Sunday, May 29, 2005

more questions........

We've been learning a lot about cancer and treatments along the way. There is always more to learn. This question seems like it should be easy to answer but I've not been able to find an explanation yet. Maybe someone who reads this can help me.

During all of mom's chemotherapy, she has been given two injections; One to help keep her red blood cell count normal, and one to help keep her white blood cell count normal. One was given the day of her treatment and one the day after.

For some reason, those injections weren't ordered with her last treatment. If you've been reading, you know she needed blood transfusions because her red cell count went down, and antibiotics and "isolation" because her white cell count plummeted.

At this point her red count is staying normal, but her white count is not going back up. She can't have anymore chemotherapy until it's closer to normal again. In the mean time, her CA125 is rising.

Has anyone had experience with this? Does anyone know what they do to get a white count up? If there is something, they're not doing it for mom. I'm starting to wonder if there's more to the story that I'm not being told....

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

one accomplished......

Mom made it to the graduation.

Our graduate is in her forties and because of children and life along the way, it has taken her a long time to get her degree. But she did it and mom was there.

Her doctor was relunctant to let her go because her white count was so low. Even a cold germ could have landed her in the hospital. But mom was insistent. Doc relented with instructions for mom to stay as far away from the crowds as possible. We found a corner by the door so she could leave as soon as it was finished.
She was very happy to be there.

After antibiotics, and two units of blood, mom is feeling somewhat better. No word on the latest CA125 count. It's such a disappointment that it is going up after all of this progress.

By the way- mom didn't pick up any germs at the graduation. But guess who did?? I've been staying away from her and am off to the doc myself today. Have to get well for that wedding coming up!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I really thought mom was getting close to being "well". I'm realistic enough to know what living with cancer is like. I also know you have to get through the treatments and the cancer declared "gone" before you can live with cancer or as I said- be "well".

After mom's last hospital stay and surgery, things were going so well. She started feeling better, her CA125 was going down, she was even driving again.

This week she started feeling bad again. She has an elevated temp and her CA125 is going up.

But mom is still amazing me. She made some goals when she was first diagnosed- To make it to a daughter's college graduation, and go to her grandaughter's wedding.

These milestones are coming up in the next few weeks. Mom is bound and determined to be there- and I believe she will be.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

happy mother's day...........

Mom had her chemo this week. She had a few bad days, but nothing like before. She is feeling much better today and got dressed up and Dad took her out. It's so wonderful to see that. Especially since she has spent so many months not being able to go anywhere.

Her chemo nurse called to give her good news. Her CA125 is now at 600. If you know anything about these counts- that isn't really a good number. But in comparison to what it has been- it is a beautiful number.

To all of the mothers out there- God Bless and Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

here we go again........

Mom went back for chemo this week. She was pretty nervous about it. The last time she was sooo sick. We know now that it wasn't the chemo, but she still knows she will have effects from it. She's just starting to feel better again...

I think the one thing that has affected her the most is the loss of her independence. She was so used to being able to do anything she wanted. She hasn't driven a car since December.

She does have a good outlook though. I'm so proud of her. I'm not sure if I were in her situation I'd be so easy to get along with, or have such a positive attitude.

So here we go again. We'll know sometime this week if the CA125 has gone up or not. It's been several weeks now since she's had chemo. Hopefully the cancer didn't take hold again.

(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.