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Surrounded by Angels

This site is for our sister Karen.

Latest journal entry

May Update


Today, Thursday, May 16, 2019 I went to see Dr. Balaraman, my oncologist.  The appointment was a follow-up to discuss side effects from the Xalkori chemotherapy pill and the week stay in the hospital – totally unexpected! 

Bob and I went on vacation April 12, 2019. We stayed in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In Texas we decided to visit Palo Duro Canyon State Park and do some hiking.  After hiking I was not feeling very well; had a fever and my equilibrium was off.  We were on our way from Arizona to Tennessee for a week stay when I told Bob he needed to take me home.  We were over 1,500 miles away on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Bob had me home by 1:30 am Sunday morning, April 28, 2019 pulling the trailer behind us. 

Monday morning I called my oncologist and told her what was going on – she told me to go to Royal Oak Beaumont emergency immediately.  After having blood work done – my sodium and liver enzymes were totally out of whack.  My sodium was 30 – should be 145.  My liver was up over 2,000 should be around 40.  On Monday, April 29, 2019 they did a CT scan with contrast and found that the kidney had deceased along with the rib mass and lymph nodes next to the lung. 

After a week of medication I was released from the hospital on Friday, May 3, 2019.  Since coming home, I have been on three different medications and am doing and feeling much better.  They believe all my issues came from the immunotherapy and the Xalkori reacting against each other and attacking my liver – and they also told me I was drinking too much water.  Who would have thought that was part of the issue. 

Dr. Balaraman told me today (May 16, 2019) that they did not see anything on the kidney.  She asked me to make an appointment with Dr. Gadgeel, lung cancer specialist, at the University of Michigan. I called today to make an appointment.  We will discuss with him how to proceed – do I keep taking the Xalkori, reduce the dose or hold off. 

Liver is still a little high – I have an appointment with the liver doctor on Monday, May 20, 2019.  I also have an appointment with the pulmonary doctor on Thursday, May 30, 2019 to follow-up on my stay in the hospital. 

All in all, a pretty good end to a bad week or so. During the last week I've actually had a chance to improve my knitting and needle point skills. 

The encouragement, support, and prayers from family and friends has brought me to this point (always being positive) and will continue to lead me on a road to good health and a long life to enjoy with family and friends. 

Please continue to send love and prayers – love & hugs!


Optimism: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster; it's more like a  cha-cha. Here’s to being an optimist!




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