Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Radiation #10, #11, #12, and #13

These past few days of radiation have been really easy and fast appointments. My skin is beginning to become a little irritated and red so they gave me a lotion to put on it. My throat is also starting to get a little sore but its not that bad. Today we went to the beach with our cousins and it was sooo much fun. Tomorrow we are going to go to Disneyland again and I can't wait. This time I get to go with Olivia and the Broskey family our friends from Sacramento area. Tomorrow is also my last day of radiation so I'm very happy!!!! I go in for another PETScan in about 3 weeks and will hopefully be in remission!!!!!! This Friday I'm flyin' to Provo, Utah to see the Jonas Brothers, I can't wait!!!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Radiation #7, #8, & #9

This week radiation has been quick appointments like they are supposed to be. In and out in half an hour. This week we went to the fashion district in Los Angeles to try to find leather for a dress that I plan to make for Carlene. However, since she wants lime green it is going to turn into an internet search! Can you believe we found orange, but not lime green? Go figure...but, it would not be the same without the search...that's always the main part of any project with Carlene's colors=)

Last night John and Alyna went on a father/daughter date to the Griffith Observatory so Carlene and I could go to the Pantages theatre to see the Dirty Dancing play. We found out that 2 hours before the performance, they sell extra seats for $25 so we decided to try and get some of those seats and we got in! It was a well done show and we enjoyed some mother/daughter time away from everything! What an experience =) I particularly enjoyed driving 5 minutes back to our room instead of the usual 1 1/2 hours back home! That just topped off a great evening with a quick trip to my pillow =)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Radiation #6

6 down and 8 to go! Seems like we have been away from home forever...came home today and it sure feels great to be here. Only home for tonight though because we can't be away from the Ronald McDonald house for more than 24 hours or we lose our room. We would love to checkout for a weekend, but they are so booked we might not get a room for the next week so we don't dare. We are trying to make the best of our stay down there and have some fun, but we do miss being in the country with all of our animals! City traffic is getting to me!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Radiation #5

Today's appointment was also a quick 15 minutes. Then we headed to the Santa Monica Pier...mommy took John to work at 4:15 in the morning so we could have the car today! We spent a couple of hours at the beach and then went and saw the movie UP. We all loved it! Tonight we are going to watch So You Think You Can Dance and I am going to do more school work.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Radiation #4

Today we were in and out of my appointment in 15 minutes! Today is a quiet but fun day here at the Ronald McDonald. We cooked up some Chinese Pepper Steak for lunch then played X-Box in the game room. We also cooked up a batch of cookies and some apple crisp. Yesterday we went to Universal Studios and Alicia pushed me around in a wheel chair. It was a lot of fun! Tonight I plan on working on my US History summer work. Tomorrow we hope to go to the beach.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Radiation #2

So yesterday Alicia and Olivia came home for summer. Oli is going to be staying with our friend Bobbi and Alicia is down here with me. This morning I had to go and get all of my books for Summer School. I am still on track to graduate a year early!!! My radiation appointment was not until 1 o'clock so we went to pick cherries at our friend's house. When we were picking them I started to feel dizzy and nauseous . I slept all the way down to Children's but when I woke up I threw up and still felt dizzy. They drew blood at radiation but all my numbers were fine. This time my appt. only took about 10 minutes but I stayed there for about an hour more to get some anti-nausea drugs. When we left I felt a little better and I ate some dinner when we got back to Ronald Mcdonald house. Now I'm just laying in bed and reading and watching TV. I feel a lot better and not as dizzy. They are not sure why I am dizzy unless I have an inner ear infection starting. Since my numbers were good today, I do not need a transfusion as of now. I had a sore throat over the weekend, but the doctor said it was not from the radiation he thinks I might have something viral. Hopefully, I will feel better tomorrow.

John's car broke down tonight on the way here. He thinks the transmission went out. So now he has to use our car and we do not have a car to do all the fun things we wanted to, but we can take the red line subway to some of the places. It has a station right next to Childrens. Tomorrow we might go to Universal City Walk and see a movie...if I am feeling OK!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hat Party Photos I've been promising!!!!

