After mom told us about her cancer diagnosis, we were concerned with how to tell Addison. She is only three and obviously the word cancer does not mean anything to her. We waited until mom had her port in to talk to her about it as we knew it would be important that Addison could not climb on mom. The only thing that Addison was able to take from the conversation was that she did not want her Grammy to have "baby hair." We talked about it a few times and her response was "mommy, cancer is disgusting" said in a three year-old accent of course.
When we got to Tulsa, Addison told mom several times she did not want her to have baby hair. My mom got out her hats and wigs to try to show Addison, get her interested, and make the entire situation less scary. Addison wanted nothing to do with it. Nothing. My mom even told Addison that she could cut her hair. Still, nothing. So almost two weeks ago she tells me "I want to cut Grammy's hair." I told my mom. So a few days after her last chemotherapy treatment (#2), she drives to Oklahoma City with the intention of letting my daughter cut her hair.
It was actually a really great day. My aunt Jeannie drove mom here and we made a day of it. We all went to the park. We drove by Addison's new preschool so she could show her grammy where she would be going to school. When it was lunch time I told mom that she needed to pick where to eat since she just had treatment and I was concerned about her stomach being upset. She picked Red Robin (Addison's favorite restaurant). They took Addison to get ice cream. Mom's hair was starting to fall out - she had a little time left. Her first priority was getting to Oklahoma City so that Addison would be able to cut her hair. She was most concerned with making sure she could alleviate any of Addison's distress. I had also told her that I needed to see her hair come out. She has been doing so fantastic with her treatments. We are so so happy about that. It is hard to believe though, that the chemotherapy is working when she is doing so well. I told her that I needed to see some hair come out to be convinced it was working. She never said it, but I know she also came so that I could see some coming out. But for those that know my mom well, you are not at all surprised that her priority was to make sure that her family was handling her cancer well.
Addison was so excited to cut mom's hair. Addison was laughing at points. She had no problems with it at all (except that she was not allowed to handle the scissors by herself). My mom kept telling her that she was doing such a good job cutting her hair. We have not heard a single word about not wanting grammy to have baby hair since. We finished mom's hair after Addison went to sleep, so we will see what she thinks when she sees all the hair gone. Leave it to my mom to make an undesirable symptom of chemotherapy into a great day for her family. Enjoy the pictures while they last, the "powers that be" will probably make me take them off when she sees that I have posted them on here.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Mom's blood levels are still very good and she was able to get her chemotherapy treatment today (which started at 11:15). She met with her doctor before treatment. He did an exam and told her that her skin pores are already getting smaller (which is a good thing) and that he feels things are going very well. She still has an area that is healing from her port and he said that it does not appear to be infected and is healing well. Mom is ready for the port area to be completely healed so that she can go swimming. She said that she is feeling good today. I called her around 9:30 tonight and I could hear a lot of noise and laughing in the background. She said that she was having a dinner get together at her sister Jeannie's house with both sisters, her brother Dick, and his wife. They seemed to be having a great time. She will go in tomorrow for her white blood cell shot. In two weeks she will do her last treatment with this type of chemotherapy. At that point she will be 50% completed with chemotherapy recommended for this time. She will start a different type of chemo two weeks following that. Hopefully she will so as well with the next type of medication as she has with this one.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tomorrow mom will do her third chemotherapy treatment. Her appointment starts at 9:00am. We were joking today about what time it may actually start. In her optimism, she said 10:30...I said 11:20am. When she gets there, her blood work is done to ensure her levels are still safe to move forward with treatment that day, she meets with the doctor, and then they start her on nausea medication. Once her blood work is cleared, they start mixing the chemo. This takes about 45 minutes to mix. After it is mixed she sits for a couple hours to get the chemotherapy. I will post tomorrow about how the treatment went.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Mom just returned from a mini vacation in Branson with her friend. She had a great time and they were able to get lots of shopping done, they went out to eat at a few nice restaurants, and had really enjoyed thier time. Mom said that she was feeling well the entire trip.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
My mom is now 25% completed with the chemotherapy that has been scheduled at this time. You would have no idea. She has not been sick at all and has only required a little more rest than usual. She has been able to work, to go out with friends and family, and to do all the things she was doing before starting treatment. We are all so amazed. Of course, she has had the best attitude about this, which I am sure has helped as well. She has a large family that is able to accompany her to her various treatments and doctors appointments (and there are many). She has wonderful coworkers that have been incredibly supportive and have been unbelievably generous with her. This generosity has helped alleviate so much stress and I am sure is directly related to how well she has been doing thus far. She has began to receive cards and well wishes from friends, family, coworkers, and her church family. My mom is truly blessed to have so many supportive people in her life. She has talked about this every day. My mom checks this site from time to time, so please feel free to leave any comments for her. She is truly appreciative of all the support she has been given by others.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Mom's second chemo treatment went really well. They draw blood before each treatment to make sure that her hemoglobin levels are high enough. Hers are still very high which meant they were able to move forward with treatment. They also told her that her port is doing really well. Mom was maybe a little more tired after this treatment but went to lunch with her sister and then took a nap earlier today. She said that she is feeling well and has not been sick at all yet again. She will go in tomorrow for her shot to increase white blood count.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tomorrow mom will go in for her second chemotherapy treatment. She did so well after her first treatment and she is certainly hoping this one goes as well. She has had very good medications that have prevented any nausea up to this point and still has energy to work and go out with her friends just as she was before starting treatment. She is scheduled to go in the morning and I will update tomorrow evening.