Happy Mother’s Day

To all of the mom’s out there I hope you had a Blessed day!  Today my sister and I started the day pretty early, we had breakfast at the Bisbee Breakfast Club, and managed to get a few pictures.

Tomorrow my sister has an appointment with her surgeon to discuss her surgery, and on Tuesday round 9 of chemo, praying for some high blood counts!

Today was bittersweet, I miss my mom so much and feeling very jealous of all the FB posts and pictures, but I have my sister and feel very BLESSED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 down and 9 to go!

We are  counting down now!  Today my sister completed her 3rd round leaving her 9 to go, her blood counts were lower today, she was given the chemo but will have to go back to Tucson on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week to get injections to boost her WBC’s.  I must confess I didn’t even think to ask what her blood count was, or even what medication they will be giving her, I do know it wont be Neulasta and my best guess it will be Nupogen.

I asked if we could give her the injections, but because of insurance issues she has to go to her oncologist office for the medication.

With all that she has been through she has taken every piece of news with some degree of emotional surge,  she then processes the information and we move forward.

A special thanks to Kristie Huber, Dawn Imholte and Josh Sunday for taking her to Tucson this week for the injections, and Joanna Ramirez for the yummy beef stew, and Justin Mitchell who has been bringing over crock pot meals for the past few weeks.

As always continued prayers are much appreciated!

New chemo update

Two cycles of cytoxan/carboplatin and ten more to go!  The weekly trips are taxing, the side effects are not as bad, she is still very fatigued, and some nausea once the steroids wear off, which is usually day 2 after chemo.  But no neulasta!

This week her blood count was borderline and they went ahead and delivered the chemo, her oncologist is not worried, as he explained it, because she had been receiving the neulasta which was boosting the production of white blood cells (WBC), her body took a break from having to produce any, now that she is not receiving the neulasta her body just needs a little time to get back to work.  So we are praying for higher counts next week.

We can’t say thank you enough to everyone for their love and support, from coming over to help out with little things like washing dishes, hanging laundry, bringing meals (Andrea Ruff and Joanna Ramirez) and for those of you who have helped with trips to Tucson and sitting by her side while she receives chemo.

My sister asks for continued prayers, she is so blessed to have so much support from family, friends, and complete strangers.

 

 

Sometimes God just know what’s best!

This past weekend was absolutely beautiful, the weather is getting warmer, and summer will soon be here!   Spent Saturday with my sister and family grilling and lounging in the pool.  She was feeling energetic enough to make her macaroni salad.

As you know my sister has been going back and forth about this last course of chemo, should she go every week for 12 weeks or every other week for 4 treatments? On one hand every week for 12 weeks means smaller doses and no Neulasta, but it’s 12 weeks. Or 4 treatments and she is done, but then she gets the Neulasta injection. She has prayed about which direction to take and finally decided with some hesitation that she would rather have 4 treatments and be done.

On Friday my sister received a call from her oncologist,  he had been reviewing her case and he wants to add Carboplatin in addition to the Taxol. He said the Carboplatin has proven to have better outcomes, but because it is more effective it needs to be given in smaller doses, so he wants her to come weekly for 12 weeks. My sister said she trusts her oncologist and feels like God answered her prayers in another way.

Side effects for the new drug are pretty much the same as all the others, our prayer is that since she is getting a smaller dose every week she will have energy and not be wiped out.

Thank you in advance to Nancy Ramirez, Ofelia Bowers, Joanna Ramirez and Rebecca Ramirez for providing meals this week, love you all.

Please pray for healing, rest and energy!!

 

 

A season of change

Watching your baby sister go through chemo is painful, you feel helpless, and just hope you are doing everything you can to be supportive.  Last week was a good week my sister had some energy and was able to enjoy spending time with her family.

Today was her 4th treatment of  Round one!  In two weeks she will start the last of her chemo treatment, she will try going every two weeks for a cycle of 4.  She is a fighter!

