Friday, November 30, 2007

1 Year Cancer Survivor Recap

Sat, June 10, 2006: Visit to the ER for abdominal pain. Battery of tests discover tumor. Rush referral to an OBGYN doctor for the following week. CA125 = 174. Normal CA125 (cancer marker blood test) is 30-ish.

June 22, 2006: Get admitted for surgery to diagnois (benign or cancerous? stage?) and treat tumor(s). They expect me to be in there 4 days. Surgery takes longer than expected and the diagnosis is not good. Stage 4 (out of 4) Metastatic Carcenoma of unknown origin. They remove a 17cm tumor from one ovary, an 8cm tumor from the other, perform a total hysterectemy, remove 10" of my intestines and 6 lymph nodes. While in the hospital, I have every single test known to man to try and determine the primary cancer. It's very unusual that they don't find one.

July 4, 2006: finally released from the hospital after 12 days. Thank you to all of my friends and family for the cards, flowers, calls, visits and gifts!

July 5, 2006: readmitted to the hospital with infection.

July 6, 2006: released again.

July-August 7, 2006: recover from surgeries. CA125=22 Meet my Kaiser oncologist, get 2nd opinion from Dr. Blankey at OHSU. Change Kaiser Oncologists. All in agreement that we should treat it as gastro-intestinal/colon cancer. Thank you to all of my friends, family, co-workers, etc. for the meals, rides, playdates, grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc!!!

August 7, 2006: port/catheter implanted in chest for chemo infusions. Chemo begins (folfox: oxciliplaten, 5FU, avastin)

August 2006 - February 27, 2007: chemo (folfox etc) every other Monday-Wednesday. Become a patient/teacher for a "Living with Life Threatening Disease" class at OHSU. Thank you to all of my friends, family, co-workers, etc. for the meals, rides, playdates, grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc!!!

October 2006: My friend and co-worker, Laura Nicholas and my employer, Hot Off the Press host a fundraiser scrapbooking crop to raise money for medical bills, etc. So many friends and family attend and raise about $7,000! (will have to check on this number. my memory is so bad...chemo brain! Could be more?)

December 2006: Westside Dance and Gymnastics Academy donates proceeds from their Christmas Nutcracker Show to our battle with cancer.

January 4, 2007: we get a 9 week old labradoodle puppy and name him Simba.

January 20, 2007: Our family trip to California to go to Disneyland and a gymnastics meet gets cancelled because we get snowed in!

March-August 2007: chemo (avastin only)

April 17, 2007: return to work part time, starting at 4 hours a week and working up to 16+.

May 2007: Kaelin and I fly to Boston, MASS for Level 5 Rhythmic Gymnastics Nationals. Kaelin gets 9th place all-around in her age category.

June 2007: 1 year anniversary. Begin accupuncture, shiatsu and Chinese herbs/supplements through the Immune Enhancement Project. Start working with a personal trainer 2x a week.

August 2007: 1 yr. CT scan comes back with suspcious spot. CA125=31. Alot of red flags, but no hard, concrete evidence. PET scan was false negative (my tumors are mucin producing and they don't show up on PET scans). Biopsy was false negative (took 7 samples, but didn't get any good ones. It's like bobbing for apples in applesauce). Oncologist and surgeon (top in her field) both agree to wait and do a CT scan in 3 months. Family Vacation to Disneyland is cancelled when we can't get any flights out on our standby passes.

September - December 3, 2007: break from all chemo

September 10-14, 2007: take a week off of school and go to Disneyland!!! Thanks to Sam and Paris, we get a private meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie and get priority seating (Thanks to Shanna!) to the Aladdin show at the Hyperion Theater at California Adventure. Get gifted spending money from generous friends and a collection going around Hot Off the Press and Keller Williams Realty. Thank you to all of you who made it possible and so very special!!!!

October 17, 2007: get rear ended at a stoplight and get whiplash. Start experiencing a lot of unexplainable aches and pains. Freak out and think that the cancer is taking over my body. Go into an emotional tailspin. Fall into a deep, dark, dank hole, afraid of dying and leaving my kids without a mom.

October 30, 2007: Go the the Hannah Montana concert at the Rose Garden and sit in a suite with all the girls in Kaelin's 3rd grade class.

November 6, 2007: 3 month CT scan.

November 8, 2007: we have to put our 12 year old Aussie Shepard, Rafiki, down due to complications from Cancer.

November 16, 2007: take Kaelin to see Santa.

November 17, 2006: Meet with oncologist. Suspicious spot hasn't really changed in size/shape. Dr. Leimert a little concerned after hearing about my unexplainable aches and pains. Thinks that my body knows best and that the cancer might be back. But not sure what kind of cancer to treat, so decides to wait another 3 months. In the meantime, take my CA125 test.

November 18, 2007: get a call from my doctor. CA125 is 96 (normal is 30-ish). Thinks this is some concrete evidence and decides the best course of action would be to treat me for ovarian cancer this time with a new chemo cocktail (carboplaten/taxol) every 3 weeks for 6 months.

November 22, 2007: Meet with my surgeon, she thinks the oncologists plan for treatment is a good idea. Says to start chemo after Thanksgiving. Pulled myself out of that deep, dark, dank hole where I couldn't see the light of hope.

November 25, 2007: get Christmas tree

November 26, 2007: Annual Mammogram

November 24, 2007: see a chiro and finally deal with my issues surrounding the MVA.

November 30, 2007: Bone Scan to determine if the pain in my ribs and shoulder are from my MVA or if the cancer has metasisized there.

December 3, 2007: Chemo begins. Ready to fight. I should be hairless 14 days from now...


Loni said...

We love you with or without hair, Shauna. As I've always said, you are a beautiful person inside and out. I'll be sending you extrea good vibes on Monday.

Love you.

Michelle said...

Hi there. Reminder I am Kayla's sister. Here are some factiod results from my ovarian cancer chemo(same as your getting I am sure):
You will also get a bad of Benadryl and steriods in your chemo that will make you hungry and sleepy.
Have your fav dinner on Sunday because your taste buds are going to change to the everything tasting like metal pipes.
Take very anti-naseau med they suggest you will need it. The chemo made me very sick after the second treatment.
Your hair may not all fall out by second week, I was spared until my 4th week, BUT cut it short now so when it does fall out it won't hurt. You will feel like pins are poking your head with longer hair and it hurts more. When the time comes shave it all off so the pain will go away. This is neuropathic pain from the nerves in your scalp.
The infusion does take 5-6 hours and the room is depressing so sit near the nurses station as they do a lot of funny things and it will keep your spirits up. You will be sleeping for a good part of this time frame. Good time to do the cards you wrote about!
Have food pre-prepared for the couple of days after as your energy will be zip/zero.
By the 2-3 infusion your white blood cell count will dip significantly and you will now need a shot of Neulasta(sp?) 2 days after chemo...because you are young(me also)this will hurt like you cannot imagine, take your pain pills every 3 hours, take anti-naseau meds that have steriods in them-this helps, and get up and walk and that will relieve the tingling you will feel in your bones(actually in your bone marrow).
This is a means to the end result of health and that is what I tell myself every treatment, every blood-test, and every time I look at my beautiful bald head and ridiculous wig I wear. Find humor everywhere you can to keep yourself positive!
I cannot wait to meet you.

Paris said...

What a ride it has been. I agree with what Loni said.... you are beautiful and lovely with or without hair, my dear. I have never met anyone with such an amazing heart in all my life :) I'm here for you for the next roller coaster ride...Bring it on. We can do it.