Thursday, June 28, 2012

Definitely not the news we were expecting.


Wow. Our family did not expect to be dealt a blow like this. I am having a very hard time right now, but I want everyone to know what happened so you can start praying for Lauren. I will start at the beginning of our trip that started Tuesday morning.

Lauren had an appointment for a CT scan at U of M on Tuesday at 1:00. We needed to be there by noon for her prep. We left at 8:00 in the morning, giving us way more time to get there than we needed. We hit a minor back up around Rt. 57 on the turnpike. A semi had caught on fire. That was not much of a problem. Then, about 20 miles from Toledo, we hit a major traffic jam. We sat there for over an hour, barely moving at all. I started to freak out because that is what I do. I was afraid we would be late for Lauren's CT and they might not have another spot for her. Lauren called the hospital and made them aware of the situation. Finally, they started directing everyone single file on the left berm. Another semi that caught fire. Of course, jerky people start flying up cutting everyone else off to get there first. I will never understand people like that who think they are better than everyone else and deserve not to have to wait their turn. Finally, we broke free and I had to haul butt to get there in decent time. I was about 70 or 80 miles away and still needed to fight my way through Toledo. Long story short, we got to the waiting room at 12:30. Half an hour before her scan. She only had to drink a glass of water. Not the gross, chalky drink. She was happy about that. She was only gone for about an hour and she was done. CTs are so much faster and easier than MRIs. Kristen and Bruce were still at work, so we headed for their house and let their dogs out and watched tv.

Kristen called when she got off work and asked where we wanted to eat dinner. We said if she didn't mind, we would like to eat at her house. We are sick of restaurant food. She and Bruce stopped on the way home and got steaks, corn on the cob, and garlic bread. She also bought an angel food cake and fresh strawberries. We had a wonderful dinner. Bruce went to work out in the basement and us girls watched a marathon of Real Housewives of the OC. We all went to bed around 10. Lauren and I each have our own room. We were both on our computers until late. We could sleep in on Wednesday because Lauren didn't have labs until 1:45. Kristen didn't have to be to work until 3:00, so she was with us in the morning. I got up around 9:00 and ate some toast. Kristen was working on the resident's schedule. One of the wonderful jobs she has to do as Chief Resident is schedule all the other residents. Like all 120 of them!! What a headache. I was sitting in the living room with Buzz and Stink and Kristen came in and sat down. She said she had looked at Lauren's CT report yesterday. Right then I knew it wasn't good. Neither she nor Bruce had said a thing about them on Tuesday. She had said something about maybe not looking at the report before we saw the doctor because one time I made her look at them and the news wasn't great. She feels so bad breaking bad news to us. Anyway, she said I saw Wo's report and the news isn't very good. It says there is a 4 cm. tumor in the left side of the liver that had Theraspheres. I was pretty much in shock and just sat there. She said she didn't understand how this could happen and how it could be that big in less than 6 weeks since Lauren had the Theraspheres. She just kept saying that it didn't make sense. Well, it didn't take me long to bust out crying and saying stupid stuff like I couldn't live if Lauren died. It was around 11:00 by then and Lauren was still sleeping. Sis went up and woke her up and told her the news. She promised she would never withhold info from us again to spare our feelings. I am so glad she told us before we went to the doctor. I asked Lauren if we should call Mark and she wanted to wait until after we spoke to the doctor because maybe he had a good news explanation of the whole thing. We knew it would kill Mark to have to wait to hear from us and he is already so stressed out. Now that I read this, I realize we did the same thing to him that Sis did to us. We just wanted him not to worry, but he said he had a bad feeling before he ever knew.

I had a few signs that made me wonder about things as well. Call me crazy if you want but I feel like I have some weird intuitions and always look for signs. The traffic jam and two trucks burning really bothered me. We had salad at the hospital and when I looked at the receipt, Lauren's salad total came to $6.66. That really spooked me. Like I said, call me crazy, but this stuff really bothered me that bad news was coming.

 Lauren forgot to put numbing cream on her chest until we were halfway to the hospital. We stopped in a parking lot because her cream was in the back of the SUV. It was kind of numb when we got there. It should be applied about an hour before port access. The nurse could not get a blood flow from her port. They finally realized she had put it in crooked and another nurse pulled it out and put it back in straight. Lauren has more trouble with those nurses and her port. We then went up to Dr. Zalupski's waiting room. Lauren got called back fairly quick. We saw Dr. Z's PA named Gwen first. She read us the CT report. We had a ton of questions, none of which she could answer which was very frustrating. Lauren was really upset and angry. Dr. Z finally came in with Gwen and some doctor from Peru that was observing. Dr. Z told us that there was a 4 cm. tumor and he wasn't really sure if it was a tumor, dead spot, blood clot, or what. He thinks it is probably a tumor though. He wanted to schedule an MRI as soon as possible to get a better understanding of what it is. Lauren asked if she could be knocked out for the MRI since she totally freaked out at the last one. Dr. Z said that would delay the quickness in getting an MRI since she would have to have an anesthesiologist with her. He said to just take Ativan before the MRI and another during if she needed. He also said he would get her the largest one so she wouldn't feel so claustraphobic. These are really horrible because they aren't quick. They are 2 or more hours inside a tight little tube. Really hot and miserable. I think the Ativan will help and I said it is worth to go through 2 hours of misery to find out what this is. She agreed. Lauren had a million questions to ask Dr. Z. He answered them all very truthfully. He did not want her to have chemo as planned because he said if it was a tumor, that meant the chemo wasn't working anymore. He didn't want to put more toxins in her body if they weren't working. He said if this is in fact a new tumor, he will start her on two different chemos, Oxaliplatin and Xeloda. I asked him if the Theraspheres were a complete bust and he said he didn't know. So everything is up in the air. He said if this is a new tumor that her cancer is progressing. That is not what we want to hear. Lauren had a very difficult time and you can tell Dr. Z feels so bad. What a difficult job he has.

