better...did they have any suggestions. I was told to go and have blood work done. On Tuesday I heard from my doctors. I was severally dehydrated. Also my oncologist-Dr Jeske said that my CA-125 was slightly elevated. My GP wanted me to go to emergency and to get hydrated. While I was there they wanted me to also have a PET scan. They kept me over night. I had the PET scan and it was discovered that the cancer is active again in the liver, a mass in my pelvic, and in some lymph nodes. I was sent home and told that Dr Jeske would set up an appointment. On Thursday I saw Dr Jeske, she was very positive and said we have lots of options. That we would state Chemo again. I told her that mom and I are going to to Utah from Dec 1-8 to meet my great niece. I was a little worried how I would handle the chemo. Dr Jeske said we could wait till we got back. Mom said no we need to start right away.  It was decided that I would have a treatment before we left and then start up when I got back. I asked her about the CA-125. It was up to 39 the range is 0-35, she did say that wasn't that high, but in Oct is was 13 and had jumped up to 39 which was a concern.

On Monday Nov 19th at about 9:45 am I looked at my cell phone and saw a text from Kaiser that I had an appointment at 10:15 for a chemo treatment. There was not way that I could get there in a half an hour. I quickly called and they rescheduled for 2:00 that afternoon. I went and it went well. I actually felt better the next day.

So here I am again going through chemo.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Good News

This week I had an appointment to have some blood drawn and tested. I heard the results from Dr Jeske (YES she is back!) My CA-125( that is the test for the rate of cancer) was a TWELVE!!!! The range they want it at is between 0-35.  I guess all the exhaustion was worth it. Well tomorrow is another Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Relay For Life

Several months ago I was asked by two friends to participate in two different American Cancer Society Relays for Life (this week I was asked to participate in another) plus to send a picture of my self to my cousin Karen Ellington to display at the Hilmar Relay for life. (Sorry Karen I messed up on the picture).
Yesterday was the first one that was asked to participate in. It was held at Union Middle School. As we gathered for the opening ceremonies. I notice a luminary with a familiar name of Martha Hall. I knew she was going through chemo. I looked a little to my right and there was Martha. She spotted me and I went over to her and we visited a little bit. They start the relay by inviting all cancer survives to walk a lap the track, then they ask the caregivers to walk a lap. As I was walking the survivor lap I saw a good friend from work Shaun Kershman. I had forgotten that he lives in the area.
One of the other things that happens during the walk is the luminary lap. One of the ways to support the walk is to purchase a luminary in someones honor. They use white bags with sand to weight them down. Everyone gathers and quietly walks around the track and as they walk someone drops in large glow sticks that light the luminary. I joined the end of the group and looked at the luminary. It is quite sobering to see all the people that have been touched by cancer.
I'm not sure what I was expecting the cancer walk to be like but it was a wonderful experience. I so appreciate the honor to go and witness and participate in it. There is sadness at the loss. Joy at survival and even bonding and friendship made. I met several people who knew my doctors and was able to discuss our experiences with cancer. It had a very festive feel also. I would invite any of you who would like to experience some of this that I have shared with you to go to Leland High School next weekend. It starts at 10:00 am Saturday and goes to 10:00 am Sunday. There will also be booths that will sell food and other things if you would like. I am looking forward to next weekend. Come join us.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The First Week Is Over

Last Monday was my first day back to work since October 26th of last year. Monday was pretty rough but it got easier as the week progressed. It was fun trying to log on since all the passwords had expired.

Yesterday was the Ward Easter Celebration at a park. It was a fun event and a lot of people came. It was interesting when it started. Not all the food was there when it started and there was some concern there would be enough. When I finally got in line to get my food, some were going for seconds there was enough for me to serve myself.  It was a modern loaves and fishes miracle. It was so nice to be able to feel up to going yesterday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Have Survived Two Days

This past weekend was the churches semi-annual conference. It does happen to be 2 days but conference is not something you have to survive. It was a wonderful conference. In October I felt that so many messages were just for me. This one I felt had important messages to me also but not as many of them were as specific as the October talks.

The title refers to the fact that I returned to work yesterday and I actually survived and I went back today. Although it was a lot harder getting up this morning then yesterday. I received lots of hugs and welcome backs yesterday it was so nice and appreciated.

