Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A day of good news.....

I am smiling ear to ear as I type this update! Today has been a day of great news!

Karly had an easy day. She saw Dr. Mahajan for her weekly radiation visit, had her radiation treatment and then received a pint of blood. We first thought she would just be receiving platelets today but she ended up receiving full blood. She is scheduled for chemo on Thursday.

While Karly was receiving her blood Lexie and I went down to get a snack. While we were sitting in the lobby eating we saw Shaunie and Donny about to leave. We were so EXCITED to hear that Donny had received an EXCELLENT report. He is doing great! Thank you God!

And then tonight Karly walks in and says, "Keaton is back!" WooHoo! It was not an easy journey for them to get back to Houston. When they first tried to leave the Philippines a typhoon (Ketsana) hit! But they are now back and we can't wait to see them tomorrow and give them both a big hug!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sorry for the delay in updating. We have had a busy week.

Karly completed 5 radiation treatments this past week and now only has 26 more to go. She say it is easy and it only takes about 20 minutes. We met with Dr. Mahajan on Tuesday and she said any side effects that Karly might have probably would not start for 3 or 4 weeks.

Thursday, Karly went in for lab work and her doctor's visit. After the lab results came back we thought she might be getting platelets on Friday. Friday's lab results showed that her platelets had not increase or decreased but she did not have to receive any platelets. Her white count was very low (1,000) so I had to start giving her injections again in hopes that her counts will be up so she can begin chemo cycle #11 on Monday.

Friday was an exciting day at MDACC we got to witness a little boy(maybe 3) ring the bell in the pedi clinic. While in radiation we got to see 3 people do the same thing. The ringing of the bell is the sign of the end of treatment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Something new

Radiation for the first time......

Karly's first radiation treatment went just fine today. We got there a little before 5pm and she was finished about 5:45. This 1st time took longer than the rest of the treatments will take. They had to do a few scans and draw all over her with a red Sharpie :) before they began. She said it was super easy and the technicians were very nice. They told her she could bring a CD of her own music to listen to if she wanted to help pass the time.

My little nephew Kade is pretty sick, please keep him in your prayers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Karly has finished with chemo cycle #10. She did this cycle outpatient and it was much easier on her. She enjoyed sleeping in her bed, playing her xBox and she ate MUCH better than normal. Monday through Friday she went to the clinic and received the pre-meds and 1 of the 2 chemo drugs while there; then they sent her home with a backpack containing the 2nd chemo drug, fluids and the bladder cleanser. The backpack contained a bag holding 3100mL at once, it was the biggest bag I had ever seen. I had to have a mini lesson in IV pumps before we were able to leave with it on Monday, and of course the only time I had to do anything to the pump was in the wee hours of the morning. Friday was a long day at the clinic because Karly needed 2 units of blood and each unit takes about 3 hours to transfuse. Lexie got to go with a group a kids from the hospital Friday morning to watch "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". She loved it and it made it easier on all of us since we were at the clinic all day. Karly went to the ATC(ambulatory treatment center) Saturday to have her bag changed. I will have to admit that the pedi clinic has spoiled us! The other areas of the hospital are not as wonderful as they are in pediatrics. This morning we headed back to the ATC and she got to get rid of her backpack. I am not sure if her next chemo cycle will be this coming Thursday or a week from tomorrow (Monday).

Karly will being radiation on Monday. That is the main reason she had to receive blood Friday. Radiation will also cause her counts to drop so they basically need to be perfect since she will be doing both chemo and radiation. She is scheduled to have 31 radiation treatments. This will be done every day, Monday-Friday.

Once again I want to say THANK YOU for all the prayers, cards, gifts, calls and messages. We have the greatest friends and family in the world!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A ray of sunshine.....

It is with a heavy heart that I write tonight. Karly is doing just fine with her current chemo cycle, but is mourning the loss of a friend here at MDACC. Beautiful Zoe lost her battle with Leukemia and passed on from this world. Karly met Zoe at the hospital school. The day before Zoe went in ICU, Zoe and Karly were asking all the nurses who their celebrity crush was. Both girls received a blood transfusion that day, they were across the hall from each other and waved at each other from their beds every time the doors opened. Zoe was definitely "a ray of sunshine." She had been here 2 years, had 2 failed bone marrow transplants and was waiting on a donor. The clinic Monday had a solemn mood, she had touched so many lives.

