Sunday, May 20, 2012

Theraspheres are in...Now let's kill that cancer

Well, here I am at my nice new blog.  I'll start here where I left off last time and hopefully remember everything.  Don't count on it. 

Tuesday, the 15th was my 54th birthday, but since we were leaving for Michigan on Tuesday for Lauren's Therasphere procedure, Mark wanted to get me something on Monday. We went to Home Depot and I picked out a cute little glider for our front porch. We like to sit outside sometimes and just look at our pretty flower gardens. I don't know how great they are going to be this year. I just don't seem to have the energy to take care of a ton of flowers, but we will see. We decided to eat at a small restaurant called Samantha's down in Belden. We just sat down and Lauren called us and said they were at Rockne's right next door and to come and join them. So we had a nice dinner with Lauren and Gio. They had more shopping to do and Mark and I went home and he put my glider together. I love it.

We wanted to leave Tuesday by 3. Yeah right!! I had done a bunch of laundry, cleaned, and got everything ready for our trip to Michigan. Mark tried to leave work as soon as he could. I think he got home around 3 and had to pack his bag. We left at around 4:30. I wanted to get there because Kristen had made reservations at an Italian restaurant for my birthday dinner for 8. I didn't want to be late because Kristen and Bruce never get enough sleep as it is, so I didn't want to keep them out too late. I think we got to their house at around 7:30, hurried and put on our dress clothes and left. She had changed the reservations for a little later. We got there pretty quick because Bruce has a lead foot and doesn't mess around! The restaurant was downtown Ann Arbor. It is called Palio. There are a lot of tables right out on the sidewalk, as there are at all the cute restaurants downtown. They have a rooftop area too, but it didn't open until the next day. I was kind of disappointed. The food was very delicious. There was a lot of rich cheese though and Lauren tried to steer clear of anything really rich. She had a nice salad and pasta with pesto, but she still got really queasy after dinner. Gio came up after work on his own and met us at the restaurant. I was glad he got to join us. We went back to Sis and Bruce's and she had gotten me a cake. It was really pretty and good, but we were all so full, it was hard to enjoy. I got a hanging basket and a gift card from Bruce and Sis along with The Hunger Games book and a bottle of moscato. Lauren felt bad because she left my present from her and Ryan on her bed at home. Oh well. Something to open on another day when we got home. I forgot to say that at the restaurant, if it is your birthday, your dinner is free and you get dessert too. I took the peanut butter pie and gave it to Bruce. My dinner was probably over $20, so that was great!  Lauren took any nausea med she could get her hands on and sat up in bed and chewed peppermint gum and drank diet ginger ale to try and settle her stomach. She still had a belly ache in the morning. Could've been nerves too.           
Pictures of Palio from their website.

We needed to be at the hospital and in the Radiology dept. by 11 on Wed.  Kristen and Bruce had already left for work when we got up. I think they get there at 5:30 or 6. We left their house at around 10:15 and got there and registered before 11. Lauren was called back to the pre-op area and I went with her. She changed into a gown, got her IV started and all the basic stuff. They gave her an antibiotic in her IV just as a precaution. Her nurse this time was the sweetest thing. She said they would be giving her Zofran in her IV for nausea and Lauren told her it gives her migraines. We found that out after chemo at the beginning. We told her before chemo, the nurses give her Aloxi. I guess this is liquid gold. Super expensive stuff that they only use in the infusion area. Her poor nurse went to a bunch of different pharmacies and all over the hospital looking for some Aloxi. She was gone forever. I guess she finally found some in the chemo area of the Cancer Center. I told her nurse about the problem with Lauren being exposed for everyone to see last time during the mapping, and she said she would tell the nurse that would be taking care of Lauren during the procedure to make sure it didn't happen again. Mark and Gio came back and sat with Lauren for a while. Then the nurse came to get her. We kissed her goodbye and went to the waiting room. Mark and Gio went to get breakfast in the cafeteria. I wanted to stay in the waiting room. I was a little nervous, not as bad as I thought I'd be. Lauren's Radiology Oncologist came out to the waiting room and said the procedure went very well and she was very pleased. Then Lauren's liver surgeon, our favorite doctor, came out to see us. What a surprise. He said he had peeked in on her to see how she was doing. He also said he was pleased and they would decide what to do next after seeing the results from this. I cannot tell you how much we love this man!!  It was only a few hours and we got called back to recovery. Lauren was laying flat. She had to lay that way for 2 hours. I guess she would have had to lay still a lot longer if her doctor didn't use this thing called and Angio-seal. It is a little plug they use to plug the artery they puncture for the procedure. I asked her if anything hurt and she said she had some bleeding so the doctor had to apply pressure for like 5 minutes and it really hurt. She said the procedure itself didn't hurt and she couldn't tell when the radioactive beads went in. They are so tiny. Way smaller than even fine sand. She said they did a great job of keeping her covered up. She seemed better to me after this than she did after the mapping. She was hungry and thirsty, so her recovery room nurse got her some ginger ale and a turkey sandwich with chips and a fruit cup. The nurse made her get up and walk after laying for 2 hours. She got to get dressed and she gave us her going home instructions. Side effects are fever, nausea, fatigue, and pain. Some people do very well and some get really sick. Lauren hopped in a wheelchair and we headed back to Kristen and Bruce's house. Lauren laid on the couch and Mark went and got her some food. We had pizza and salad. Lauren had chicken. She wasn't very hungry. She wasn't very comfy on the couch, so she decided to climb the stairs and lay in a bed. She stayed there all night. She was really tired. I made sure she had nausea and pain meds every 3or 4 hours. She slept really well.

