Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chemo does strange things.

Sorry, it's been awhile since my last post. I really didn't have much to talk about. I still don't!! It's been nice getting lots of comments and e-mails from people that read this blog that I don't even know. Nice to know people care, but usually sad that they know someone with this cancer or have lost someone to it. I look for blogs of cancer patients all the time. If anyone knows of one, let me know. I always figure I can learn something from reading a lot.

It seems like this has been the longest two and a half weeks since Lauren had her last chemo. Lauren has been extremely tired this whole time. She falls asleep at around 10 or 11 at night, sleeps in until 10:30 or 11 and then takes a long nap in the afternoon. So she really isn't awake very much. She does not have much of an appetite either. She eats enough, but not near as much as she used to. She likes bland food now. Nothing spicy. I think her taste is off too, an all too common complaint of chemo patients. I made mac and cheese the other night with fish and she said the mac and cheese tasted like granny smith apples!! I knew her taste was a little off, but my goodness! Her feet are bothering her also. They turn really red on the bottom and hurt when she walks. Mostly toward the end of the two weeks on Xeloda. Gio slathers creams and lotions on her feet every night. He is so good to her. Now today, she said they are feeling better. Probably because she has been off the Xeloda since Wed.

One night last weekend, Lauren and Gio went to get ice cream. She came home and gave me half of it because she couldn't eat it all. She has been getting nauseous out of the blue every once in awhile. When she does, she takes a compazine and chews peppermint gum. It didn't work this time and she threw up without notice into her hand while running to the bathroom from the living room. She usually can tell when she is going to be sick and sits in the bathroom until she does get sick or can fight it. Not this time. Gio was chasing after her. Dogs were barking. I jumped up to get paper towels and clorox wipes and tripped over Frank and fell flat on my face in the kitchen. I hit both of my wrists really hard and my knees. I had some big bruises on my wrists and still feel sore on my knees, but I am ok. I fall at least a few times a year because I am a huge klutz. Mark was already in bed and heard a loud crash downstairs and asked what it was the next day. Just me taking a tumble. Good thing I have strong bones and a lot of padding!!

We had lunch on Wed. with our dear friend, Lisa at Panera in Fairlawn. To refresh your memory, Lisa has the same cancer as Lauren, has had two resections, and the cancer keeps coming back. She has been on chemo, had different kinds of radiation, and really just deserves to catch a break and be cancer free. She is always so much fun and we had a great time. Lauren and Lisa can talk about things with each other that none of their other friends would understand. It is such a blessing to know someone else that can relate to Lauren and understand everything she is going through. I always take a picture of them when have lunch, so here they are. I think they both look especially great this time.

Lauren felt good that day, so she bought a bunch of bagels at Panera and had me drop her off at Gio's family business in Akron. She loves to hang out there with his family.

Wo has not been having any liver pain lately, only occassional back pain. It doesn't seem to be as bad as it has in the past. Maybe this is a good sign. Hopefully, tumors are shrinking. I'm not sure how Wo feels, but I am getting nervous for her scans on Tues. It is so stressful. I think it is worse now that she had a bad scan last time. We are praying so hard for a good one. I hope so much this chemo has helped.

The rest of the family is hanging in there. Mark has been doing a lot of work on our house in his limited spare time. Ryan is busy working a lot at the bike shop and at the farm. The bike shop is closing today, so he will need to find another job. He also started back to school at Stark State. Kristen and Bruce are working all the time and she has already applied for a few positions for next year when she is done with her residency. Wow! That has flown by. I'm hanging in there. Still taking the Celexa and went to the doctor yesterday. I am always really tired and I don't really care about much like I used to. I've had blood work and nothing is wrong. I thought it might be from the Celexa, but Dr. Steineck thinks it is from depression. It is a tired I have never felt before. He wants me to continue with the Celexa and gradually up my dosage, because he still doesn't think I feel as good as I should. I have never had a doctor like him. He is so caring and compassionate. Absolutely love him.

Lauren and Gio are going to Cleveland tonight to celebrate their friend, Melissa's birthday. I hope Lauren holds up ok. I know Gio will take good care of her. They are going to the Browns game tomorrow also. We will be heading to Michigan on Tuesday. Lauren has a CT scan at 5:30 pm. She has labs, doctor appt., and chemo on Wed. if the scans come back good. If not, I'm not sure what Dr. Z will want to do. I'm not going to think about it because I know they will be good. We can always use your prayers though. Thanks so much and I will let you know how things go as soon as I know.

I wanted to add another picture and this one came to mind. I think it is my favorite picture of Wo and Gio. It was last year when we went to get our Christmas tree. I even had a blanket made for Lauren out of this picture. It is just so darn cute. Enjoy!


  1. Pam/ Lauren:

    My name is Joe Garassino and I am a 28 year old who was diagnosed with intrahepatic CC at the beginning of the summer. My email address is My great friend Sarah recently came across your blog and I would love to be in touch as it is certainly a small network out here and it seems as though we are going through many of the same things with this crazy illness.

    Being from the Northeast I am a NY Giants fan and and not Browns fan but hopefully we can connect at some point in the near future.



    1. Thank you Joe. I sent you an e-mail.

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you prepare for Lauren's scan tomorrow.
    And that is an adorable picture!!

  3. First of all...I love Lauren's earrings...those are cute!!! I will be praying for good results on your scans on Tuesday. Pam...take care of yourself...I know it's hard with your daughter being sick...but I will be praying for your depression to lighten up. Love the picture of lisa and lauren...beautiful ladies :0) Try to have a good week and just keep on loving each other. Can't wait to hear the good news from Tuesday!

    Love, Teresa

    1. Teresa, Lauren has a lot of wild earrings. That is her thing. Haha!! Don't worry about me. I will be fine. As soon as we know something, one of us will post. Take care, sweet friend.

  4. Hi Pam and Lauren,

    Sending you hugs from NYC. Joe’s sister, Lis, here :) Here is our blog for Joe: so you can see pics and info from us.

    Lauren hope you are having a nice day



    1. Thanks so much, Lis. I sent you an e-mail.

  5. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    The pictures are great! Take care