September is childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15.The impact of childhood cancer on our nation is staggering:

*1 child out of 5 who is diagnosed with cancer dies;

*3 out of 5 children suffer from long-term or late side effects;

*Every school day, 46 young people, or two classrooms of students, are diagnosed with cancer in this country;

*There are now more than 270,000 childhood cancer survivors in the United States, and this number is growing rapidly.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Routine

Today was the beginning of something new for us. It has gone great so far!

Karly had an appointment at the clinic at 2pm this afternoon to begin her 10th cycle of chemo. She is doing this cycle outpatient. She got in her room in the PATC around 2:30 and once her port was accesses she got started with cycle 10. While at the clinic Karly receive all her premeds and one of the chemo drugs. She was then sent home with a backpack full of fluids, the 2nd chemo drug and Mesna(bladder protector). We were in the car headed home by 4:30. I can't even begin to tell you how great it feels not to be in the hospital! When we got back home, Nanny had cooked supper and Karly said, "this smells SO much better than the hospital."

We received the results from her last PET scan today, and it was good news. The mass still has not decreased in size, but has decreased in intensity and is responding to treatment. Her chest was clear!

Karly will head back to the clinic at 2pm tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Changes!

Karly went in early this morning for lab work and then she headed to the PET scan. The PET scan takes a total of about 2 hours. We do not know the results of the PET scan, they were not up when we saw Dr. Herzog at 11:00am.

Karly and I have been visiting with one of Dr. Herzog's other patients and she receives her chemo on an outpatient basis and Karly was very interested in doing that. So, today she asked the doc if it was possible, Dr. Herzog said since we are so close to the hospital(1.6 miles)and since we have always been compliant (I didn't know there was a choice) that she was fine with it. So, chemo was delayed until Monday.

The plan is: we will go to the clinic and spend 3-4 hours receiving the chemo drugs and then Karly will come home will a back pack of fluids. We will return to the clinic the following day and continue this for 5 days. We never thought we would be happy about chemo being delayed but we are thrilled that Karly can come home instead of spending so much time in the hospital. When this all first began, Dana was preparing me for all that would take place down here and I remember when she told me they sent Daniel home with a backpack I thought "there is NO WAY I could do that." Now Karly and I are asking, "what ALL can we do at home so we don't have to be here all the time."

We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying time with Nanny & Pa. We went to eat and then the girls went shopping. Poor Pa! :)

Now is time for a great big THANK YOU to all the great folk at Westside! We got a HUGE box from them yesterday. Last night, Nanny, Pa and I had the best time watching the girls go through it. It was packed with all kinds of wonderful things. I can never put into words how thankful we are to be a part of such a wonderful church family!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Karly's Post

Hey everyone this is Karly herself =)

I really don't know what to say. Of course I gotta say thank you everyone for the support and prayers. If it wasn't for you guys and my good friends I woulda already went insane. Haha, you guys give me something to read and smile about when I'm sitting on the couch bored.

I don't know if mom said anything about it or not so I'll go ahead and say, Thank you Seminole High School Band =) I got my two shirts the other day, my band shirt and black out shirt. (I must say they are alot better than last year I think haha)

As you prolly know I gotta get more blood I think and cause of that I got banned from Monster and Vemon energy drinks, which isn't that cool, but I guess it's for the best. Haha

We also just got back from Kemah last night and it was really fun! We rode on this boat called the Boardwalk Beast and it tours all the way around the bay. The ride lasted 45 minutes, but it was the slow ride, I told my mom we shoulda rode the fast one where it cut that time into 20 minutes and you'd get soaked. Haha

I really miss all you guys. I feel so outta place without being able to go to school every morning and getting to hang out with my friends on the weekends. It's a huge change from doing all that to suddenly doing nothing but hospital stuff basicly. I'm still adjusting to it. But seriously, I miss the band a WHOLE lot, I'm sure they'll be glad to have me back but I haven't touched my trumpet in forever so I bet they'll be like oh no... Haha

I want everyone to know that my friends are seriously wonderful people. Like ther perfect example of a great friend is my best friend Marcus. Once he found out I'd be stuck in Houston he told me he was getting a job so he could come see me. And in July he came and stayed for a full week. Haha he brought like 300 dollars or something like that for us to spend and I kept telling him that was too much money for a kid to have. But yeah, it ment alot to me that he was willing to work on the weekends just to come see me.