Lauren after her Therasphere procedure when she had to lay flat.

Gio had left the night before to go home because he had to work. We left for home at around 11. Lauren sat in the front seat with it fully reclined. She slept most of the way home and got in her bed when we got home. We discovered my blue and white chair in the family room was demolished when we got home. The whole side was chewed off and there was blood all over it. The guilty party was our dog named Frank. He is a Husky mix and a crazy dog. He is 11 years old and still as hyper as he was at 1. He freaks out sometimes and goes bonkers. That just so happened when we were gone and Ryan was taking care of him. Ryan said he kept barking and panting, and when he let him out he barked to come in. Maybe he had anxiety because we were gone. It was a nice chair, but I've had it for over 10 years so I'm not that upset. Not as upset as the time he tore the whole front off our oven or ripped a giant whole in our carpet. We are dog lovers, but this dog is ridiculous.

Lauren continued to rest in her bed and felt ok except for a pain in her upper left chest. Sat. morning, it was still hurting and I started to worry she could have a blood clot or something. I wondered if we should go to the ER. I dug Dr. Zalupski's card out of Lauren's huge file that we carry to every appt.  I  flipped the card over and it said Residence number. This couldn't be his home phone, could it? I told Lauren to dial it and talk to him because she could better describe her pain. A woman with a friendly voice answered and Lauren asked to speak to Dr. Z.  It was his home phone!! Lauren told him about her pain and he asked her a bunch of questions. He said it didn't sound like anything serious and he said it was probably from the procedure. I know when Lauren was first diagnosed with CC, she used to get bad pain in her shoulder, so this made sense. It is probably a nerve or something. Maybe even a pulled muscle. She said she jerked real hard when the doctor was pushing on her leg. I was relieved.She is doing remarkably well. She went to Gio's yesterday and mostly laid on the couch while he worked.

The company Mark works for had a car cruise-in to benefit Kent Social Services Saturday. There were 70 hot rods and classic cars there along with free food and a DJ. Mark said it was a huge success. He said he had so much fun with the whole thing. We would have liked to have gone, but felt it would be too much for Lauren to handle. One of Mark's bosses, named Bruce drove his T-bird there and made Mark drive it home for the weekend. He wanted Lauren to drive it, so last night we went to dinner at El Rincon and Lauren drove Giovanni to the restaurant. She said it was really fun to drive. I know you read this Bruce, so thanks for making Lauren happy. We tease him and call him Lauren's Sugar Daddy, because he is always doing nice things for her.

Mark made a big breakfast this morning and Lauren and Gio went to his house to paint. Lauren laid on the couch most of the day because her chest still hurts. Mark and I put the solar heater on the pool and Mark hooked up all the hoses. We are excited that it is pool time again. Like vacation in our own back yard! We have had this pool for quite some time and are so grateful to have it. It was one of our best purchases. I forgot to tell you that Lauren and Ryan got me a Kindle for my birthday and Gio gave me a case for it and $30. What a great present. My first book is 50 Shades of Grey. What a naughty book. Mark says he might read it when I'm done. I think not. I am posting a few pics of Lauren and Gio in the T-bird. if I can figure out how to!! Sorry this post is so long. I will try to post more often. Thanks for reading and please continue to pray for Lauren and her CC buddies. God bless you all and much love,


Lauren and Gio sitting in Bruce's T-bird in our driveway.
Getting ready to go to El Rincon. Mark is in the background.


  1. Glad to hear the procedure went well and will pour on the prayer for those Theraspheres to work

  2. This is a neat site!!! That restaurant looks really nice. Ann Arbor has a lot of neat places to eat. Reminds me of a tourist town with all the outside tables.