Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday

Just wanted to wish Laura Stilwell Studebaker Happy 40th. Hope you had fun at your surprise party and so sorry I couldn't be there.

Love you,


Friday, December 19, 2008

Better News today

I saw a radiologist oncologist today about my brain and he thinks that I do not have brain cancer, but wants to look at my brain scans from 1998 to be sure. He also wants to do a high resolution MRI that measures in millimeters rather than centimeters. If I do need it than the scan will be scheduled in late January. We are feeling relieved for now in our household. Thanks for all the prayers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The good the bad and the ugly

I saw my oncologist today and the good is that she is very confident that the drugs i am currently taking are the best for me. She has no clue if my body will reject them yet, but should know in 2-3 months. The bad is my MRI of my brain is different than my scan from 2003. She doesn't know what that means yet, but i see my neuro surgeon tomorrow and mostly likely have a PET scan of my brain over the break to find out what is going on there. The ugly is that if the meds don't work, she gives me 3 to 12 months to live. She said i would most likely die from liver failure due to the size and agressiveness of my tumor. I was laughing with her because I really don't feel sick. I am planning on running 6 miles on Saturday and can keep up with most of my life.

She is not totally excited that i am going to check out the alternative center since she is research based. She gave us lots of questions to ask when we go up there in January, but i think Travis and I need to know that we have done everything possible that we can. She will still see me as a patient even if i choose the other path and suggested i get other opinions which we were planning on anyways. Not sure if i will have any new news tomorrow, but thanks for listening, for all the great laughs, and all your prayers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I started taking my Tykerb at night and that seems to be working so much better. I went for a run/walk yesterday and got so pissed that i have stage IV cancer. I started running as fast as i could and was screaming in my head that this mother f... is not going to beat me.

Thanks to everyone for the dinners, gift cards to Whole Foods, pizza, kids lunches and everything else. It helps so much to not have to worry about that too.

Have a Doctors appointment on Thursday and I am doing to Chicago in January. Thanks Mom & Dad.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Worse

Everyday the nausea is getting worse and today it kept me in bed almost the entire afternoon. I had to cut my run short yesterday and my pace was very slow. I am really mad that cancer will keep me from having another child, having enough energy for the ones I already have, and it is making my running even more challenging. I am going to try and switch taking the Tykerb to the evening and see if that helps. For know i am going to try and stomach some food and then get back in bed. Not much of a day.

Hugs and kisses to all

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not so bad

After my first day of meds I am doing okay. My hands already tingle, I feel tired and my butt could be less active, but I don't feel like barfing, yeah. I can deal with most anything if i don't feel nauseous. The Gavinator is either being two 1/2 or is feeling our stresses, but Sammy seems to be doing great, on the outside. She is still working on internalizing all this and i am waiting for the breakdown. I have a 20 mile run on Saturday in preparation for the Breast Care Marathon in February and I think i am going to be okay. I was really worried i would have to give up this race too.

More tomorrow

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day

Well tomorrow i start my chemo and i am a little nervous. Although i wont lose my hair, the side effects are all flashing before my eyes and i really don't want to feel so sick again. I don't want to be dependent on everyone, I don't want to give up running, I don't want the kids to feel our stress and i don't want my husband to have to take on the burden of caring for our family by himself. He is my rock, but can only take so much. If he falls apart, we all do. That is a lot of pressure and all i can do is pray for him. I feel helpless that i can't help him and hope i am able to take some of this stress off his plate.

On the positive side we found a center in Chicago that deals with the whole body and not just my cancer, so we are very excited to go visit.

I will post tomorrow and let you know how my first day of meds went.

Thanks for all your support.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Well, I am just taking one day at a time and am feeling okay today. I do have my share of tears and frustration, but can only worry about today. I can feel my tumor and it is a little uncomfortable. My pants feel tight all the time, so I told Travis that I might have to start wearing elastic wasted pants. Due to the pressure on my liver it does make me feel nauseous so I can't eat that much and certain foods make me feel terrible like cheese. It is nice knowing why I feel this way since before i just felt like crap all the time. Anyways, I have my echocardiogram tomorrow and will start my chemo on Wednesday. If I could just get rid of this head cold life would be so much better.

Any who, all your messages make my day, thanks!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The voice of reason

Travis reminded me last night of all the other "not so good stuff" Dr. Gallashaw said so i thought i would pass it along...

I will have cancer for the rest of my life. Although we have several options to try, my body could reject all of them as it did before. There are two types of drugs i will be taking and the her2 drug is one of two they have available at this time. Unfortunately the first one didn't touch my cancer before. That is why it came back so quickly. Both can also cause damage to my heart, so i will have Eco's done every three months. I have an extremely aggressive form of cancer and it has now moved to stage IV. It could easily spread to my brain and other organs since it is in my lymphatic system and has spread to several locations already. Not to mention every time i have an MRI, PET scan or CT my body is exposed to all that other crap that causes cancer.

So although the news is way better then we all expected, this will still be an up hill battle. So don't stop praying please and I am going for a run.

Love you all,

Friday, December 5, 2008


The good news is I am not dying tomorrow or any time soon. I will however have to be on chemo drugs until they come up with a vaccine or a cure; in other words what they call chronic cancer. I have a 3" tumor in my liver and several cancer clusters throughout my abdomen in my lymph nodes. They think the other drugs didn't work as they should and that is why it came back in 6 months or less. So i will be taking two new oral chemo drugs that have much better side effects than before. I wont lose my hair (Sammy is ecstatic), not much nausea, just a possible rash, and hand/foot dry skin. My Dr. promises that if the side effects get too bad, they can cut down the dosage. I take the oral meds for two weeks and then have a week off. Not too bad. She suggested i put off reconstruction until things change drastically and no kids, but i have my two little cuties and am perfectly happy that i will just be here long enough to see them walk down the aisle.

All your prayers worked, thanks y'all

Will let you know how i am feeling after i start taking the drugs next week.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Bad News

I still have to see the Dr. at 2:30 tomorrow to see how we are going to proceed, but the IBC spread to my liver and my lymphatic system. I have a tumor in my liver and the nodes of my stomach, liver, and area next to my shoulder on the left side have cancer. The liver cancer is not curable, but not terminal either. It is something they will shrink with chemo, but not remove do to complications. The lymphatic system is a little more difficult to deal with and not sure what they are going to do with that, but it spreads easily and fast so i will start chemo next week. So no hair for me for Christmas.

The good news is that liver cancer usually causes weight loss. Now i can stop running 10 miles a day and getting up at 6 am to do boot camp. At least all this exercise will make me stronger to fight all this crap.

Please keep us in your prayers and I will let you know what the doctor says tomorrow.

No News Yet

We are still waiting for the results of the PET scan. I might know today, but still need to meet with the Dr to see what the game plan will be for treatment. Waiting might be the worst part...