Friday, January 30, 2009

Still Waiting

Just wanted to let you know that we are still waiting for info. Spoke with the doctor today and he is trying to schedule her next biopsy for next week, but he hasn't heard back from the surgeon yet. We will update as soon as we know something! The first photo is of a very excited Carlene because Marne brought her some of her favorite potatoes...only Marne can make them to Carlene's satisfaction =) The second is of Carlene and me in front of the hospital.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm Radioactive!!!!!

So today I got my PETScan and it wasn't that bad. First, the nurse had to check my blood, like Alyna, I didn't even feel it. Then, they sprayed my arm with this cold stuff so the IV wouldn't hurt. It didn't. They injected me with radioactive liquid and I to stay in my room for an hour so the door to my room was made of led and it weighed sooo much. I also had to drink contrast, which is nasty. I was a little worried that the PETScan was going to be a really long tube, that would probably make me panic and freak out.... but it wasn't. It was kinda like a CATScan, but with 2 donut machines instead of one. It took about 30 minutes and my nurse was super nice. John also took a bunch of pictures. These are of me with the PETScan machine. Thank you all for your continual support.


Monday, January 26, 2009

PETScan tomorrow

I am in the car with my mom because we are staying at a hotel tonight, so we don't have to face traffic in the morning. This weekend I bet that Alicia couldn't go a week without soda since I can't have it. You can do it Alicia. :) I was able to see some of my relatives from Texas. Thank you guys soo much for the books, I'll miss you. I hope tomorrow goes okay. I'm a little worried about the whole shot thing. Maybe it won't be that bad. I know I will be in God's hands and under His watchful eyes. Thank you all for everything.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Movie Night 1-22-09

Yesterday, a bunch of my friends and I were supposed to go down and be extras in a movie but the rain canceled that. Instead some of us got together and saw Mall Cop and then ate pizza. It was sooooo much fun. If you haven't seen that movie, you really need to. (The flash was super bright in the first one, so if we are smiling weird or squinting that's why:) On Tuesday I have to go down for a PET Scan. After those results come back they will know which lymphnode to byapsy. Then after my surgery, and those results, they will know what type of chemo I need. Thank you guys for keeping in your prayers, I know I say that in like almost every blog, but it really means alot to me. I know that God has blessed me with amazing family and friends and I will find my strength through Him.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21,2009

Yesterday, my mommy called the doctor and he said that the lymphnode that they removed was dead tissue. So now I will have a PET scan and they will determine which lymphnode will be the best to biopsy... AGAIN!!! They still need to figure out what stage I am in and then I can begin my chemo. They are hoping to have everything figured out by the end of next week. I am very excited because this Saturday I get to run my first flag run as queen. :) Thanks for all of your support. The picture was taken at the Palmdale Christmas Parade in December.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thursday Movie Night

On Thursday evening, we have the opportunity to be a part of the movie Warrior. It is filming in Valencia and they have advertised for background people. We have put in for a group, but we need 30 people. It sounds like so much fun. If you are interested in going with us let us know via email or a call and we will get you on the roster. You can check it out at The age limit is 16 and they have a dress code which is nice casual. We will be in the grandstands of a Lacrosse match...they provide food and maybe transportation...Come be in a movie with me...and lets have some fun before my chemo starts. We are in the process of working out the details with the group reservationist and will get you more info when we know more. Feel free to invite your friends so we can get to the 30 limit!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Braniac Olivia figured out how to include photos...she's the computer whiz in this family.  So we have added a few photos from our first two visits to the hospital.  Carlene enjoyed driving her bed and cuddling with her puppy that her sisters gave her to keep her company. Having Heather by her side was a true blessing!

Not another needle!

Thanks to Heather holding her hand, Carlene made it through the blood draw without any tears...that's a first!

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16,2008

Today I officially disenrolled from my school. I'm sad only because I'll miss my friends soo much. I am doing really well and recovering with no pain from my surgery. The doctor said we will have the results on Monday. He is trying to schedule a PET scan for the same day, so we can make less trips. After the results on Monday and the results of the PET scan, they will know what type of chemo I will need. Thank you for all the comments and for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. You all are the best and I thank God for such a stable and loving support family.
Love, Carlene

