Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Confirmed; The Cancer is Back

I went to the doctor’s yesterday, they drew blood and my counts were even lower than the last time. So Dr. Cripe wanted to do a bone marrow biopsy to confirm that the Leukemia had returned (note to self; Bone Marrow Biopsy’s hurt like a you know what!!)
They told us to go home and they would call us back later in the day or tomorrow. We took some books back to the library and ran next door to Subway, we no more than sat down to eat and Katie (the nurse) called with the news. They are going to let me have Thanksgiving with my family, and I’ll be admitted to the hospital on Monday, I’ll be there for four weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll have access to a computer in the hospital, but if so I’ll update when I feel up to it.

The joke is… I feel fine. If I did not have routine blood draws, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that I’m sick. Although now I walk like an old woman, because my hip still REALLY hurts.

Rick and I went out this morning to get some Christmas shopping done, and I’ll buy a few more things this weekend. Just to make sure that the kids have something to open on Christmas. If everything goes well I might get out of the hospital in time for Christmas, to spend that time with them, but I won’t be able to go out in those crowds (to get any extra shopping done) due to my immune system being too weak. Tomorrow I’m going back to work (for one day) I only had three vacation days left, and my official medical leave will start on Monday. I probably won’t be able to sit for 8 hours, but I’ll do my best.

My cousins baby Marco was due to come home from the hospital on Monday, but he is running a fever, and needed oxygen so unfortunately he has to stay in the hospital for a little longer. They diagnosed him with ALL (Leukemia). He will have to take chemo for three years, but he should be fine. Over 90% of children with this type of cancer are able to be cured. But please keep his family in your prayers, they are already having a tough time financially, and then add a sick child to that. That’s enough to discourage anybody, but their family is behind them and will see them through this.

Keep my husband and children in your prayers also. My husband is already having a hard time with the diagnosis, and my son Ricky is already starting to cling to me I probably got 50 kisses before he walked out the door for school this morning, and he hugged me forever.

Thursday, November 20, 2008



Other than being diagnosed with cancer… the waiting is excruciating. I’ve still got four days left until I go back to the doctor’s for more blood work/bone marrow biopsy. Last week was very, very rough… I couldn’t sleep for days; I’d fall asleep and be wide awake 20 minutes later. I finally got past the extreme anxiety and then I slept for days. So this week has been a lot better, although I still here Dr. Cripe saying, “This doesn’t look good, make sure you bring your husband to your next appointment.”

In the meantime, I’ve been packing up my desk at work just in case. I’ve went home early several days this week. Actually I called my region manager on Monday and asked him to send one of the girls from the other office over to help me out this week. I’ve felt light headed and was nervous that I would pass out, and being here by myself that wasn’t a very comforting thought. So he sent someone over to help me out this week, which has been a Godsend. Then he called me right back and asked me how I was feeling, and that if I needed to that I could just go home, as a matter of fact he told me that I could go home for this entire week, and he would make sure that I still got paid. Tempting as that was, I don’t think that I’d feel right doing that, what if my blood work and bone marrow biopsy comes back just fine next week, then how would that make me look??

My mother called me yesterday afternoon, and said that my cousin had called her and asked if she could take her and her son out to the emergency room. So my mom went over to pick them up, the second she saw Marco she told Ashley you make sure that you tell that doctor that there is Leukemia in the family. (My mother has a cousin that has Leukemia, and of course there’s me). She said that his skin tone was yellow, and his mouth and nose were white. She said that one look at him and it was like looking at me three years ago. So they took him out to the hospital, when they drew his blood, my mom said that he never moved, never cried or anything. They came back and said that he had a low red blood count. So they drew his blood again for further testing, and they told my cousin that it was one of three things:

1. He was anemic, in which case they would give him iron pills to correct.
2. He has Leukemia or
3. He has Lymphoma, in which case she would have to bring him right back out to the hospital.

So they sent them home while they waited for the results, and told her that they would call her within two hours to let her know what was going on. Two hours later Ashley called the hospital, because she still hadn’t heard anything. They told her that they were waiting on another test which would take an additional two hours. FINALLY, they called her back; she called my mom in hysterics, crying… He was diagnosed with Leukemia. They had to take him out to Riley’s Children’s Hospital last night at 10:30 pm they gave him a blood transfusion last night, and another one this morning, and they did a bone marrow biopsy this morning to determine what type of Leukemia he has. So please keep little four year old Marco in your prayers. His family definitely needs it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tough Weekend...

