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Posts Tagged ‘rash’

Vacation

Anthony and I got the chance to go back to NC for a visit with my parents this weekend.  We drove down on Thursday (with the cats!) and came back up on Monday.

Mom said she had another outbreak of her rash, but I only saw a couple of red patches on her face…not at all what I was expecting.  Dad said the original outbreak looked more like acne.  I thought mom looked great.  Her energy seemed better and I only heard her cough once the whole time (which might have been due to popcorn).  She seems worried about the dryness of her skin…I’m glad her biggest concern is something so relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

We all ate a bit too much, which is a recurring theme in our visits home, but it was nice to have a vacation from the “real” world of diets and exercise.  I’m sure my trainer will make me pay for it this week.  🙂  Except that he was also on vacation….

I’m sure you’re also reading mom’s posts, so you know that she’s a bit concerned after learning more about the Tarceva and what it can and can’t do.  I’d done a lot of reading online about this disease and the drugs that are supposed to work, so nothing she said came as a surprise to me.  What concerns me is that it seems like she has an unusual course of treatment.  Everything (online and in the Tarceva info packets) says that folks should go through chemo before getting on the pill.  If mom’s doc says this type of cancer responds well to chemo, and we know that the pill might stop working eventually, it makes sense to me that they’d want you to go through a successful round of chemo to get rid of what’s there and then put you on the pill to prevent it from coming back.  So I’m not sure what’s going on.  I’d hate for mom to have to go through chemo, but I’d also like her to have the most effective treatments.

For now, though, everything’s going well.  It was great to have the chance to spend more time with my parents.  And I wish them a happy anniversary, which is coming up in a week or so!

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Mothers’ Day

I’m assuming that most of you are also reading mom’s blog, but just in case you aren’t, I’m happy to report that her biopsy came back with the result that she’s a mutant (and dad and I promptly told her that we already knew that!), testing positive for the EGFR gene.  But we had pretty much already guessed that because she’s gotten the Tarceva rash.  Her energy isn’t back at 100%, but she’s been able to go on short walks, doesn’t cough nearly as much (dad said she doesn’t start until about 4 a.m.), and sounds just like her old self.

So, from here on out, it’s just a prayer that the Tarceva does what it’s supposed to do.  I’m by no means a medical expert, but from what I understand, the drug is supposed to block the receptors that allow for tumor growth, so it’s supposed to get rid of what’s there and keep new stuff from forming.

Mothers’ Day is almost upon us, and mom mentioned that folks had asked if I’d be back.  I’m going to stay up here this weekend, but I’m trying to see if we can take a long weekend over Memorial Day to go down.  Anthony’s also going to see if he can get some time off, which means a looooong car ride for a pair of adorable kitties!  I gave mom some money to cover a facial that she wants, and I also had a box of “frogs” (they’re homemade turtles) from the Chocolate Fetish in Asheville delivered.  They arrived this morning.  At least they’re made from whole ingredients without all the added crap!  😀  (If you’re ever in the market for chocolate, I highly recommend them…especially the Velvet Sin truffle, which is my absolute favorite!!  I think I could eat nothing but those things for the rest of my life and be a very happy gal!)

So I’m sending love to all the mothers out there, both experienced and brand new, and hoping that all of you have not only one wonderful day, but a lifetime of wonder.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and let’s hope that there won’t be much more to report on my mom other than her continued improvement!

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Not much new to report, but I just wanted to check in.  I spoke to my parents a couple of times last week, and things seem to be going well.  Mom said the rash has spread and her doctor gave her an antibiotic to treat it (they treat it just like acne, which is apparently what it is).  They told her that it should go away in about 6 weeks, but if it ever comes back, that means the cancer is trying to return and the medicine has kicked back in.  She also has some aloe juice (with the purgative qualities removed) to try to help with her nausea, which is still not under control.  And she has some soreness in her teeth and gums, but the doctors reassured her that it’s not a result of anything related to the cancer, and she might just want to see a dentist.

The best thing for me is that mom sounds like herself again.  I haven’t heard her sound like that since right after she got the initial diagnosis and had a brief respite from the cough.  Her voice is strong, and she can talk for at least a couple of minutes without a hitch in her breath.

Dad, however, seems to be dealing with his own health problems.  I have a feeling some of it is stress, but I’m hoping that this will encourage both of them to clean up their diet a little bit.  My trainer here said he’d be more than happy to talk with my dad and try to iron something out, but dad’s worried he’s just going to say to quit drinking beer (which is probably true) and stop eating white rice (which might not be).  My trainer is great about finding things that will work within the existing lifestyle…because, let’s be honest, if you can’t eat the foods you like, you aren’t going to stick with the plan!  It couldn’t hurt just to talk, anyway.

Something else I’m worried about…and I probably shouldn’t talk about it here, but I will anyway…is that the cancer seems to have consumed mom’s life.  I mentioned earlier that it felt like I had a new sibling, and I think that’s an apt comparison.  It’s almost like mom has had a new baby and all of her attention is focused on it.  When I used to talk with mom, she’d tell me what was new in her life and then ask questions about what was going on in mine.  She doesn’t ask anymore, and when I do offer up some bit of information, she doesn’t seem to register it.  I’m not complaining here, as I truly understand and would be the exact same way in her shoes, but it is something I’m concerned about for the long haul…also for my dad.  He’s not a big phone talker, but I make sure that I ask him questions about what he’s been up to, how he’s feeling, if he’s been able to take care of his own stuff too.  And he returns the favor.  So I do feel like I’m still sharing things with my parents, even if the point person has changed.  I guess my purpose in sharing this is that I would wish for my mom a return to something of a normal life so that she’s able to concentrate on more than just the cancer and her recovery, even if what she’s concentrating on is her business and not me.  I hope that makes sense.

As for me, the semester is finally over, so I have a little bit of a break before school starts again in the fall (couldn’t take summer classes as they’re all four days a week at noon, which doesn’t fit into my work schedule well).  We’re hoping to get some painting done in the house so we can finally hang up some pictures and clean out our office space a little.  I don’t know when I’ll be headed back to NC, but I’m sure it won’t be too much longer.

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Quick Update

Well, finally, some news that seems to be good!  Mom is getting the rash (which is more like acne than a rash), which means there’s a very strong probability that the Tarceva is working.  She says that her energy is high, though she does get short of breath if she pushes herself too hard.  She drove herself to some appointments and to run some errands this morning, which is great.

Keep the prayers coming!  😀

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