Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Weekend

OK it's been a busy weekend, so I'm just now getting around to an update.

Thursday NIGHT, mom didn't sleep much. When I asked what she did she said that she "cleaned and reorganized her bedroom", WOW I think that's quite the motivating stuff she's on (maybe I need some), then she tells me well she never got out of bed... she just thought about it all night long! (very funny mom)

Friday Rox and Sarah showed up so Sarah could help with some more yard work. Rox went out to lunch with Dave, and then came back. Still not able to walk on foot, so not much I can do around there to help. I laid on the couch and took a nap. Jann was sitting across from her and couldn't help but take a picture of her sleeping. After my (ROX) nap I woke up to see that Mom was in the chair with the computer "sleeping", SO (not knowing that mom had taken my picture) I have Sarah quietly get me the camera and I take mom's picture sleeping at the computer. Sarah starts laughing almost uncontrollably!!!! Later I find out why! It's kind of funny. I told mom I was trying to teach her how to take a nap.. and it kind of worked!

Friday night Jann had "hot flashes in her elbow" Not sure I've ever heard of that but that's what she said!

Saturday Jann went to Rox for the day and night. The plan to take a drive to the MT to stay cool. Well I'm not sure that it worked, as it was HOT every where. I think we all had a good time going to the lake, and seeing all the crazy people that where out there. We made sure that she kept drinking water while we where gone.

Sunday: The night was uneventful, except for the mysterious bowl that appeared by mom's bed! ;) She said she just "wasn't sure"... but nothing became of it. Jann was "walking funny" today. Joint aches and pains. I told her before we went four wheeling that the aches and pains where going to be there in the morning whether we went or not, so might as well have some fun with it!

Any way's that's the update for now.

Basic side affects have been sleepless, flushing, sleepless, aches, sleepless,slight nausea, sleepless. Oh and did I mention sleepless.

Take care

PS.. Did I tell you that MY FRIDGE STILL NEEDS TO BE CLEANED! I thought having her over here she'd clean my fridge for me.... but ...noooooooooo! ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 15 cycle 1 Treatment day

Well today was the third treatment of the first cycle. Next week is a "off week". Today mom had her friend A come and drive the medic van to clinic. Friend A is coming from across town. I am coming from the other direction. WE BOTH have to take 84/205 interchange to get there. For those that didn't see our news today a train derailed with 30 cars going off the tracks and 7 falling over. They are going to close this part of the road, to secure the lumber on the train. Anna goes a different way to bypass this I on the other had take the normal route, I must see train. I saw the train and drove under the leaning lumber praying the whole way. (More later)

I get to mom and first thing I see when I pull in is a MOP of PINK in the window. Upon entering the house I am introduced to Anna, now I truly do not believe that PINK is her natural color. She has gone and gotten her hair done "Pink Hair Thursdays!" What a treat! Now I must say if mom asks you to do her a favor and drive her to chemo, remember that it involves PINK HAIR! ;)

SO it is quickly decided that we should take the back way to treatment, as the freeway must be a miss with the train issue. Yes even I agreed to the way with all the turns. As it turns out they closed the 84/205 on/off ramps at 9:00 am the time we left for treatment. It would have messed with us a lot.

Mom had to have 3 EKGS two min. apart today so we had to be there early. Then it was up to see nurse TS and go over mom's lab results. She is handling the Paxt, and SU fairly well. Her test numbers are running good and we are soon on the way for treatment.

Mean while out in the hall the Pink Ladies are causing quite the looks of people walking by as they stand under the Oncology sign. Now imagine you are the nurse assigned to go fine patient Jann. You walk out and find a group in the hall... there is a Lady with nice long blond hair holding a camera, a lady with pink curls, a lady that has a pink mohawk, a lady in a wheal chair with a breast cancer hat on her head, and a lady with a nice short summer hair cut. Who is most likely to be the patient??? SO the nurse looks at the group, and tentatively say "JANN????" Oh and btw my dad came to the appointment, but he had already gone into the 'family" waiting room's think to hide he's never liked the color pink.