Yesterday I was a complete and total mess. We’ve told close friends and family just in case I have to go back into the hospital, so we can set up a support system. We decided not to tell Ricky & Breanna at first. But with this being all everybody can talk about we decided at 5:30 yesterday morning as we were walking around Wal-Mart that Rick & I should probably just tell them before they hear it from someone else.

When we got back from the store, we gave them their new gloves/hats/scarves and we were just sitting around talking. I asked Rick if he wanted to talk to them about it now. He kind of shrugged and walked away. Then I said do you want to tell them or do you want me to do it. He said that he would just do it. (We had already told the two older kids). So anyways we told Breanna to pause their movie, and told them that we wanted to talk to them. Breanna said, “HUMPH” and flung herself back onto the air mattress. Rick teared up and had to walk away. So the ball was in my court at that point. I told them that mommy had a Doctor’s appointment on Thursday with my cancer doctor and my blood came back bad (they are only 6 & 8), so I’m going back in two weeks to have my blood drawn again, and if it’s still bad they are going to do a bone marrow biopsy to see if mommies Leukemia is back. If it is then I’ll have to go to the hospital for a month and Grandma & Grandpa are going to move in to Khrystyne’s room to stay here and help take care of you.

Well Ricky was seven shades of excited when I said that Grandpa would be moving in. Breanna on the other hand said, “I knew it was going to be bad news.” I told her that we’ve been through this before and we can do it again. Then we made breakfast, ate, and went for a walk. I kept running out of breath, and was completely light headed (I had a headache all weekend), and this morning I found some new pinhead bleeds. So unless a miracle happens, in the words of my Doctor this isn’t looking good.

After our walk yesterday Rick & I decided to take a nap, so we left the younger two downstairs with Khrystyne, and at 9:30 in the morning we went upstairs to take a nap. We had been awake since 3am so needless to say neither one of us can sleep for shit.

We were talking; because of course we couldn’t fall asleep. He would tear over, and then I would tear over. Then he kept looking at me like he was trying to take me in, and I just started crying. I couldn’t help it. I don’t like to cry in front of him, because he’s so sensitive, and after losing his mother to cancer, I know that he’s scared. But he handled the situation really well. He comforted me, and he let me know that I could cry in front of him any time that I needed to. We finally fell asleep, but no less than 30 minutes later I was once again wide awake. So I jumped into the shower, and stayed there for the better part of an hour. I just couldn’t turn off the water, it was so surreal. My fingers were all wrinkled like I had sat in the tub forever.

I guess more than anything, I’m just really scared. Of course I don’t want to die. I want to be here with my husband and my children. I don’t want some other woman raising my babies. Khrystyne is 18 now, and Courtney is 15 ½ so those two I’m not too worried about. Although I know losing me would be rough on them, but they are a couple of real tough cookies. I know that they will look after Ricky & Breanna for me. But you know as well as I do that it’s not the same. I want to see my children get married; I want to be around to hold my first grandbabies someday. These are the things that keep me going.

Rick said well at least this time going into it we already know the good news, and the bad news. The good news is at least we know what to expect. The bad news is we know what to expect. I couldn’t have said it better.

Then to top the weekend off, Courtney came home last night (she stayed at a friends all weekend) she sat on the couch next to me and said, I don’t like lying to you, so I’m just going to tell you. I said, “What?” She said me and Allison pierced our noses today. I sat up to take a look at her, and it looked like a pimple on the side of her nose, I said, “No you didn’t, that’s a pimple.” She said. “No really; we did.” So upon closer inspection, I realized that she most certainly did pierce her nose. They bought ear piercing studs and pushed it through their nostrils. She says to me, “Don’t worry, I looked it up online, and I sterilized everything.” Yeah right, how do you sterilize the inside of your nose?? I had her put the stud back in, until I could call our family doctor today. I told her if you have to get a tetanus shot, I don’t want no screaming and crying, no four people holding you down. You had better just sit there and take it. I swear one of these days POW right to the moon!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bad News:(