Me and Traci

Everyone and our paper hats

Me and Heather with my ribbon/bow hat.

Me and Alyna in our crowns.

Me very surprised and confused!!!!

Blood Donation Info

Anyone planning on donating blood for Carlene (just in case she needs a transfusion) can do so at Children's Hospital. You must make an appointment with the blood bank and designate your donation for Carlene. I was told they will be able to store it for about 5 days on hold for Carlene, then if they have your permission will use it for another child before it expires.

Blood bank (323) 361-4200
Carlene Hadden: medical ID #1741858

Right now we can only use O- blood type, until she is typed, which they will not do until she actually needs blood.

Thank you for all of the support we have received! Be sure to let us know when you are coming down. We are staying just behind the hospital at the Ronald McDonald house and would love to see you! If you want to make a fun day for the family when you are down here, we are just around the corner from Griffith Park, the LA Zoo, Hollywood attractions, Universal City Walk, etc. If you have not been to the observatory plan that into your schedule. It is free to walk the exhibit and if you want to see a show, they are reasonably priced too. We have also gone to the Santa Monica Pier which without traffic is about 30-40 minutes away. Fun...fun...fun =)

Friday, June 12, 2009

My first radiation appointment

We got to the radiology office at 10:30 but I didn't get called back until almost noon, because they had had trouble with one of the younger patients earlier in the day that needed to be sedated so that put them running late for my appointment. I laid in my body mold and the longest part was when they had to make sure I was in the right place. This time I brought my ipod with me so they could plug it in to the speakers and I could listen to it while I laid there. I started my play list on the Wicked soundtrack and they all loved that. After I was in the right place they did my treatment which only took about a minute or so. Since they have to radiate me from the front and back the whole machine swings around. Finally they told me I was done and I could move again... it was 12:55. I didn't move for almost a whole hour it was so uncomfortable and boring. I go back again on Monday at 1 o'clock. I should be done July 1. In the future my appointments will be much quicker. Today they had to finish the final touches to the blocks that protect my lungs so that is why it took longer.

Ronald McDonald House

We have been able to get a room at the Ronald McDonald House that is located just behind the hospital. We will be down here for the next 3 weeks. Our dear friend Bobbi has generously accepted the task of house sitting and feeding our 40+ animals for the month of June! A HUGE thanks to Bobbi and our neighbors The Nelsons for feeding and keeping the ranch alive and well during our time away from home.

Radiation is a daily treatment during the week with weekends off. She is scheduled for 14 treatments with the last one on July 1st if all goes well and she does not have to miss any days due to blood counts or illnesses. The treatments themselves are very short and we have the rest of the day to "play". We are hoping to make the best of this trying time by going to the beach and doing other fun LA things. On Wednesday, her treatment was canceled due to having to meet with colleagues to finalize the radiation plan, so we made a last minute trip to Disneyland. This was the first time we have gone without our entire family and a first for Carlene and her best friend Heather to go together. We had loads of fun...my favorite part was watching Heather (this tiny twig) push Carlene in her wheelchair up the hills and through the crowds as we rushed to California Adventure to ride Soaring before our fast pass expired! This entire trip to Disneyland came about because our dear friends from Arizona The Boltz Family made their way to CA to celebrate their twin daughters 13th birthday with Mickey Mouse =) Wonderful times and awesome memories were made on this day!!! Thanks for letting us join your birthday bash!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

O- blood donation needed for possible transfusion

Finally we are on-line and able to explain the blood donation request. Carlene's hemoglobin is 10.4 and normal is 12. As long as it stays above 10 she can continue with radiation...if it drops below 10 then she will need a transfusion before continuing with the radiation. The doctor seems to think that she will not need one, but said we could be proactive just in case the need was to arise. Since they will not blood type her until a need arises, we were told O- blood type donators would be the only option right now. Her levels will be tested at the beginning of each week before treatment for the week begins.