OK, so the technical stuff:
Mom needs to drink more!!! We all are trying to figure out how she was "not hydrated" with as much water that she drinks. She's been drinking 8-10 (16.0 oz. each) bottles of water a day! plus other liquids.
She is not to be touching the raw meat! Sorry Keep-er no more raw food for you for a while.
She's not been able to sleep much at night. She gets tired but can't sleep. They are checking into a sleeping pill for her.

Now we need to help mom come up with things to do on the nights she can't sleep. It's esp. bad on Thursday nights right after treatment. Last week she got up and cleaned the fridge... mainly the MEAT DRAWER! I got on her case about that and told her she wasn't too do THAT ANY MORE> ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 14 cycle 1

So Today was a busy day for us. See the photos show below if you haven't already. The pictures. The photos below are of a good friend of mom's showing her support as most of us women wouldn't. I ask any one of the women reading this blog "WOULD YOU DO THAT FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER??" I'm her daughter, and the most radical thing I can do is get "pink hair extensions' to show my support!

Today is the day before treatment and true to form, I'm writing this late at night. The reason for that is that on Wed we go over to mom's so Sarah can do the back yard "dog duty" (picking up dog stuff that grandma can't anymore). We get home late after that.

Sarah has also taken to the job of grandma's "vampire buddy!" Meaning that Sarah goes with her to the dr for the weekly blood draw. This way, she can be the "ears for grandma". Sarah really enjoys doing this as beside the ugly task of 'dog yard pick up,' she feels useful. The 'young ones' as we are told aren't allowed back in the chemo treatment room. This is due to the reproductive systems... So Sarah had a great amount of pride and "helpfulness" over being with grandma at the vampire's today.

Jann will have an EKG (I think) tomorrow and then her treatment. We now know that it will last into the lunch hour. It took some doing, but mom got the dry ice so we can take her otter pops tomorrow for treatment.

Please keep good thoughts and prayers for us as we have the 3rd treatment of cycle 1. Mom still feels the tumor shrinking!!


If this made you smile please consider donating to the race for the cure on behalf of Jann, Susan, or any one on the cascade beagle team! Check out the link on the blog’s side bar... Race for the cure! Thanks. This will be added to over the course of time so watch often! Watch for and read "PINKY'S STORY!" to find out about why she is doing this and what it means to her. It should appear in the next Day or two.

Thank You So Muck Miss PINKIE!!!!!!!! We Love you and Your support team!!!!!

to quote a good friend "YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!"

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 9 cycle 1

Today was the memorial service for mom/grandma. It was a lovely service. Mom was tired during the service, I think the emotion of the past 2 weeks finally caught up to every one. But we made it through all of it and are closer because of it.

Sarah is spending the night with mom tonight hopefully not 'bugging her a to much'. Mom is very tired tonight and yet is having a hard time sleeping. Hope she can get some good rest soon.

Take care and God bless you all.

Good night

day 9 cycle 1

So to day was spent hanging out at moms much the same as any other day. All of us just resting and waiting for it to be time for to go. I will say ("knock on wood" every one!) that so far mom has seem to be handling the medication fairly well. Thursday night mom was AWAKE most of the night. It's a side affect of one of the meds that they give her on Thursdays. It's been decided that Sarah (the natural night owl) should stay with her on Thursday nights and the two can Party All Night Long together. ;)

Friday mom had some Flushing (another side affect to look for) in her face. Not too bad. The nausia (KNOCK ON WOOD AGAIN) hasn't been a problem yet.