Then there of course is Keaton and Karen. I love those two. Seriously, if it wasn't for them I would have gone crazy, and so would have mom. They have helped us out so much. And I miss them so, and I pray for them to come back safe and doing much better than they were before. They are so smart and strong and I know they can do this. I don't have a doubt in my mind.

I remember at the end of last school year I visited the school one last time to clean out my locker and visit some teachers, and when I went to the choir room I also talked to some friends and they were asking me all sorts of questions. Well we had an exchange student from Japan named Dicekay(We just called him Dice) and he looked so confused and finally someone just told him that I had a tumor and he said, "Ohh... What is a tumor?" Then we explained that to him and then I told him I had cancer. I will never forget this, I laughed so hard. His eyes got real big and his mouth dropped. "Ohh.... What is this cancer??? It sounds really, really bad!" I think they finally got everything explained to him but I thought it was really funny.

Now my mom said the goal is to come home mid novemeber. I pray every night that we get to go home then. I'm so homesick. But I gotta say my favorite holiday is thanksgiving and so there is no way that I'd miss thanksgiving at my Nanny's house! Nu uh! The food is all sooo good... Yumm. So if not I still plan, irregardless, to be home around thanksgiving cause I wouldn't miss that for the world.

I wish there was a way to speed up time and just hurry and get to be home. I can't wait to be able to give everyone of you the hug that you guys deserve. Ya'll are the best support system out there.

And I wanna thank my Nanny and Pa for watching out for our animals. You guys wouldn't believe how much I miss them. I heard they fell in love with our guinea pig, but I could see how. Our guinea pig is so cool you guys. His name is Baby Chip(and I bought that lil guy a couch for his cage the other day haha, he can eat it while he's sittin on it too!) and he's not like other guinea pigs, his fur is all wild, like he seriously has a mohawk! Haha. Then I also heard my nanny and pa loves our cocker spaniel so much that they have her at their house! haha, that's good for all three of them. I remember that dog liked to be with people so much and she is a good older dog so she'll just sit there with you, and that's great for nanny and pa. Plus now they have someone to spoil haha. Then I also heard our cats are even getting the royal treatment from them haha. But of course there is that one animal that is hyper and makes a mess. And that's my dog Chika. Haha, I've heard she's been makin some messes back at home. I of course promised that, that will change when I get home, cause she'll be getting her walks everyday and some training in. But I miss my Chika so much.

And I miss Seminole's weather. The rain here is nice, but wow it's so humid! I'm not crazy about it.

Well, I would write a whole lot more, but mom just finished cooking dinner so I should go eat before it gets cold.

I'll try and post again one day to rant on about random stuffs. =)

I love ya'll!
~ Karly, Herself.
Karly went in this morning for blood work and her hemoglobin levels were low again. If I could get her to eat some liver that might help. HaHa....I would not eat it myself. The nurse that was covering for the regular nurse called and said for Karly to be there at 9am for repeat labs and possible blood transfusion in the morning. An hour later, Beatriz, the PA, called and said Dr. Herzog said we could wait until Thursday as long as Karly was not symptomatic. So, we will head to the clinic at 7:30 Thursday morning for labs and then on to the PET scan.

Nanny and Pa will be here tomorrow! Lexie will sure be glad when she doesn't have to get up so early on Thursday.

Thank you for all the continued support! And Karen & Keaton also say "thank you."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 2009

50 years ago today and on Labor Day my big brother was born! Happy Birthday Bubba!

Last Thursday, Karly went in for blood work and her counts were low. On Friday, she had repeat lab work done and had to receive platelets. The outpatient side of the clinic was packed Friday and Karly was the easy patient. Her nurse told us all the other patients that received a transfusion had a reaction. We were sure glad Karly didn't follow suit.

We will head back in tomorrow morning for blood work. Her PET scan was rescheduled for Thursday because it had not been pre approved by insurance as of Friday afternoon. She will also be admitted for 5 days of chemo on Thursday.