Monday, January 28, 2013

A Big Decision

Hi Everyone! There has been a lot going on since last week and our heads are spinning. Lauren and I left for Michigan Monday morning. Lauren had an appointment for a physical Monday afternoon for a research study she is participating in. Basically, the study tests Lauren's DNA and tumors to see what chemo will work best for her through blood, saliva, cheek swab, and liver biopsy. The physical was done by Dr. Zalupski, Wo's oncologist, and the researcher, Linda sat in as well. Lauren had been off chemo since around Christmas because the study works better with active cancer cells. The physical was mainly to see if Lauren still felt good enough to participate in the study. Everything looked good, so the biopsy was still on for Tuesday.

Monday morning, before we left for Michigan, Dr. Sonnenday, Lauren's liver surgeon, called and said he wanted to see us when we were up there. His secretary called back and we were so see him at 4:30. Kristen and Bruce came to the appointment and we talked for over an hour. I am very sorry that I cannot discuss any of this with you since it is Lauren's wishes. I can say that she has a major decision to make and is only discussing it at this time with family and a few close friends. I will let you know the second she makes a decision. You cannot imagine how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut!!

Tuesday was the liver biopsy for the study and Lauren was quite nervous. We had to be at the hospital for labs and to get her port accessed by 7:30. Her biopsy was at 9:00 and we had to be in the waiting room by 8:00. Kristen came to the hospital a little before they took her back and sat with me since she didn't have to work until 3:00. The nurses in the pre-op area were very nice. Lauren told them that she had a bad experience with her last biopsy and felt everything. Her nurse made sure to tell the person sedating her this and Lauren didn't feel a thing this time. They numbed her skin and went deeper to numb her liver. The nurse told her she had looked up who did her last biopsy and I guess he was a doctor nobody cared for and he was no longer at the hospital. Boy, I wish I had known that back then. That stupid doctor caused Lauren so much anxiety and pain. They must've given her some extra sedation this time because she slept through most of the 4 hours after the procedure that she had to be monitored. Kristen and I went and got her a sandwich from the cafeteria when she was able to eat. She had to eat and drink laying flat. I was praying she didn't choke! Everything went smoothly and we went back to Bruce and Sis's. Lauren was really sore. They took 6 chunks out of her liver.

Wednesday was labs again. Wo had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Zalupski and he decided to continue with chemo and give her Gemzar and 5-FU instead of the dreaded Xeloda pills. She had 5-FU before. It is the infused equivalent to Xeloda. Wo has to wear a pump for 48 hours, which she used to hate but will take it over the bad feeling effects of Xeloda any day. I think we were at the Cancer Center until 7:00 that night. Lauren is quite a popular girl up at the Cancer Center and really enjoyed telling lots of people about the Mexico trip and her engagement to Gio.

We left Michigan on Thursday and headed home thoroughly exhausted from the week's events. We are sorry that Mark and Gio couldn't be there, but they couldn't take off that much work.

We got home on Thurs. evening. Lauren was tired, sore, and didn't have much of an appetite. She rested most of the day on Friday and I disconnected her pump in the late afternoon. Saturday, she and Gio went shopping and then to his Mom's house where Lauren learned how to make homemade pizza sauce. Lauren and Gio had a pay-per-view wrestling party last night. They made homemade pizza for their guests and enjoyed Royal Rumble. Haha. Cracks me up that they all love watching wrestling. Ryan went on a road trip to Pittsburgh with friends this weekend. Crazy kids.

I am sorry Lauren has still not posted pictures from her trip. Imagine if you relied on her to write this blog. We would still be on page one! I can't blame her though. She is busy living her life. Which is exactly what we want her to do!! Here is a picture of Gio and Lauren in Mexico that she posted on Facebook. I'm sure others will come soon. Hopefully, I will have news for you soon. Until next time...
Love, -Pam

Lauren and Giovanni  at a dinner for hotel guests.


  1. Good to hear that Lauren is being well taken care of and surrounded by so much love and what sounds like several options. Will begin praying for discretion and guidance as she decides which path is best and for wisdom for the doctors watching her progress. Keep up the good fight, Lauren! You look beautiful...that suntan suits you well!! Thanks for keeping us posted!! ~Annie

  2. What a beautiful couple. I am so glad they had a great time and like you said, "..busy living her life." ! Lauren is the picture of health, it is so hard to believe she has cholangiocarcinoma! Sending love and best wishes as she makes her decisions. You have a great team! Hugs. Nancy