While I was at work the cinnamon roll fairy came by and made a delivery (thanks Nancy Jensen)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This Week Has Been A Bummer

I've been trying to walk daily to get my stamina built up. My goal was to walk twice a day but I didn't make it this week week. I was looking forward to  going to see Leigh High Schools production of Fiddler On The Roof and to the Relief Society's Anniversary celebration.

Last week mom had a head cold and then this week it went into her chest.

Thursday I went to visit my friend Daisy and her mom Sascha. I was able to help Sascha with a project the she was working for Leitz Elementary school. It felt good to help. Well I got mom's chest cold. So needless to say we did not go and see Jeremy. Mom's boy by another mother. I also did not feel up to going to the Relief Society celebration. I actually spent Saturday in bed. I'm feeling better but not back to where I was before I got seek Thursday.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Another Early Call

This morning before 8:00 Dr Song called. Apparently my counts from the blood test Tuesday were low. She called to tell me that rather then postpone the treatment another week that last weeks treatment would be my last. She restated that the PET/CT scan was so good and my CA-125 count was so good that she did not see a reason to do the last treatment. Of course it was my choice. I agreed with her. So now I will have my port flushed every three weeks and regular blood tests. So........

I AM FINISHED WITH CHEMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been so blessed and I am so grateful for the blessings I have received!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Great Aunt !

I like to think I'm a pretty great aunt. (I know that sounds a little prideful) My niece Candalyn Marble Winder called yesterday to tell us that she is expecting her first child in September so I'm going to be a great aunt. I'm so excited for her!

Thursday I had my first treatment for my last cycle. If all goes well by this time next week I will have completed my chemo. I received the results for the CA-125 blood test. It is a test to track some types of cancers. The preferred range is 0-35 my result is 13. Once again the treatment has affected my feet but they don't seem to be as bad as before.

This afternoon I had a visit for a lady who has been coming to church. I met her the Sunday I went and taught the Gospel Essentials class. We really seemed to connect. Sabrina brought me flowers and dinner. We asked her if she knew much about computers. I'm having problems with my wireless printer. She spent a couple of hours trying to get it to work we had no success :( .

I so appreciate her help!

Monday, February 20, 2012


Saturday evening mom received a call. When it came up on caller id it was a Washington phone number. She debated on whether or not to answer it. She went ahead and answered and it was Sheila Murdock. She and her husband were in town an wanted to know if they could come for a visit on Sunday. Mom told her of course they could come. They came by on Sunday afternoon. It was so good to see Sheila and Rich again and to reminisce.

When I was in my teens mom had a small catering business. She used to cater wedding receptions. She did the decorating, flowers, food, cake, favors and such. She hired various teenagers to help. Rich Murdock was one of them. He took a lot of that knowledge that he learned working with mom and has catered weeding receptions where he lives. He said every time he does one he thinks of the times he worked with mom.

As we were visiting he brought up something that he and I did together. When I was a teenager the church used to have dance festivals every other year. The year I was a freshman and he was a senior  was a dance festival year. We went to the same high school. Some how he arranged for me to get out of study hall and we had our own dance festival practice. We went to the cafeteria and practice the Charleston that was performed to Sweet Georgia Brown. We were in a corner of the cafeteria facing the corner. At the end of the dance the guy is to lift the girl up and the girl is to kick her leg up. Well when we finished the run thorough we heard all this applause. Rich turned around and we had an audience. It was a bit embarrassing but is now a fun memory. I wasn't sure if Rich remembered as we were visiting he brought it up so I guess he hasn't forgotten.  It was wonderful to see them again.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eight AM Wake Up Call Times Two