Today's Funny story: While sitting out back Rox in the Sun and Jann in the Shade talking and haveing some nice quite mother daughter time. Rox reaches up to her hair and runs her hands through it. In doing so she pulls out a hand full of hair. Then she does it again and more hair comes out. Sitting there with a hand full of hair she looks at Jann and said "how does this work? YOU go through chemo and MY hair falls out!" Jann just about showers Rox with water as she starts to laugh so hard!
SO that you all don't freak out, my hair (Rox)sheds by the handfuls in the summer time and when it get's long. SO this is a normal thing for me.

OK back to the events of Fri. We load the medic van and head to the grave side area. There is cloud cover but it's muggy. We have brought wheel chairs for Mom and I. (due to mom's hips and other problem, and my foot) I'm sitting in the van and all I see out the side door is mom in her wheel chair SPEEEEDING past me, and no one is hanging onto her. She's headed towards the curb, if she hit's it it's going to be a header for sure. Dad come running from across the parking lot and catches the wheel chair just moments before she hits the curb. Oh OK now we can all breath I get in my chair more carefully and make sure people are hanging onto it before I get in.

Ok not to to make this about me/Rox.. but it's the other funny story of the day... Well it's funny now.

As we head out of the waiting area, Dad pushing mom, Sarah pushing me.. Oh wait you guys you must come back for the rose's. (every one is to have a rose during the ceremony). Sarah stops my chair and spins it around. Nether her or I are paying attention to the concrete wall on the side of the bridge we are on. OUCH! OUCH!OUCH! My foot met the wall! The protective boot I was wearing scrapes the wall rubs on the padding at the incision site. As I scream in Pain (it was intense, and I know that Sarah didn't mean to do it, and it wasn't her fault. It just hurt) Sarah went running off into the grave yard.

Dave comes running up to me to find out what happened, as Sarah went running off she runs past her grandparents. Dad/Grandpa Mack went running after her... I really hope mom wasn't on a hill again! After checking me out Dave went after Sarah. My cousin is trying to hand me a rose, but first he must wait for me to take some pain pills. I've been doing good not to take them all day but now seams like a GOOOD TIME. I turn around and am now being pushed by someone else and I see my mom trying to sit walk her wheel chair back up to me to see what happened. Oh the drama of a funeral.

Sarah gets over being upset, and we proceed on to the grave side. It was a very nice service and uneventful after that point. I do want to thank the rest of my family who help both mom and I down the steps and over to the grave site. It was greatly appreciated.

If you happen to know my grandma Jann's mom, feel free to post a story about her, or send mom a story in an e-mail.

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 8 cycle 1 Treatment Day

Well today was the second treatment day. Amber was great at driving the "medic" Van to the appointment. She had to put up with every one giving her there directions on how to get the the clinic. There is more than one way and well no one likes to go the way the other person likes to. As we are heading around turn after turn (I hate turning) just to get back to the road that mom said we should have taken in the first place. I can't help but ask if anyone knows where we are? "You are getting a tour of Portland.. now be quite!"

Finally arriving at the clinic we send Sarah into get a wheel chair for Rox. The one she picks doesn't have the leg going up on it... So I ride into the clinic and find one that works right. Mom has to use the bathroom and asks if I do to. Yes it seams that as I've been laid up I always have to go. (drives Sarah nuts. She's threaten to not let me drink water anymore) As mom (the cancer patient) pushes daughter in the chair with her foot sticking up ready to goose anything that may get to close down the hall, it strikes me funny and I just start laughing all the way to the bathroom. No one else seems to see my humor, guess it's the pain pills I'm on. Oh well.

Mom get weighed she's lost 10lbs they say. OK after some talk about this the 10lbs has been in the last month. Not the last week! It's not such a bad thing but they want to watch it and make sure she doesn't loose too much too fast. I keep telling her I don't want to find it either! Mom's lab work is all good. They adjusted her chemo meds to day down a bit from last week due to the weight loss. It's based on you BMI. Then it time to take her back into the infusion room. Only she can go now. We can't have parties in there with her. So we are stuck out in the family room.

