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DOUG & BETTY: Thinking about you. Everything okay?

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

You were on my mind tonight. I feel we may have collectively overwhelmed you. Betty has been on my mind (and in my prayers). If you two want to contact me off-board, I will post my email address; just ask. I hope you are both at home now and that Betty is feeling stronger every day. (((Big hugs)))

djinco's picture
djinco
Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2010

We are doing well - Betty came home from the hospital Saturday.

Betty went to the GYN Oncologist, Dr. Pikaart (who was her surgeon), Tuesday for a follow up, to get the staples removed and to learn the results of the pathology report.

First, the pathology report indicated that Betty has synchronous endometrial hyperplasia (translation = two types of cancers) with a Stage IIIB ovarian cancer and Stage IIA uterine cancer. The cancers resulted in the removal of both of her ovaries because they had a 12cm and an 8cm tumor on the left and right ovaries respectively. The treatment for the uterine cancer is the removal of the uterus. Dr Pikaart saw that the omentum had tumors of less than 1cm so it was also removed. The omentum is a large fatty structure, which literally hangs off the middle of your colon and drapes over the intestines inside the abdomen. It is important in ovarian cancer because it has a lot of tiny blood vessels. Cancer cells that have broken away from the ovary are likely to implant and grow there.

The good news is that the pathology report confirmed that there were no tumors that had spread to the lymph nodes.

They set up an appointment for Monday to perform the surgery to install the subclavian port for the venous chemo treatment. She already has an abdominal port to flood the abdominal cavity with chemo. That procedure will be performed out patient, and she will have a local only.

The day of the subclavian port installation we will spend a couple of hours getting our education on the process of chemotherapy and also get the calendar for treatment. Betty will be on a 21-day schedule with chemo treatment on days 1,2,8 & 9. The chemo treatment takes 5-6 hours per day on days 1, 2 & 8 and about 15 minutes on day 9. She will have a total of 6 courses of treatment. The nurse told us that they have a very successful program for treatment and they have developed a very effective course of medication for treating nausea. Betty was happy to hear this because that means that there is no need to pursue medical marijuana, which she did not want.

Tomorrow (Friday) Betty has an appointment pick out a wig style that she likes so that following her first course of treatment she will have the wig to wear if she wants to.

The staple removal went well, and the incision is healing nicely. She is still suffering from bloating and gas, but is eating well. The nurse recommended that she get some milk of magnesia so we bought some, and that seems to work. The nurse reminded us that she has had major surgery and needs some time to heal.

Throughout this journey the prayers and compassion of our friends, neighbors and family have blessed us. We are eternally grateful for all of them. We have been beneficially supported by gifts of food. We really appreciate this gift because with going to and from the hospital, our day just seems to slip away. On the way home from the hospital (The Penrose Cancer Center) we were able to enjoy a great meal at Boston Market thanks to the generosity of my co-workers.

Thank you to everyone for keeping us in your prayers,
Doug and Betty

norma2's picture
norma2
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

I am glad you posted how you guys are doing. {{{Doug and Betty}}} I will continue praying for you.
Norma

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Sending thoughts and prayers your way...she is lucky to have you Doug...you provide great updates! Keep her spirits high and she will sail through...well despite a few waves :)

Keep in touch!

Laurie

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2009

Doug thanks for the update. You are a great support for Betty. She is lucky to have you. My husband has been there for all appointments, and to take of things I did not have the energy to take care, of like handing bills and insurance issues. I appreciate all he has done and all the support he has given me, Betty will appreciate all you do for her, too. Just remember to take one day at a time. In peace and caring.

deanna14
Posts: 738
Joined: Oct 2008

Glad to hear that Betty is doing better. The bloating is a very uncomfortable part of the healing process. Glad to hear she found something that helps.

God bless you both!

djinco's picture
djinco
Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2010

This past week was kind of bumpy - it had it's ups & downs.

Monday Betty had her sub-clav port installed. That procedure went well. She insisted on staying awake for the procedure. I warned the Dr that if she stays awake, she will talk the whole time during the surgery.

Thursday her mom went back to Virginia. She came out for two weeks and even though she is 70, she is more active than most folks 50. She was really a help to the both of us. She kept Betty company during the day and they work on crafts together.

The chemo training is next Wednesday, and then the chemo starts Thursday. Initially they were going to start chemo on Tuesday, but moved it to Thursday. No matter really.

Still six-cycles of chemo on a 21 day rotation. Chemo days 1, 2, 8 & 9.

Betty has a human hair wig that will be ready on March 15th. We have a local "shop" here in town that handles all of the wig/cancer issues. This place is wonderful. It's called Strands. The owner takes personal care to walk through the whole process. Betty has natural red hair, so she was concerned about the shade and texture. Strands will also perform the shaving, so that Betty doesn't have to deal with clumps falling out alone.

Her sister is coming out on the 10th, so she will be here to help support her for the wig process. I know natural hair is a very expensive route, but for Betty, her hair style and appearance is one thing that we can "control" - or attempt to.

This weekend we will just rest; preparing for next week.

Thank you for all of your prayers, Doug & Betty

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2009

Glad that Betty got her port inserted and the procedure went well. I am interested in hearing about what chemo Betty will be getting on days 1,2,8, and 9. Most of us were on 21 day cycles, but got the chemo (taxol and carboplatin) every 21 days. After you have your chemo training I am sure you will be able to answer the question better.

Glad that Betty has the wig situation under control. That will make her feel so much better. Betty is lucky to have her Mother visit and her sister, too. That will be a support for both of you.

Hope you got some rest this weekend. Good luck this week. In peace and caring.

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 201
Joined: Oct 2009

Glad to hear that you and Betty are doing OK. Sounds like you have a great attitude...control what you can ( wig) and know what you can't control. I pray that the next six months of treatments go quickly and smoothly for Betty and you. It often seems like forever when you are in the treatment phase. Check in with us now and then and to Linda's point we will try not to overwhelm you with suggestions. We only want to help another "sister" so that somehow their fight against cancer will be easier.
Lori

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Thinking of you!

Laurie

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