Yesterday I had an appointment with my oncologist/hematologist, after my blood work they put me in a room to wait for Dr. Cripe, and his nurse Katie. (I saw Katie in the waiting room before my appointment, and she came over to give me a hug). When Dr. Cripe came into the room he commented on how good I looked, and Katie also said that I looked really good (they tricked me with these comments) Then Dr. Cripe asked me how I was feeling? I told him that I felt real good, just keeping general conversation up. He and Katie both sat down (RED FLAG) and he said to me, “I want to show you these blood counts.” (RED FLAG) I looked down at the chart (it’s a chart of all of my blood work in chronological order) all of my counts were up UNTIL 11/6/08; currently my WBC is 3.1, my RBC is 3.8, and my platelet count is 83. I just nodded like I already knew this was coming.

He looked me straight in the eye and told me that he didn’t like what he was seeing. “This is very worrisome.” Was one of the quotes, and “We’re very, very, very concerned” was the other. He wants me to come back in two weeks to see if my counts come back up, if not then I will have to have another Bone Marrow Biopsy to see if the Leukemia is back. (Unfortunately I already know the answer to that question.) I went on to tell Dr. Cripe about finding the pinhead bleeds on my stomach, and gums last month, and that I almost passed out walking around the block the night before (several times). So I’ll go back on November 24th for my follow up blood work, and most likely a bone marrow biopsy, and then I’ll have to start back over from square one… By the way this was the appointment that he was supposed to tell me that I could start coming to see him every 4 months.

Of all days to leave out of the house without my cell phone… My husband was sleeping; my kids were at school, so I stopped by my mother’s house on my way home to kind of get that conversation out of the way. She wanted to know why I was there at 2:30 in the afternoon; I told her that I had a half a day because I had a Doctors appointment. Then she asked, “What’s wrong, what did they say.” I said, “Well, it wasn’t good.” And then went into the whole conversation with her. An hour or so later I left and went home to tell my husband. That did not go over well at all. He instantly started crying, his mother just passed two years ago from cancer. So I know that’s what he thinks of when he hears the words recurrence.

I’ve made my peace with it.

If it is, it is, and I will deal with it. I will try to make this experience (not a pleasant one) but not a horrible one for my family’s sake. At least going into this I kind of know what to expect. If you take the unknown out of the equation it’s not as scary. I’m not saying that I know exactly what’s going to happen, but I’ve been through this once before, so I know what to expect for the most part.

One things for sure, once I start treatment again. I will not be going back to work anytime soon. I will file for disability this time, and give my body time to heal. That way if I do get better I would have done something good for myself, but if I don’t get better I’ll have that much more time to spend with my children.

So that’s where I’m at today… I’ll know more in two weeks, and I’ll let you know when I know.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Have you voted today??

I did... You can't complain if you don't do your part and vote!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

Breanna & her Book Buddy from school

Breanna, & her best friend, & Book Buddy

Ricky & Breanna

I really want to do more than a weekly update, but it’s just not happening. (Sorry)

Not a whole lot has gone on this week, we’ve just been taking it easy (up until yesterday it’s been really cold here) so we’ve not done much more than come home, eat, and watch T.V. I know it’s a bad habit to get back into (we really cut down on watching T.V. over the summer). But then again I AM NOT A FAN OF THE COLD!!

Rick and I are going to a Halloween party (for Adults only) tonight, so I’m sure I’ll have something really funny to post next week. He got completely smashed last year (within an hour), and tried taking pictures of my cousins BOOBS (she was dressed like Beth from Dog the Bounty Hunter). He completely made an ass out of himself (along with her husband) to the extent we have not been back over to their house for this whole year because he is completely humiliated.

We took the youngest two Trick-or-Treating last night, they had a blast. I got some really cute pictures of them with some of their friends. Khrystyne’s plans fell through so she dressed up (18 yrs old) and handed out candy for us, had she got in touch with her girlfriends however she would have been trick-or-treating as well. Courtney stayed the night with one of her friends, and they went trick-or-treating, this is the first time Courtney has been in 3 or 4 years. We have two huge bowls full of candy, I’m giving them a couple of days with a few pieces here and there, and then we are going to give the rest away. (Ricky & Breanna both had cavities at the last dentist appointment.)