Well…I can’t believe it has been over 2 years since I updated. So much has happened that it would take me forever to update everyone. Sooo…I will start with the current status :)
Lily is now 9 and even more in love with gymnastics then ever before. She is a level six and is at the gym over 20 hours a week. However, there is no other place she would rather spend her time…other then home of course…haha! She got really sick towards the end of winter/beginning of spring. She missed so much school that we ended up pulling her out of school and homeschooling. It was the best spring I have had! We had so much fun and with the new circumstances I am thrilled that I am going to have a chance to do it again this year!
Riley is 6 and is all boy. He has more bumps, bruises, and scars then any kid I know. He loves all sports but his favorite is baseball…imagine that ;) He had a great spring season and was selected for the Coach Pitch all star team. Unfortunately he was only able to play one game and then it got to be too much because I was in the hospital. He is ready for fall ball this year and we will not let chemo or anything else get in the way of him playing. He also wanted to be homeschooled when we pulled Lily. So, he was also in my “class” this spring. He also loved it and has requested to be in my class next year!
Ricky has continued to remain cancer free. God is good and faithful through it all. He has been a rock for our family…or a Stone (haha)! I couldn’t have asked for a more faithful Spiritual Leader for our home and a more loving husband and daddy for Lily and Riley. As we face this mountain before us, I feel confident and strong having him by my side!
Then we come to me…the hot mess..haha! I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer on March 1, 2011. I was almost finished with my Master’s in Educational Leadership and through the help of friends(thanks PD!) and kind professors, I graduated in May of 2011.
I went through chemo that summer and hit a few bumps along the way, but finished in November of 2011. I was declared cancer free. With my new degree and love of homeschooling, I applied for numerous jobs at Connections Academy in hopes of getting hired for a full-time class. Connections is a public home school. Our goal was for me to get one year under my belt, and then home school Lily when she went to 5th grade. However, my plans were not God’s plans!
I had a doctor’s appointment just for a check up in the beginning of June. I had a small stroke that had no lasting side effects so wanted to see me. The appointment went well and he said just to be cautious and if I had any symptoms to go directly to the ER. He set up an appointment for 3 weeks later to follow-up.
About 2 weeks after my appointment I notice a few lumps pop up around my hysterectomy scar line. I had some friends feel it…lol and no one thought that it was serious. Possibly some scar tissue or tissue build up from sutures trying to pop up from the inside scar. I had an appointment already set up for the following week so I just let it go and waited for the appointment. I went in on Wednesday, June 20 and my doctor wasn’t highly concerned but wanted me to go see a gynecological oncologist to be on the safe side. My new doctor, Dr. Pulaski, wasn’t available until June 29. They saw no rush, so we said that was fine.
Unfortunately the pain continued to increase and the lumps got bigger. So I called on Tuesday morning and they were able to get my appointment moved up to Wednesday. By Tuesday afternoon, I couldn’t take the pain anymore, so off I went to the ER. I had some scans that showed the lumps were tumors,so I was admitted. Dr. Pulaski would be able to see me the next morning.
A PET scan showed that I had active cancer cells in my body. The lumps were cancer. I also had a 3 cm mass near my rectum that was cancerous and my lymph nodes up to my breasts were cancerous. What a shock to say the least. After 11 days in the hospital, I was released.
It was agreed upon that surgery was not an option. This cancer was the opposite of my previous cancer. Although it is considered reoccurring ovarian cancer, it was very fast growing. We needed to act and we needed to do it fast. So, Dr. Pulaski was thrilled that a trial study was being done by her partner out of the same office. It is for a drug called Doxil that was perfect for this type of cancer. It is made specifically for reoccurring ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer that is platinum resistant. That is me!! Not only that, but the side effects were minimal compared to normal chemos. You can read about Doxil here.
Then I got the call yesterday that I was denied into the study. My emotions were all over the place. I was mad. I was upset. I was frustrated. Then my faith kicked into gear. My thoughts went to…”Maybe God is protecting me and Doxil isn’t the drug that I need?” “Maybe He is wanting me to lay this at His feet and see if I am willing to give it over to Him?” “Maybe there is something better headed my way?” I do know this! When God closes one door, He always opens another one. So I have chosen not to stress and give it to God. He has taken care of our family so far and I know that I know that I know that He won’t leave us now!
So Dr. Pulaski suggested that I take a combo of Cisplatin and Gemzar. Gulp. I have heard horror stories. I have done lots of research though, and it isn’t all bad. I read a lot of message boards and there have been lots of women that have had great success with these two drugs. Yes, it is a rough road to get through it, but not bad once it is over. This is an easy read that I found about the two drugs. Click here. I will be on the 21 day cycle for one year. I get chemo on day 1 and 8 and the time varies, then I have off until day 21. Then the cycle starts over. I have heard and read that days 9 through 21 are needed to give your red and white blood cell counts a time to recover.
I can not tell you how blessed I am and how undeserving I feel. My family and friends have stepped up and been amazing so far. Not to mention BAT, baseball assistance team. Click here to read about them. They have been so helpful and are an amazing organization for anyone involved in baseball that needs assistance. Our sweet friends have set up an account to help with some of our other bills through Helping Hands Ministries. Click here to read about them. They are the sweetest group of people who have such a heart for the Lord and want to serve. We are blessed to be helped by both of these organizations.
Where Lily takes gymnastics has become a family to us as well. Click here to read about Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy. They have set up a fundraiser for us and we can’t think of a better place for Lily to spend her time. Our church is another “family” that we feel blessed to have in our lives. Princeton Pike Church of God has been there for us through it all as well.
There are soooo many friends that have been there to help us out. It would take me days to list all of you. Just know that everything you do for us is so appreciated. From the prayers, to meals, to cleaning, to rides for the kids, the list goes on and on.
Thank you all for your prayers. I enjoy reading every single comment, email, text, and card. You all have lifted me up when I haven’t been able to lift myself. Please continue to pray for Ricky and his strength as endures this trial. Also the kids. Seriously, they couldn’t be any more amazing. They know what is about to begin and are armed and ready for this battle. Please pray for their continued strength and faith as we move forward.
I love you all and will really try to keep this blog updated for everyone. I know this is the easiest way for me to stay in touch.
Remember, no matter what you may be going through, no trial is too big or too small for the Lord. If any of you need prayer, please post it as a message or send me a private email. I have some amazing prayer warriors that will be reading this.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.