Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Weekend

After having our air card swiped during a sleep walking expedition, we are finally back on line again! I apologize for the limited blogging.

Memorial weekend marked Carlene's last episode of low blood counts. Of course, she could not just sail through it smoothly. Saturday evening she began to feel light headed and started running a fever. After calling the on call doctor at Children's Hospital we were sent to our local ER. So we packed up and headed in around 10:30 pm. I chose to go to Lancaster Community Hospital this time because I have started getting bills from AV Hospital from the last visit. It seems that Blue Cross is undergoing contract negotiations with them so they are not a covered hospital right now. I had no prior experience with Community and I wish it was that way still! Our experience was horrible and I will never go back willingly. If we had not already experienced this before I would not have really known the difference, but there was no sense of urgency at Community and it took 1 1/2 hours before they finally got around to drawing her blood. At AV her blood was drawn within a half hour of walking in the door of the hospital and she was wisked away into a private room that was sealed off with caution signs and nobody entered without being masked and gloved up. However, at Community she was placed in what I came to call the closet. It was curtained partition of their main room which housed the supplies for all of the ER. So every couple of minutes staff entered the room to get something from our "closet". When I questioned them I was told they did not have private rooms. Long story 1:30 she got some Rocephin antibiotic and was sent home with the need to return the next day. Being the holiday weekend we had no choice but to go back again. We returned on Sunday and things were better, but the bad taste of our prior visit still remains in my memory. She received more Rocephin and they re-checked her blood counts. Her white blood count was up to 900 from the 600, but her red blood cells and her hemoglobin were both still critically low. The doctor at children's hospital said that because of the holiday, we would wait until Tuesday and see if her counts would improve themselves. Since they were not declining, but holding steady we were safe to wait. Had it been any other time she would have received a blood transfusion. So over the holiday, she took it easy and completed homework. On Tuesday, her counts were still not normal but were increasing enough to keep her from getting a transfusion. She is now feeling much better, her fever and lightheadedness is gone!

Our next step is a PET scan on June 1 and a consult with her doctor.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chemo Completed!!!

Today was the final day of chemo! All 3 rounds are now a thing of the past in this journey. Carlene has done remarkable throughout this entire process and has kept that beautiful smile beaming every day (well maybe not the couple of puke days during round 1)!

Yesterday was a gymkhana and she was determined to be there even though she had little strength. With the generous help of many she was able to complete her queen wave...instead of riding her horse, Levi, she rode in the back of Jason & Tania Williams 4-wheeled mule. They had it decorated beautifully with a bale in the back that had an American flag horse blanket and and American flag stuck in it as well! Jason even said he had washed the mule the day before for his "girl". After that wave around the arena she mounted Levi, with the help of many, and walked the American flag around the arena. Not the flag run she would have liked to have done, but she was so excited to be able to be there! She looked absolutely beautiful in her red, white, and blue LV queen chaps and that never ending smile! She was quite concerned that her hat & crown was going to fall off-wig and all-but they all stayed put! In July, she will have to wear toupe tape to hold on everything, because I can bet she will be flying around that arena just like bombs bursting in air! We will post pictures soon=) In the meantime, check out to view the gymkhana website.

This week will be a better week, still will be weak and tired from today's chemo, but next week she will be back to full energy and ready for a 2 day rodeo on the 30th & 31st! Her next PET scan is scheduled for June 1st then radiation should begin soon after.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Feeling Great...before the 3rd chemo cycle

This past week was a great week for feeling better. However, we were at our pediatrician's office daily for IV antibiotics because she got that dreaded sinus infection back. We opted for the IV over oral meds so that she would be "healed" by her next chemo treatment...this meant daily trips to town and no sleeping in =( We did make use of the daily trips by doing a little shopping and visiting with a few friends. (for those of you that do not know what a "trip to town" means...we live about a 1/2 hour from civilization so a trip to the doctors is not just around the corner)

She also had her first roping lesson on horseback and was extatic to "catch" on her third try and cannot wait to get back in the saddle again! We had a fantastic Mother's Day weekend...Mother's Day for me always includes horses in some way...usually a gymkhana or a rodeo...however, this year we opted to drive to Vegas (about 5 hours away) instead and bring home a roping horse. Carlene decided that she wanted to invest some of her cancer policy $ in purchasing an experienced roping horse. I did not think that we would find one so quickly, but God already had it in the works and Chubbs now has a new home. If all goes well, the girls will be actively competing in roping events by the end of the summer!

We are just finishing our 2nd day of the 3rd round of chemo. Our next PET scan is scheduled for June 1st and radiation will begin the 2nd week of June. If all goes as scheduled/planned she should be in remission by the end of June.

Thank you for your prayers and well wishes...we love you all and want you to know that we appreciate your interest in Carlene's Journey through this season of her life!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Great Week Ahead!

Things have been much better this chemo round =) This next week will be a great week. Carlene has her strength back and plans to take a rodeo lesson this week. Her next round of chemo will begin on Monday the 11th.

I apologize for the limited blogging, but there is a strange reason behind it. You see we live with sleep walkers and one evening they (no names Olivia and Alicia) both found themselves out of their beds and in the living room and the kitchen. One of them must have been dreaming about our computer, because our air card (which is our only internet connection) mysteriously disappeared that evening. It has yet to be located and we are anxiously waiting to find it's hiding location.

Soooooo...the blogs are fewer...and I highly apologize for this! Hopefully, we will be up and running sooner than later =)