The MRI is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 9:45. That means we will have to go back to Sis and Bruce's Monday night. Lauren and I kept crying in the car. We got McDonald's cheeseburgers and fries to try and cheer ourselves up. We also got ice cream on the way home. I think that made Lauren feel better. Lauren called Mark, Grandma and Grandpa, and Linda on the way home. We got home around 8:00. Gio came over and Ryan, Stephanie and Mark were here. Gio is having such a hard time. I thank God every day Lauren has such a caring boyfriend. Wo and Gio went out to swim, but got too cold. I slept downstairs with Wo last night. That's what I do after chemo, but still wanted to even though she didn't have chemo. We have gotten so much support from everyone. Thanks so much. Lauren will contine to fight and never give up. You all help give her the strength to carry on. Until next time...

Love, -Pam



Our beautiful Wo in happier times.

13 comments:

  1. Darn Cancer is so tricky, figuring out how to get around her current chem mix. I hope the new mix gets rid of this new tumor, Lauren. Pam, I think all of you are coping really well considering. As always, you are in my thoughts utmost each morning and night. Prayers and healing thoughts are going out to you all! Lori

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    1. Thanks for all of your support, Lori!

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  2. Oh Pam and Lauren...I cannot express to you the sorrow I feel when I read this blog. I remember writing my blog for my sister and having to be the one who broke the bad news to everyone who read it...they would just sit and wait for me to update them. And I hated to have to write bad news. I wish I knew what to say to make things look better or make you feel better.

    You have so many people out there who love you guys and are praying for you. Lauren is such a young, healthy, strong, beautiful girl who has so much fight in her. You guys just have to pick yourself up...and start a new fight with a new treatment. I realize being on this end...it is much easier to say than when I was on your end having to hear these words.

    Somebody has to show this cancer that it cannot win...and I think you guys are the ones to do it. My heart is heavy and hurting ... I feel like I am right there in this fight with you. I want to make sure that you know...I am here if you Pam...or you Lauren need someone to talk to. I have been in your shoes...I have taken this path...all I have left is to support other people who are fighting this battle.

    Again...praying and praying and praying...

    Love,

    Teresa :0)

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    1. You of all people understand what we are going through and we appreciate your support so much, Teresa. Thank you.

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  3. Oh Pam. I'm devastated for you and Lauren. I hope with every fiber of my being that it's something other than a tumor. Massive hugs for you and Lauren xxxxxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Deb. We know your pain is so fresh, yet you still are able to comfort us. Bless you.

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  4. Oh dear Pam and Lauren I was in doctors office this morning when Mark sent me an email with the news and was just crushed. Went to work and gave your old dad a big hug and chatted with him for awhile. I know you'll stay positive and strong and beat this thing, it just makes me angry. Know you're in my thoughts and prayers.
    Told Mark to tell you that "sugar daddy" wants you to pick a weekend to drive my little red T/Bird, and I mean more than just to dinner. XXX

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    1. Thank you so much for caring, Bruce. We hope your ankle quits giving you problems. Lauren loves her Sugar Daddy and so do we!! Take care and thanks for all you do for Lauren.

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  5. Hi guys ..... I am so angry this stupid cancer had to pick Lauren. Now it needs to listen to this new chemo and GO AWAY PERMANENTLY!! Thank God there are dedicated physicians, like Dr. Z, who went to school and worked hard to help people. We will always stand behind you, Lauren, and bend our knees before God to ask him to heal you. There may be set backs, but the war is far from over!! Today is a new day and a new way to kick cancer's butt. Love you all tons and tons.
    Marsha Tomko

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    1. Thanks for your neverending support and prayers, Marsha. You are a true friend.

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  6. Pam, Mark & Lauren,

    Please know that I have not forgotten about you or stopped thinking and praying you, I have been having a rough time, I thought if we got through the holidays, things would be better. I have been following Laureen's journey and have held out such hope that she will beat this thing. I know this is a set back and I know how you feel, but don't give up hope. Keep fighting. Love to you all.

    Lynn Chase

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    1. Hi Lynn, I understand that it was too hard for you to continue e-mailing. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through and hope I never have to find out. I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. I am so sorry you have to go through such heartache. Love and hugs to you.

      -Pam

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  7. Hello Kunkliers - I am also saddened by this setback during Lauren's journey. We continue to pray for her healing and hope this new hurdle is just a temporary traffic jam along her path to wellness. Although it isn't the best news thank you for sharing.

    Michelle Leemaster

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