Well I wasn't drug out of the house to be there for my mom when I'm suppose to be on bed rest, only to not be able to entertain her. So... Modern technology is a great thing. I send her a simple text first. She text back. It appears that texting on the phone is OK in there. Actual phone calls are not too encouraged as you are sitting next to people who may not want to hear your conversation. Ask Mrs grumpy next to mom today at one point. Well just simple text get boring after a while, so I send her a picture text. She sends one back. Then well my phone and hers takes and receives video clips. So the cheer leading section sent her a video. That she loved! they may be able to separate us but they can't keep us apart!

After a long apt. No one seemed to be prepared for it to be a 3 1/2 hour long apt. We finally got to go home.

Mom is doing great. I took a nap for her (hey anything I can do to help my mom) Sarah did more yard work. I'll be glad when I can get back on my feet and help out around the house for her more. In the mean time Amber gets to drive the medic van around town with us for the weekend!!!!! WHEEEEEEEEE


Wed 18 June 2008

Jann here. I've been holding out on you all. I am the original *doubting Thomasina* !! My Oncologist had told me that I could maybe tell as early as this weekend *if* the chemo was working or not----yeah right!!! So I measured the "primary tumor" (one in my breast), and it was three fingers wide and about one finger long----told you it was HUGE!! So by Sunday/Monday it was down to two fingers wide and half a finger long (or about the size of a $.25 cent piece) so there has been significant reduction already......MEANS that the Chemo is working----YEAH TEAM!!!!~~Jann

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wed's update

OK a few funnies from the week. First of last Friday when mom was getting sick she was huddled over the bowl and looked up at Amber as if to say something. When she finally got out what she wanted to say all she said was "Labor pains, it feels like labor pains". Upon hearing this I went into the other room and announced to every one else the news. I was greeted with a response of "she can't have labor pains, she's on THE PILL!" Well my response back was "obviously they put her on 'the pill' to late!" Even mom chuckle over her bowl on hearing the retort.

Mom has had a few (very few) more episode's of tummy pain. So as her tummy starts to hurt or such she keeps talking about "the baby". No she's not totally lost it yet, it is just a standing joke. During last nights episode she said that the baby was 'kicking'. =)

Last night during the baby's "awake time" she sent Amber a text telling her to "come" and she came from upstairs to help mom. After all was said and done they are now working on getting the dog to "go get Amber" for mom. It took a little bit of a try but they got it to work. Add another "trick" for the service dog!

Think of mom with all your good vibes and prayers tomorrow (Thursday) as she has her second chemo. I will keep you updated on her progress.


Monday, June 16, 2008


Today daughter Rox had surgery on her foot. Jann wanted to be there for her but had to settle with sending her text messages on the cell phone. Don't need to be around hospital sickness. After spending the morning texting with her granddaughter Sarah... it's called virtual age baby sitting. And we aren't sure whom was baby sitting whom. Sarah went over to spend the day with grandma to help her get stuff ready for the upcoming memorial service for her great grandma. She was a big help and Jann really liked the company and not being alone. That is her big thing right now, is not wanting a lot of "alone time" some is good all day is umm well boring!

Rox went home and was waited on HAND AND FOOT by her husband. Her surgery went well and she should be back up and walking in about 4 weeks. This week she wont be able to spend as much time as she would like to help Jann out. But it seems that Jann is having a good first week. A little more tired than normal, but other wise doing good. So far no more morning sickness!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The first weekend

Roxanne here: Well you must all be wondering how mom is doing. The short of it is she's doing good. She spent the weekend with us so we could keep an eye on her. Also being fathers day weekend we had a BBQ planed.

Friday night Jann had a bout of nausea, that seems to have been more do to something she ate than the medication. It lasted about an hour, and she didn't have any last night and was able to enjoy the BBQ dinner we had.

She is a little more tired these days, so when she disappears from the computer it could be a spontaneous nap time.