Thank you to everyone that has offered to donate for her! A HUGE thank you to Brana and everyone that responded to her request at Joshua Elementary (where I, Tara, used to work). Several teachers have offered to donate if the need becomes a reality. Thanks friends =) It just proves the point that Joshua is not just a school, but a family! Thanks for keeping me part of the family even though I teach elsewhere now.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Radiation Appts.

Last Wednesday I had my appontment at the radiologist office. They made a body cast of me and then drew all over my arms, neck, and chest with a purle marker so every time I go I'm in the exact same spot. Then I had a CATScan and I went home. The doctor called us yesterday and my first radiation is going to be on Tuesday. Today was the Cherry Parade and I got to carry the American Flag at the lead. I had soooo much fun. It was very cold and stormy which is not typical "cherry" weather. There was also a festival which was also fun. Tomorrow we're going to the Celebrate Life down at Paramount. And Heather gets to be my sister again. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but it should be awesome!!! We might start staying at Ronald Mcdonald House either Monday night or Tuesday night. I really want to stay down there Monday because they have a TEENImpact, which is like a fun support group, meeting at CHLA.
I'll attach pictures!!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PETScan, Doctor Appt., Radiology... Oh My!!

Yesterday was a crazy but typical day down at Children's. After the rodeo on Sunday, Heather spent the night so she could come with me on Monday. We got up early and left the house at 5:45. Alyna got dropped at a friends so she could go to school and we arrived at CHLA at 7:20. After checking in they took us back into the "blue room." I have to wait an hour after I get injected with the radioactive stuff to go into the PET. I finished with the scan around 10ish and then we went up to the doctors to check in for my 10:30 appt. When we checked in they said that I would have to get my blood drawn but they didn't draw any. At 11:20 a nurse came and found us in the waiting room and asked if I had gotten my blood drawn, which I hadn't. So I quickly put the numbing cream on and waited....again. We were scheduled to talk to the radiologist at noon so my mom ran down there since we were running late. At 12ish they finally took my blood and told us to wait 40 minutes for the results. They gave us a pager and we went to eat lunch down at the cafeteria. After we ate, we went to the radiologist office at 1 and talked to the radiologist. We went back up to the doctor's office and got a room at 2. Then we saw the doctor for about 10 minutes and we got to leave. After our super long day we went out to eat ice cream at Thrifty's. It was delicious!!!



This weekend I had a two day rodeo down in Corona. I was so excited because I was going to do all of the events. We brought Levi, Kiowa, Kid, and thanks to some friends our new horse Chubbs. On Saturday I did Poles on Levi and Goats on Chubbs. After goats I got really tired so I didn't do Barrels. After the rodeo we went back to the hotel and ordered pizza and went swimming for a little bit. It was alot of fun. Then we went back to the rodeo grounds for a goat tying jackpot fundraiser. We just ran on foot, no horses, it was fun. I tripped and fell the first time and then the 2nd time the goat came untied. On Sunday I did Poles and Goats on Levi and we did really good. I again didn't ride Barrels so I went home early and finished my typing homework for my college class. Overall the rodeo was sooooo much fun. I can't wait until July. This coming weekend is the cherry parade and I get to ride in it with the American flag. I'm excited cuz I love cherries, they're so yummy.



Wow its been forever since I've blogged!! On the 22nd of May I thought I was going to my best friend Heather's house for an end of the school year party. Instead we got there and my mom sent me out to the car for the last bag of soda (which I later found out was planned) and when I came back in everyone yelled SURPRISE! And that's exactly what I was, totally and completely surprised and a little confused! Everyone there had kept it a complete secret. It was so much fun. We all made paper hats and decorated them and throughout the night I opened presents which were mostly hats and some were earrings. I felt so happy and supported. Thanks to everyone who was there and a HUGE thanks to the Londergan's for hosting the party and being there for me. I love you guys. I have a lot to blog about but I'm going to do in a few short blogs not a giant long one. Pics will eventually make it on the blog.