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Posted 2017-11-18T19:29:57Z

No News is Good News

Lately, this common phrase has proven true with Kelly. Her PET scan will happen sometime near the New Year, allowing the radiation to take full effect and her body to heal.  Around our Thanksgiving table, these are a few things for which we are grateful … [...]

Posted 2017-10-24T23:40:16Z

Waiting ...

Each day as Kelly leaves for radiation therapy, Champ moves to the window and watches her leave. He then stays for 2-3 hours simply waiting for her return. He doesn’t nap or react as he watches each car pass, each squirrel scamper or each leaf blow. No amount of cajoling makes him leave his post for more than a few minutes. Champ isn’t the only one waiting. This week, time seems to be crawling by as we await the end of Kelly’s treatments. With 3 days to go, the waiting feels a bit more intense and a bit more exciting.[...]

Posted 2017-10-13T13:44:42Z

Bark Box

Throughout Kelly’s road to recovery, we have been amazed with the outpouring of love, concern, prayers, gifts, cards, hugs, and other expressions that have meant more to us than you can ever know!!! We cannot fathom going through this difficult journey without each one of you! Of course, Kelly would rather be at A&M and graduating in May, but each of you do make cancer suck a bit less. She has received some great gifts—blankets & quilts (she uses them all), lush bath bombs, a body pillow (which is getting lots of use), gift cards, coloring books, baskets of things to do, cookies and cakes, comfortable lounge clothes, etc., and a multitude of cards with well wishes and promises for prayer. Our cups (and Kelly’s room) runneth over![...]

Posted 2017-10-06T23:58:56Z

Imagine This ...

Imagine yourself lying on a table as several PhDs in Physics measure precisely how much your chest rises and falls with each breath. Since your chest rises different amounts and usually more than the average person’s (which is 1 inch—-a bit of trivia added to our medical knowledge), you are told to hold your breath as long as you possibly can and that is then measured. Just to make things more interesting the doctors make a mask that conforms precisely to your face. It is made from a special kind of plastic heated in warm water so that it becomes soft and pliable. It dries almost immediately and is then placed over your face and secured to the table. Your head, chin and neck never move even a fraction of an inch with this device. Many measurements are taken again. Because having this mask on is disconcerting to you, the level of your chest while you are holding your breath changes and the process of measuring starts all over. We are sure you are imagining this experience as unpleasant, but what if this process took 5.5 hours!!! Granted, you got breaks but you were on that table for well over an hour each time. Now you can imagine how long, tiring, frustrating, uncomfortable and somewhat claustrophobic that first day was for Kelly. Oh, and let’s throw in that the mask was SO tight, it left you with deep waffle marks all over your head and face (mask picture below is not Kelly; forehead is).[...]

Posted 2017-09-28T15:48:04Z

Bad News, Good News

It is fair to say that we knew very little about radiation before a couple of weeks ago.  It is also fair to say that we still don’t understand much about it.  What we have learned, however, is that there are different kinds of radiation therapies, and they are not treated equally by the insurance companies.  [...]

Posted 2017-09-26T03:11:00Z

Monday, Monday.....PET Scan Report

Am I showing my age if the song “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas pops into my head each Monday when we meet with our oncologist?  I was singing this to myself (my kids outlawed my singing aloud years ago) as the three of us silently walked to check in at Medical City for Kelly’s final (or so we thought) PET scan.  Chemo was over! Woohoo!  But none of us felt like rejoicing despite the nurse and doctor trying to add a celebratory air to the appointment.  Yes, we are immensely grateful and relieved for this phase of treatment to be over.  Kelly has been through so much and this regimen has taken its toll on her body and spirit.  There were far too many days where getting out of bed to go down the hall to her bathroom was as much as her body would allow.  Too many days when taking a shower or bath required more energy than she had.  Too many days she waited for meds to kick in to relieve pain, nausea or other side effects. When the doctor asked why she wasn’t happier, she replied, “I’ll celebrate when I begin to feel better.”  [...]

Posted 2017-09-21T12:58:00Z

Apples and Oranges

The phrase “comparing apples and oranges” is often invoked when a person compares two items that are thought to be so different that any comparison of terms would be invalid.  Similarly in the lymphoma cancer world, comparing chemo and radiation, might make for an interesting compare and contrast school paper.  [...]

Posted 2017-09-14T00:01:00Z

The Cancer Coaster

Kelly is the only one of our family who will ride roller coasters.  The rest of us don’t enjoy the jolts, the ups and downs, the twists and turns, and especially the speed and heights at which coasters go.  As many people have experienced, a cancer diagnosis is a wild physical and emotional roller coaster.   While roller coaster can be descriptive of life itself along with many difficult experiences besides cancer, it does seem to be a fitting characterization. [...]

Posted 2017-09-02T18:24:00Z

Almost there!

Have you ever been in the home stretch for something, but instead of being energized you didn’t know if you had it in you to reach the finish line?  This was us on Monday (28th) during the beginning of chemo week, and it actually seemed harder to start than the others.  Kelly has been more fatigued and weak after each treatment, and that, combined with her cold, made us wonder if she had “hit the wall” (ask a marathoner to define the idiom) and could keep going.  There was some discussion with the doctors about postponing treatment to gain some strength. But in the end, Kelly wanted it over and done with.  So 6 days ago began what we hope is her last chemo treatment.  [...]