Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My dad met with a new onocologist today. It is actually the same guy who treated my mom when she had breast cancer. They liked him so much more then the first oncologist they met with on Friday.

He recommended that my dad get the IV Chemotherapy. He said the pill form was just approved by the FDA a couple of months ago, and there are so many unknowns with it. My dad will get a port put in either tomorrow or Thursday, and will start chemo next week. They also want to do a MRI of his brain to make sure there is no cancer there. God, this is all so scary. He will have the chemo once a week - and they'll do another catcan after a month. We would know then if it is being effective or not. There is a 50% chance that this drug will shrink the tumors.

Please pray for us. I am praying so hard and so much lately, that I am literally mentally exhuasted. I am trying to radiate postivness and be happy go lucky for my mom and dad's sake. I am hoping it will rub off on them. I also know they have so much to worry about - they don't need to worry about my well being. I also have to remember to stay calm for this little baby's sake. As I type - it is just kicking away. Maybe trying to get me to focus on the good things going on in my life?

I just wish there was more that I could do. I feel really helpless at this point. Now we just have to wait--again, to see what happens. I am still hoping for a miracle. They happen to people all the time.

I pray you enough...

Someone sent me this e-mail, and I thought it was worth passing on:

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, 'I love you, and I pray you enough.'

The daughter replied, 'Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I pray you enough, too, Mom.'

They kissed, and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?'

Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?'

'Well...I'm not as young as I once was, she lives so far away & has her own busy life. I have some challenges ahead, and the reality is - her next trip back will be for my funeral,' she said.

'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I pray you enough.' May I ask what that means?'

She began to smile. 'That's a prayer that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.' She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I pray you enough,' we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them..'

Then, turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Then, she began to cry, and walked away.

They say, it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but an entire life to forget them.
I got thinking this morning. Since this pregnancy was unplanned, and pretty unexpected, I think that it happened for a reason. God knew that it was the perfect time. He knew we would all need some joy and something good to look forward too at a time like this. I guess it is really amazing how god works sometimes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Green Ribbons

I am having a hard day today. Probably because I was googling again. Stage 4 Kidney cancer, which is what my dad has, has a very low survival rate. The has discouraged me. Most people die within a year. I am in denial yet. I refuse to give up and give in. I will make my dad fight -- and win.

I am making green ribbon pins today. Green is the color for kidney cancer. So far I have made about 20, but it is a very good stress reliever. If anyone wants one in support of my dad, please let me know and I will get one for you. I guess this is my way of dealing, and attempting to do something to make the situation better, and to give a little hope to my family.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Dad's Appointment

It has been confirmed that my dad's cancer is back. I guess it is safe to say, it never really went away. They just temporarily derailed it. The main tumor is in his abdomen, where his kidney once was. A month ago on the catscan it was 3 mm, now it is 20 mm. It is a very fast, agressive cancer. He also has another spot by his spleen which has grow, and one in his lung. I guess it is very common for kidney cancer to mestestatize to the lung.

There are 2 different types of chemo he can go on. The first one (which has the best results, so now I am praying that he can be on this one) is an oral chemo that he will take in pill form. With this chemo, all of his levels need to be perfect, his calcium, iron, and other levels. If those levels are all good, he would start it next week. He would be on the chemo for 4 weeks, then off for 2, then they would do another catscan, and repeat the process. Also with this drug, they have to monitor all his levels very closely, so he would have 3 -4 doctor appointments a week.

The second kind of drug (less successful) is the IV chemo drugs. The thing that really sucks about kidney cancer is that chemotherapy is really not an effective treatment. So there are only a few drugs they can try. Radiation usually does not help either. So we are helpless, and dependant on these 2 drugs right now, and just PRAY that one of them works.

I feel a little bit better knowing the cancer is not into his liver, but scared at the rapid growth, and the chance of it speading to other places very fast. It is going to be a long, long, few months ahead of us, please pray for strength for our family.

My dad is still in so much pain that he cannot function. The tumor that is causing him the most pain is the one where his kidney was. They said there is nothing they can do surgically. He has to wait for the tumor to hopefully shrink before he will have some relief from pain. They put him on morphine yesterday. It is safe to say that my dad is done working. He will be going on full disability, and applying for social security. Which is best - both for his health and mentally. I know if I was told I had cancer, the last thing I would want to do every day is go to a job.

Amazingly, I am doing okay. I think I am a little at peace now, knowing what we face. I think the diagnosis is the hardest part. Once we get past that, we can tackle the thing head on. My dad has the most amazing attitude ever. He is constantly laughing, and yesterday was making jokes and laughing yet. Laughter is the best medicine, and I am hoping that his positive attitude makes him a miracle.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I need to stop googling! Right now I have been googling every type of cancer, the treatments and survival rates. It is not helping me at all. That is just my nature. When I am faced with something new, I google and research and arm myself with all of the information possible. In this case it is not helping - since I don't even know what we are techincally facing yet. I am sure tomorrow when we get answers, or steps closer to an answer, I will be googling all weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We did not get the best news about my dad last night. We were told that the spots on his liver, spleen, and lung, has grown significantly larger since the last scan. We can now assume that it is cancer. Nothing else would grow that fast. Unfortunately we won't know more until he meets with the onocologist on Friday.

It's amazing how your life can change in a matter of seconds. How your outlook on situations can change in a heartbeat. I have been preparing myself mentally for the worst. We all have. We all have known in the back of our minds that is was most likely the case. I held it together in front of McKenna and Jason last night, but then this morning had a mental breakdown. I am not ready to lose my dad yet. I want him around for my kids! I want my kids to get to know the most wonderful man ever. The man that I have had the privilege to call my dad.