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14,2009

Today was my surgery where they took out the one enlarged lymph node on my neck for further testing. We were caught in traffic on the way down so we were about an hour late. Once I got there and  checked in a nurse took us back and I got to wear very comfy unmatching pants and gown. The nurse gave me a teddy bear but I couldn't take it out of the box so I just took my stuffed puppy Kiko, that Oli and Alicia got for me,everywhere.   Then we sat in another waiting room for a little while. Finally, they took us upstairs. They gave me some nasty tasting medicine to make me relaxed and calm. After about 15 minutes they rolled me away and thru the double doors.  Since I HATE needles (like many of you know) they put a mask over me and thats all I remember. When I woke up I had an I.V in me and all sorts of other things attached to me. The clock on the wall kept making double and it freaked me out. I guess I was acting loopy but to me it was perfectly normal. Now I am home and I feel fine just really hungry because all I had was some apple juice at 7:30 this morning. For dinner I had some broth and a roll, so I'm hungry. We'll know more by Friday and then I'll post it. Thanks again for all your support. I keep thanking God for having such loving and caring friends and family. 
I love you. -Carlene

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13, 2009

After a 13 hour day trip to Children's Hospital , we are finally home. The doctors were very accommodating...after having more blood drawn and then meeting with her oncologist, he set up an appointment for an hour later to meet with her surgeon...he wanted to save us an additional trip down there...long story short, we will be returning back down there tomorrow morning to have one of her lymph nodes surgically removed so that they can do further testing to determine the exact chemo treatment. She will also be doing a PET scan, but that is not yet scheduled.

A HUGE thanks to everyone for your prayers and especially Heather, Carlene's best friend, for rearranging her finals so that she could make the trip with Carlene. She really helped keep Carlene at ease and made the day more bearable.

On the horse side of things, Carlene received approval to ride at an ease...she was ecstatic about that...much more so than the surgery news =)

Monday, January 12, 2009

God is Good

In the time of need, it is always comforting to know that we are not alone.  While Carlene's diagnosis has been devastating and took us all by surprise, God is good!  Today was my day to get paperwork in order, transfer Carlene out of her high school and into the home study program, and discover what options I have with my work.  Turns out that I at sometime in the past had signed up for the catastrophic leave program.  This program will be a lifesaver for us!  It allows me to take time off work, with full pay, for up to 12 months.  God willing I will not have to use it all. This program has relieved a huge stress/concern of ours!  John has been out of work since July and times have been overwhelmingly difficult in a financial standpoint.  I thank God that Carlene's cancer was discovered early and that it is treatable and that I can take time off work to be with her!!!  I am also extremely thankful that I work with some of the best co-workers and that I have an extremely competent substitute covering my class.  I have no worries that my students will continue to receive a wonderful education during whatever time I need to take off work.  

Everyone wants to know...How did we know?...Why did we go to the doctor in the first place?  Just before New Years, Carlene had a lump appear on the left side of her neck.  Her sister, Olivia, noticed it first and within an hour it had grown to measure 6 cm. and seemed to be floating in fluid.  We went immediately to our doctor who thought it was some type of allergic reaction and prescribed her medication for the next 4 days.  When that did not work, he decided to perform a blood test to check for mono...when that came back negative, he sent her to a specialist who sent her immediately in for a CAT scan...then a biopsy the next morning. The next 2 days were the longest in our life...then the results...not only did she receive the news of the cancer, but along with it came a restriction to horseback riding and any other physical activity.  Seems she has several large lymph nodes near her esophagus and if they were to enlarge like the one in her neck, her air supply would be cut off.  What caused the lump on her neck was the enlarged node causing a blood vessel to rupture, probably due to physical activity. This caused the node to come to the surface where it was visible.  So once again, I thank God that we had animal pens to clean and horses to ride so that Carlene could be physical and not be a couch potato!  Carlene shows no other signs, which is a good thing, means we caught it early.  Hindsight...there have been some signs, but they were not enough to warrant a doctors visit.  This past semester Carlene has missed more school that ever in her life for not feeling up to par.  There were several days that she got up and got ready for school, just to go back to bed.  She could not pinpoint what was wrong, she just said she did not feel well.  She also took forever to get over a cold when everyone else only had it for a couple of days.  So there were signs, just not consistent enough to think anything was wrong.

Thank you all for your prayers and support!  Your emails and calls were much appreciated.  We will keep you up to date on everything through this blog.  You can also leave messages through this also...this blog thing is all new to me, but seems to be quite useful when so many people want to be kept informed.  

God bless,

January 12, 2009

On January 9, 2009 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I will be going to Children's Hospital for my treatment. The doctors say the treatment will take 4 to 6 months until I am in remission. During this time I can't ride or do anything strenuous. I won't be able to go to school either because the chemo will make me very tired and I will have to miss too many days for treatment. I will be doing home study for my 2nd semester. I will be going to Children's tomorrow and I will find out more about the process of chemo then. I want to thank all of you for your love, support, and prayers. I know with my friends, my family, and the love of God I will remain strong through this process.