Humorous moment from the weekend. Picture this; Mom's got her head in a bowl, sitting on a computer chair. The advice nurse on the phone wants to know if she is peeing? All mom can think of is "Why is there a puddle under me? I don't think I'm peeing right now." (what the nurse wanted to know was how her out put had been during the day.)

Then we ask Jann if she wants an otter pop. (kind of a Popsicles for those that don't know) She said yes she would. Next thing I know she has the otter pop plastered up to her forehead to cool her off. I'm not sure whom was less clear on the concept of what the otter pop was going to be used for.

To quote my brother-in-law "the dot's weren't connecting"

Have a good Fathers day, and thank you for your care and support.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Cycle one treatment (1-1)

Before my Chemo Therapy treatment we had an hour appointment with the Research nurse going over all the lab results, what they look for what values they want what values get them "excited" and they need to do something different.

well today at 3:00 PM I started my Chemo therapy regimen first of all they have to put an IV in-----there is lies first problem---I'm allergic to any and all adhesives, , latex, spandex, lycra, nylon. Just HOW do they a fix the IV needle to my arm? I have been known to tolerate Tegaderm HP---so that's what they used today. Once they got the IV in and gave me a 250 cc bag of D5W then piggy backed one at a time three different medications. 1) a steroid, 2) Pepcid 3) benadryl ----THEN came the big guns. the Chemo drug Taxol I also started the Sutent (*the pill*) Ate ,popsicles and drank water, visited with family and friends. As I'm laying there Rox says *we/you* are going to have to "name" your friend there that you are having a date with every week. I looked at it, had paper work hanging from it----on the back said it was a BAXTER---So I'm dating Baxter now

then the nurse taking the IV out said that he was going to use something called Coban (very similar to vet wrap) I said NO you won't---see that spot there on my arm----that was from that. He didn't want to use the Tegaderm HP.

So far I'm feeling OK! I'm tired but I think that's because I missed my nap today. Those of you whom I was visiting with NO it was NOT your fault. I would NOT have slept any how.----I'll admit it I have *nose trouble* I want to know what's going on around me at all times. I seldom sleep whenever I'm in the hospital, unless they sedate me and then I refuse to come out of it-----so it's a vicious cycle.

Susan, one of my supporters. She has also offered to shave her head when I lose my hair. Any one else going to join us?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Date

We have word of the new date... the delay won't be long. Jann will start treatment on Thursday June 12th. Thank you for all of your kind words during this time.

More to come later.



I know you are all anxious to hear how things went yesterday. This will be edited by someone as time allows, but here is a quick update on the events of the day.

Yesterday on the way to the first appt., Jann got a call from the care facility where her mother lives. Grandma's/Mom's time on Earth was coming close to the end. After a group meeting, phone calls, hugs, tears, and a consult with Jann's oncology nurse, it was decided to postpone the start of her treatment and to all go be with Grandma/Mom.

Family was gathered at Grandma's/Mom's bed side well into night. At about 3:15 AM, she passed away.

Thanks for all of your support and prayers. We really needed them yesterday. We will let you know when the new date for starting treatment will be.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thank you and the New Do

Saturday 07 June 2008

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for your moral support and healing vibes in my fight against Breast Cancer and as I am about to embark on a journey of a lifetime! The before and after photos of the hair, more to come as it get's less and less. ~~Jann

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday 04 June 2008

I got the phone call from Mindi and was told that I have been accepted into the study program and I will be on the Paclitaxel + SU011248 (Sutent). combination which is the "pill" or as my Granddaughter told her mother "G'ma's on the pill mom" we all had a good Laugh at that one. I start on Monday 09 June 2008.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quick Thank You!

OK, this is Roxanne, Jann's Daughter.

Because I have "special powers" I'm going to post this here, not on the comment part.

I know for myself as the daughter/caregiver in this process it has moved me greatly already to see (read) the out poring of support for my mother. In talking with her over the past few days I know that she is moved beyond words over the out pouring of love and support.