It is truly amazing what chemo does to your body, don’t get me wrong I am so grateful for the advances in medicine and all the research that is done to fight and conquer cancer, it just hurts to see  your sister have to go undergo the treatment.

My sister continues to remain positive and find the silver lining.  I want to equate cancer to all things negative, and my sister reminds me that everything happens for a reason and God knows all things, so we have decided to look at this time as a “Season of change”.

Many thanks to Toni Lopez and Arlene Almarez for providing meals this week, the meals have truly been a blessing to my sister and her family!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Isaiah 41:10

Rough week

This past week was a rough one for my sister, cutting the dose of steroids resolved the heightened senses, however it also intensified the fatigue, nausea and pain.

Keep my sister in your prayers, we ask that you pray for rest, energy and peace of mind.  She is having to make difficult decisions, and when your limbs feel like heavy logs and your brain is in a constant fog those decisions are hard to make.

Thank you  family and friends that provided meals last week, they were much appreciated and enjoyed!

Harley is making sure my sister is not disturbed, good girl Harley!

Fight like a girl!

3rd chemo down!  A couple of weeks ago I wrote 2 down and 10 to go, but my sister has decided to do Taxol weekly for 12 weeks.  The side effects will be less and no Neulasta!  So she has to endure 2 more Neulasta ingections and the side effects and then no more (hopefully).  There is a small chance that the Taxol could lower her WBC and she will need to have the injection.

Today she was given half the dose of steroids which made a huge difference!  No heightened senses, the tradeoff could be more nausea but so far just fatigue.

With 12 weeks of Taxol her last chemo should be 7/11/17!  Thank you in advance to all who are bringing her dinner this week, My aunt Ofelia, Crystal and Carol, words can’t express how much we appreciate the support!

Embracing her bold new look!

It’s been a good couple of days that I thought I would share a fun video with all of you.  My sister is embracing her new look, and I’m not sure what Sam is doing lol!

 

Video

Praising his name!

My sister had an ultrasound (US) today and after 2 chemo treatments the tumor has shrunk, her surgeon was surprised at how much it has shrunk after 2 treatments!  This is great news, it means the chemo is working to kill all the cancer cells.

The genetic testing did confirm a positive BRACA2, and as I said in my last post this does not change the course of treatment just the surgical options.

Since a positive BRACA2  increases her risk for breast and ovarian cancer she has made the decision to have a double mastectomy, this will prevent any  re-occurrence of breast cancer.  This surgery will take place 3 weeks after her last treatment.  Then the ovaries and fallopian tubes will be next.

The last two and a half months have not been easy for my sister, they have been emotional beyond words.  My sister never thought she was a strong woman, but I disagree, battled with fatigue, nausea and in her words “looking like a baby bird” she has made these difficult emotional decisions.

Please continue to keep her in prayer, your words of encouragement through texts, and FB posts have been a blessing to her.

My hero

As you know when my sister was first diagnosed one of her doctors wanted  her to have genetic testing done.  The results positive or negative were not going to change the course of  treatment with the exception of surgery.

Her BRCA2 came back positive, we are still waiting for the BRCA1 to become available, to say I have done “a little” reading is an understatement, and to say that I understood all that I read is just plain insane.

Let me see if I can explain BRCA genes.

BRCA1  and BRCA2 genes produce tumor suppressor proteins, their function is to repair damaged DNA  and  prevent cells from growing and dividing too rapidly in breast tissue, this ensures the cells genetic material.  When DNA is damaged cells are more likely to develop genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.   Specific inherited mutations increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are inherited from either your mother or father, offspring of a parent with a positive mutation have a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation.

BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) or BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2)

This is BRCA1 and BRCA2 in a nutshell, there is so much too read and process, information we never wanted to know or deal with, but here we are reading, researching and processing all this information.

Even with all the doctors visits, lab draws, chemo sessions, hair loss, fatigue, nausea, bone pain, my sister amazes me.  I know she is tired and has her emotional moments, but she always wipes away the tears and is ready for the next leg of the journey.