Tuesday I went and had blood drawn to be tested so I could have my chemo treatment on Thursday.  Wednesday morning I'm sleeping and the phone rings at 8:00 am. It was Dr Song (who I hadn't met yet). She told me my anemia was worse and the Kaiser would be calling to set up the time for a blood transfusion. Ok number four blood transfusion. So Kaiser called to set up the appointment at 12:15 or 1:15. At 1:50 I was to see Dr Song so the blood transfusion was scheduled for 2:15. My wonderful visiting teachers came by for a visit. Mom had called Lisa Zamora to see if she could take me to my appointment and blood transfusion.  I met with Dr Song she is very nice but I still like Dr Jaske better. Dr Song really liked the PET/CT results. She pulled them up and should me the comparison. They were like night and day. She said the second one could not have been better.  So after I saw her I went to have the blood transfusion which takes about six hours. Lisa hung out with me. Through out the transfusion they check your blood pressure. During the transfusion mine went low it got to 71/?. I had three nurses scuring around. They tried both arms and even called the Dr to come see me. All the while I'm talking and alert. It finally came back up and everyone was happy.  So wake up call number two. This morning I'm in bed and Dr Song called again. There was some concern about the platelet count being low. She decided to put off the chemo treatment till next week which is disappointing but that will be the last cycle. So I do see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sorry It Has Been A While

This past week was an off week from chemo treatments, but it was a rough one. I spent all day Saturday in bed, most of Sunday and all of Monday in bed and took lots of naps. The plan this week was to go out to dinner with Sascha Corcoran, Lisa Zamora and Dixie Zinn on Thursday. Lisa called and said she had a meeting on Thursday evening which ended up ok because I really didn't have the energy to go out to dinner. Sascha and Lisa showed up Thursday afternoon. Lisa with a strawberry milkshake and Sascha with her traveling foot soak. It felt so good! My feet are doing better. Heather Judd stopped by yesterday with soup and brownies. It was a nice surprise!! This will be a busy week but the end is in sight.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day Is Coming Early

You know how is seems that the stores are always pushing Halloween and Christmas decorations months before? Well we just had Valentines Day arrive at the Ellington home. While mom and I were watching TV this evening there was a knock at the door. I opened and there on our front porch was the Laurel class from our ward and their leaders. They serenaded us with the song L-O-V-E. Sadie Williams accompanied them with a ukulele and then they each gave us a personalized valentine.  It was such a nice surprise and started Valentine's day right. 

Thanks Laurels!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Bed Would Not Let Go!

The treatment went well yesterday. When I went to bed last night I would not go to sleep, so this morning I just could not get out of bed till about five this afternoon. Not sure I will be able to go to sleep tonight.

I had a nice surprise last night. Julie Quinlan stopped by for a visit. It nice to spend some time catching up with her. I'm so grateful for those who show me support and encourage meant and are there when I need some extra help and support.

I think 3 more treatments to go!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Treatment Is A Go!

Yesterday I had a blood draw in preparation for another chemo treatment for tomorrow, Thursday. It is very surprising how quickly they send the results. I took a look at the results and some of the  counts seemed low. I wasn't sure if they would go ahead with the treatment of if I would have to have a blood transfusion. Well they just called and and the treatment is a go.  After tomorrow it looks like I will have three more treatments.

I love my new computer. About a week ago something went wrong with the connection to the wireless printer. I asked my good friend Courtney Black if he would come and take a look at it. Not sure what the problem was and it gave him a run for his money but he was able to get it working. Yeah! Thanks Courtney.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dinner, Yum!

When I was Relief Society President we used to have our presidency meetings on Thursday evening. Those were great times with 3 wonderful ladies. It was such a privilege to meet, pray and counsel with them. We have often commented to each other how we miss those evenings together. We have talked about getting together for dinner or yougert. Well we finally planned a dinner. Tonight was the night. Sascha, Lisa and I went to the Elephant Bar. It was a fun evening. The only thing that could have made it better was having Dixie there. She is out of town but we are planning to do it again in three weeks. I'm so grateful for their friendship and support.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Update: Baby, Etc

When my sister Merri Lea and her husband were here to visit Lisa and Candalyn between Christmas and New Years they convinced me that I really should replace my laptop and desktop and printer. I went on line and purchased a new HP laptop and printer with my employee discount. They arrived. Rich, Merri Lea and Ella came over and removed the old computers and installed the new equipment. It has been wonderful...lighter computer and can sit on my couch and print. When I set up this blog I didn't write down the pass word and could not remember it. It took me a while to get it reset.

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment. I went expecting to see a different doctor because on Thursday Dr Jeske was dilated to 4 centimeters. Well no baby yet. I was really glad to see her. She once again told me how pleased with what the chemo is doing.