It makes me sad to think of the unthinkable. I know there will be a time that my parents won't be there anymore. I can't fathom it. We have been such a close knit family. When I think about it, my chest gets tight, and I can hardly breathe. I've always been daddy's little girl, and my mom has always been my best friends. I wish everyone could be as lucky as me - growing up with the 2 greatest parents ever.

I am just scared. Scared to hear the prognosis. Scared for the months ahead. Scared to see my dad weak and vulnerable. Just scared. I have been trying to pray to god this morning for the strength to handle what comes our way. It is so hard to have faith in god at times like this! This is when I call upon the lord the most, but sometimes it is really, really, hard. I know sometimes what we want, is not what he has planned for us. I know that he does not give anyone more then they can handle, but it is so hard.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Dad

My dad went in for his catscan yesterday and his creatinine levels were too high, so they could not do the scan for the sake that it could damage his one good kidney left. I guess the dye they inject you with is pretty harsh on your kidneys. He was in so much pain on his drive home that he had to pull over. My mom left work and debated about bringing him to the emergency room. They got the catscan rescheduled for today. He will have to go in and have IV fluids for 2 hours before the scan - and 2 hours after the scan. We won't know anything until Friday when he meets with his doctor.

I am really trying to stay positive. It is very hard though. Of course my mind keeps jumping to the worse thing possible - inoperable, aggressive, terminal cancer. But then I try to remember that the pain he is having is where they removed his kidney. So there is no kidney there. And the liver is on the other side of your body. So what could be causing this pain? And infection in the wound? A sponge left in after surgery? The spot they did see on the catscan last time was in the shape of a wedge. Wouldn't that be a relief if it was a sponge? All we can do at this point is pray and hope for the best. My new saying over the past week, with all the things going on with the baby and my dad is - I am prepared for the worst - hoping for the best.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Praying for my dad

Today my dad has a follow up catscan. Last scan they found 3 spots that they are watching. One on his liver, one on his spleen, and one in his lung. I am worried sick. I just pray that they have shrunk, and there is nothing there. We were over there yesterday for Father's Day, and he is in so much pain. It seems like he is in more pain now then right after he got his kidney removed. He had to take an Oxycontin when we were there. I am just so worried. I know my mom and dad are too.

He has the scan today, and then meets with the doctor on Friday. So it is going to be a long week. If the news is not good - it is not going to be a good weekend. I know this is out of our hands, and all we can do is pray. I just feel so exhausted from praying so much lately. Does that sound bad? Sometimes I don't know what to say to god. If this is his plan for my dad - then is praying really going to change anything? All I can do is pray for strength to accept whatever diagnosis there is. It's all in god's hands.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Progesterone Shots

So I have been getting progesterone shots for 3 weeks now. The shots are just a precaution to prevent preterm labor. I like that my doctor is so extra cautious about everything. Every Friday I drive to my doctor's office, wait, get the shot, wait 15 more minutes, and drive back to work. It's only my 3rd shot I am so so exhausted by the whole process already!!!

Today my shot hurt extra bad for some reason. Right in the hip/rear end. I am now waddling even more then normal. Usually the burning sensation goes away by tomorrow morning. Only 16 more shots to go.....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

God Chooses a Mom for a Disabled Child

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen ? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew."

"Forrester, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecelia."

"Rudledge, Carrie; twins; patron saint... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God ? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God.

"Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter ? That would be cruel."
"But has she patience ?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independance. She'll have to teach the child to live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness ? Is that a virtue ?"

God nods. "If she can't seperate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, there is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word.' She will never consider a 'step' ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it ! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see --- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice --- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her patron saint ?" asks the angel, his pen poised in midair.

God smiles. " A mirror will suffice."


As I was getting McKenna dressed for daycare today, I realized how grateful I am for her. Sometimes I just take for granted that she is healthy and happy. I am going to try to remember how lucky I am to have her on a daily basis, and not sweat the little stuff so much. I'll try to have more patience with her when she wants to stay up for another 30 minutes. I should cherish those 30 minutes as more time I get to spend cuddling with her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Test Results

I had my ultrasound for baby Onesti on 6/9/09. Everything looked great - but the doctor did find an echogenic focus on the heart. It causes the baby no harm, and usually goes away on it's own. Basically it is a calcium deposit. I was told that this is a soft marker for down syndrome.
Even though it is considered a "very soft marker" and my nuchal translucency scan came back fine in the first trimester, I freaked out and opted to have the quad screen blood test done.

Usually for my age, they put the odds of down syndrome at 1 in 270. Because of me having a child with down syndrome, they put my odds at 1 in 100, or 1%. I took the blood test and had to wait 6 very long days to get the results. Once I did take the blood test, I almost immediately regretted doing so. Here I am again, stressing out over anticipated results.

I thought the results would come back a little high - but I was thinking more like 1 in 75. I got the call on 6/15 that the results were indeed high for down syndrome - with a 1 in 25 chance. Of course I took the news bad. Just because I was so angry that this was happening to me again. I felt shocked and blind sighted again. I also did not know what I should do - if I should have the amnio and find out for sure, or just let it in god's hands. I was dreading telling Jason.

Jason's reaction was completely awesome. He said that we should not get the test. He said we are going to love this baby no matter what, and we can't change the outcome, so why take the test? I agreed with him - even though I know it will bother me for the next 4 months not knowing.

We've decided to tell a very select few about these results. We really don't want people to worry and that to overshadow this pregnancy.

I am just putting everything in god's hands. Whatever happens, happens. Whatever god wants for us - we will get. If it is down syndrome, this is what god obviously wants for us. I've really had to dig deep into my faith the last few days. But I feel at ease with our decision not to test.

I have a big giant note on my white board at work that says - Worrying is like paying a debt before it's due. 96%!

I am really trying to focus on the 96% chance everything is okay!!!