Wednesday, 25 March 2009

No news is good news....

I haven't written anything for a week.....mostly I guess that's because it's been a 'normal' week.... remember, normal is good, normal is desired, normal is the plan....
We went for a wonderful impromptu family break at the weekend down to the coast (Charmouth) for some fossil hunting and of course to listen to the sound of the waves lapping the seashore....and to talk to the cows that we shared space with (we stayed on a farm !)....we did lots of 'normal' things including skimming stones into the sea, playing catch on the beach, lying down in the sunshine, had cooked breakfast, a fab meal out, played skittles, pool, darts....ahhhh, normality and fun family times.... don't we just love it ?!
Karena has had some ongoing off-and-on tummy pains for the last week but they seem to have gone as of today...very mysterious, and of course there's still a long way to go....the next milestone is the appointment with the consultant on 1st April when I think they will finalise the operation the meantime, we're happy to stick with a normal life.
Stuff we're grateful for today :-
  • Normal (almost) strength has returned - but she's not jumping through hoops just yet !
  • Normal daily routine (walking to school, walking dog, cooking etc)
Stuff to pray for :-
  • Consultant appointment on 1st April - no surprises, only good news, date for operation etc
  • Blood counts to recover quickly (they will be the limiting factor for the op as I understand it)
  • Ongoing good health
Cheers !

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Half-time results are in....

CT scan results from today..... :-
  • the 2 tumours show a "marked reduction in volume"
  • the maximum diameter of the 2 tumours is now 6cm (was 15cm when this all began).
  • the ovary-uterus is now much more defined (previously it was all splurged together by the ovarian tumour).
  • there has been a "fairly good response to treatment" (fairly good???- they're joking, right ?!?)
  • there is no evidence of cancer in the other organs etc
So the consultants discussed the next stage of the plan for Karena this morning and they want to operate as soon as feasible (when her blood count recovers from last weeks chemo) - most probably mid April. We have an appointment on 1st April to discuss with the consultant, and they will still complete the other half of the chemo (3 sessions) post-op.

So as far as I can tell, it's all good news today ;-)

Stuff we're grateful for :-
  • All the above !
  • Karena is definitely now on the up-slope after last weeks chemo
As for stuff to pray for - well, let's just thank God for answered prayers to date,eh ?!

Monday, 16 March 2009

And so another week begins....

So the babe of the moment had her scan on Saturday....apart from being treated somewhat like a pin-cushion when they injected her with the dye they use, it all went went well. So glad that last week is over - after chemo, it seems to totally wipe out the entire week.....Karena was soooooooo tired all week, no energy, some niggling stomach pain, but still strong in heart. Yesterday seeemed to be the start of the recovery as she had some energy at last. We enjoyed the sunshine and a magnnificent sunday roast and seeing Karena's parents.
Today she has ongoing pains in her stomach but of course we don't really know whether that's normal or otherwise....
So I phoned for the CT scan result today - they don't like to give out results over the phone in case it's bad news, and they aren't with you to help you hear it ! Anyway, the results weren't back today and so I need to phone back tomorrow to find out the result of Saturday's scan. My biggest fear is that (whilst the main tumour has clearly reduced in size), the cancer could have spread to another site which would not be good. There seem to be no guarantees medically on how the cancer will behave....
Anyway, my hope is that it's just significantly reduced, and that we are ok to go for an early operation.

So stuff we're grateful for today :
  • The sunshine
  • The garden - Karena's managed some gardening today
  • Friends, family, friends, family.....
Stuff to pray for :-
  • CTscan results to be significant reduction in cancer size and no spread !
  • Stomach pains to go
  • Strength to return

Monday, 9 March 2009

Quick update

So the chemo went ahead today.....after an early start...and lots of delays awaiting blood test results, to see consultant etc !

Karena got home around 5:30pm, totally pooped & looking pale .......but glad to be home !
Family dinner arrived at the door just a few minutes later (how good is that ?!)

This Saturday (14th) Karena will now have a CT scan to assess more precisely the size of things...and the doc's will decide on 24th March whether to go ahead with the operation early or to go for another chemo - this will depend on the CT scan results but also on her blood count-white blood cells and platelets.

Stuff we're grateful for :-

  • Cancer has shrunk
  • Half-way through chemo
  • Prawn sandwiches (!)
Stuff to pray for :-

  • Further shrinking of the tumours
  • No spread of the cancer
  • Continued strength & recovery
  • Lack of sickness
  • Blood count to be ok for next chemo

Friday, 6 March 2009

Just another day......

Today has been another roller coaster !

The down side is that when Karena saw the consultant this morning they said that her blood test results were too low (white blood cell count I think) they repeated the test hoping they'd come up overnight but alas they had today's planned chemo #3 is now delayed until Monday. Most frustrating when you psyche yourself up for it....BUT.....

The GOOD NEWS is that the consultant examined her and reckons that the main ovarian tumour has reduced by about two thirds (yes you heard it right! he reckons that it is now about one third of it's original size !!) The other good news is based on her blood test results - that the cancer marker that they measure (which was over 6900 when she started (very high)) now just 120. Medically I have little idea what the numbers really mean but apparently the cancer secretes something into the blood which is what they measure, so the higher the number, the greater the cancer cells) - anyway, the doctors are very pleased about her progress (not as much as us though !!)....So much so, that they have now said that the tumour is now operable and they may elect to operate after she recovers from chemo #3 (maybe a month from now ?), and then finish off the chemo sessions after the operation.

So the day started with a frustrating blow but then a massive high with the good news. What a girl I am married to !

So the pink boxing gloves come off until Monday - and hopefully she will be OK for chemo #3 then ....bring it on !

Stuff we're grateful for today :
  • The wonderful results we've received
  • Friends who are always amazing us with their kindness, generosity and faithfulness in prayer
  • Our Lord who 'never leaves us nor forsakes us.'
Stuff to pray for :-
  • Blood count to increase so chemo can happen on Monday
  • Continued strength & good health
  • Scan (after chemo #3) to confirm doc's assessment and operation to be brought forward

Have a great weekend !

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Seconds away, Round #3....

Has another week gone by already ??.....I have been somewhat remiss in my blog updates - sorry...please bear with me...

In general terms, Karena is doing really well.
The first week after her treatment in session #2 was a bit of a washout, but the last 2 weeks have been fantastic - significantly improved in terms of more energy, no pain, good sleeping, doing stuff with the children, laughing, cooking and even a bit of cleaning :-)
Life feels really good right now in comparison to where we were just a month or so ago.....BUT.....we are nowhere near out-of-the-woods yet and the road is a long one...... Chemo #3 is tomorrow so the boxing gloves (girlie pink this time!) are out again.

Karena is out tonight with some friends which is a great way for her to spend her pre-chemo evening ! As for me, I'm OK, and really glad to be doing life with the babe with all of it's highs and lows...taking just one day at a time. She's so fab and my best friend in the whole world !

Things I'm grateful for today :-
  • The new higher energy Karena !
  • Medicine - the chemo really is having a positive effect !
  • Springtime - when life seems to start afresh in so many ways.
Things to pray for, for tomorrow's chemo :-

  • Blood test results to be OK so she can actually have her chemo
  • That the nurse can get a 'line' in for the drip (it's been a problem and sore the last 2 times)
  • Good health for the next week as she recovers (no sickness, no joint pain, no fever etc)
Thanks so much for standing with us....