I'm still having a challenge with my feet. It feels like they are bruised and hurts to walk on them. I couldn't get my shoes on yesterday and had to wear my Crocs.  Today they are feeling better. Hope they continue to feel better.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Four Down Two To Go!

When I met with my doctor in October I was told that the plan would be to have six cycles of treatments. First week would be Carboplatin and Gemzar, the next week just Gemzar then one week off. As of this moment I have had 4 cycles...JUST TWO MORE TO GO!!!!!! Everything went well, getting the needle in the port to start the treatment, the treatment. Now if my blood counts will behave themselves I should have my last treatment on Feb 23rd.

My nurse told me today that Dr Jeske this morning was dilated to 4 centimeters it looks like I will not be seeing her next week. I hope all goes well for her. Her due date is January 20th.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Challenges Continue

Yesterday I went to have blood drawn to see if I could have a chemo treatment on Thursday. I had Keith take me because my feet are still bothering me and I wasn't sure I could walk that far. (they are feeling better but still painful) All went well no problems getting in the port, got home and I get a call from Dr Jeske. She told me that my red blood count was low and that she wanted me to have a blood transfusion, 2 units. The infusion center would call me and set up the appointment, probably today (Wed) They called and said they could do it that afternoon (Tues) at 3. So Keith took me out there. It was a 4 hour process. Kaiser called today to remind me that I needed to have another blood test to see if my red blood count is back up. So this afternoon I will go and have a blood draw to see how my red blood count is. Stay tuned for the update.

While I was still in bed this morning mom came in and told me that the package from my former missionary companion Cheryl MacDonald that was sent from Australia had arrived. She sent mom 8 pieces of Aborigine fabric. She also sent some Australian candy. Christmas is still coming. She has been so supportive and encouraging through all this fun stuff. I can't wait to see her again one day.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sorry For The Delay

Everything was a go for the chemo treatment on Thursday. The same nurse that had a challenge drawing blood on Tuesday was the same nurse I had for the chemo treatment on Thursday. Early on my doctor wanted me to receive hydration during treatment. Apparently the order was missed this last Thursday. The nurse called me to see if I could come back. It wasn't convenient to go back that afternoon. I called and made an appointment to go back at 2:00 on Friday. Things have been going well until Saturday about 6:00 am. I woke up with severe foot pain. When I tried to walk into the bathroom I could barely walk. I took some extra strength Tylenol which was my best friend six years ago. I didn't seem to help much and I spent most of the day in bed. I also did not sleep well Saturday night. I checked on line about side effects of carboplatian. One of the side effects listed is severe pain in the feet. I sent my doctor an email to let her know and if I should do anything else. She said if the Tylenol works take that or try Advil or Ibepropin. I took some Advil and it seems to have helped today. The nurse told me that sometimes side affects don't hit till after several treatments. As with life thinks are constantly changing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 So Far So Good!

I had a wonderful visit with Lisa and Candalyn last week.

Today I had a blood draw. I felt so sorry for my nurse today. She had a hard time feeling the port and locating the place to insert the needle. It took two nurses at least 3 needles (I heard them say that a couple of them split, I guess they were hitting something solid). It usually takes about 10 minutes. Today I was there about a half hour. Since they had a challenge getting the needle in the nurse decided to leave it in till Thursday. So no shower for 2 days. :(

At 11:00 I had a doctor's appointment. I ended up waiting about a half an hour for her. It was worth the wait. She told me she is VERY pleased with how the chemo is working. My CA-125 when we started treatment was over 300 today it was down to 16. That is a good place according to the doctor. She also mentioned that she is very pleased with the PET/CT. The blood transfusion last week did what it needed to do so I will have a chemo treatment Thursday. The doctor is going to back off a little on the amount of Carboplatin I will be receiving. If the count continues to stay low  I will have three more cycles and then do monthly blood tests to keep an eye on the counts. She feels confident that this will happen but extra prayers will not hurt. I am feeling very blessed and good about what has been happening.

My doctor's due date is Jan 20th. After the first time I met her I asked mom to make her a baby quilt. Lisa and Keith went to Jo Ann's and bought the fabric. Mom got it finished and I took it to the appointment today. She was so excited and said it was the perfect color, the same color as the nursery. I will get to see her one more time before she goes out on maternity leave. I will miss her while she is out.

So far 2012 is a pretty good year.