Thank you all, this is what Jann needs to have to start her journey!

They say God couldn't be every where so he invented "grandmas", the I saw that he invented "mothers"... yet truly its all that plus "friends".

You are all the best. Alone Jann can handle it, but together we will ALL OVERCOME!!



Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday 02 June 2008

today was my visit with the first of many research nurses. We went over the research material again. She said that the results of my MRI were fine. I signed the papers to be part of the study. I start Chemo on Monday 09 June 2008 --- I have a 5 hour appointment that day~~Jann

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How this all got started.My Story by Jann

16.5 years ago I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in my left breast. At that time *in the dark ages before home computers* Mack and I went to the library, the American Cancer Society, and the Hospital resource centers (more than one) to research the disease, the prognosis, and the available treatments to help me decide on a course of action.

My surgeon was not very supportive of *my/our * decision. I/we opted at that time to have just a lumpectomy, followed by radiation and then hormone therapy as there was no lymph node involvement, as it was “only” a stage I cancer. I have been very faithful about doing my self exams and in getting my annual mammogram's, which have always been clear.

Fast forward 16.5 years, to Valentines Day of this year 2008, when I had a sudden painful swelling under my right arm. I also felt a lump at that time in my right breast. Since it was time for my Annual mammogram I went ahead and scheduled it. Within a day I got a call that I needed to schedule an Ultra Sound of the right breast as they didn't like the looks of it on the mammogram. Next, I had an Ultra sound biopsy which came back positive for Cancer.

I was sent to see a surgeon who after examining me suggest that I needed to talk to an oncologist as (he was concerned about being able to get clean margins during surgery because to the size of the tumor) (this one is of a size that it's questionable if they could get "clear margins" in surgery). He was also fairly certain from his exam that the lymph nodes are involved this time.

I went to see the oncologist. We discussed a number of options including that perhaps we could do chemotherapy first to shrink the tumor so that the surgeon could get clear margins, and then do chemotherapy again, radiation and hormone treatment. However to be more sure of what we are dealing with he ordered a bunch of test to be run.

So far I've had a full body Bone scan, a Chest, abdomen and pelvis CT scan, a scan of my heart and an MRI of my head. The MUGA (heart scan) came back wonderful. The MRI results are NOT in yet. The other two scans were not good. The cancer has spread to my left iliac crest (top of my hip), my spine at about T-5, a possible spot on my right lung and something (not sure what) on my liver. All these sightings make it Stage IV Cancer this time. Since it is in the bone Radiation is out.

At this time my options are:
1) Surgery, chemotherapy hormone therapy
2) Chemotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy
3) Study (just chemotherapy) followed by hormone therapy
4) The one no one wants to think about, DO NOTHING

A lot has changed in the last 16.5 years; many medical advancements have been made. We now have home computers with fairly easy internet access to a whole lot more information than we had from manual sources the first time. I’m armed with more information and many more questions.

Tomorrow, Monday 02 June 2008, I am meeting with the research nurse to discuss the Study Program and see if I am eligible.

The reason for and how to use this blog

This site is set up to help keep everyone informed on Jann as she begins the battle to overcome breast cancer again!

A quick lesson in how to use the site. The quickest easiest way to leave a message is to click on the "comment" link at the bottom of the day's post. Type your message in the "leave your comment" box. Then check a identity. If you do not have a gmail, or other options or know how to do that stuff, then you may click the anonymous tab. When you do this it would be helpful if you would sign your name at the bottom of your comment. That way Jann will know who you are. Sign it however Jann would know you. IE: your name, your screen name, your message board name.

This site is not only to let you (her friends and family) know what is going on. But also a way for you to show your support and concern for her.

Jann, Roxanne (her daughter) and Michelle (her sister-in-law) will be the primary people to update the blog over the course of time.

Thank you in advance for your support.