Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 66

Round 4 complete! This first series of treatments is finally finished. Mom is feeling great. One of the most important thing we've learned over the past 2 months is the magic of nutrition! With the right foods at the right time, we have managed to bring the side effects of this aggressive treatment to its knees.

We've also learned, and continue to learn, what a beautiful support system we have in all of you. We had a lovely visit with Anne & Ken Helms who brought by a delicious lunch and caught us up on all of their comings and goings. They also made a kind offer for us to come visit in Monterey and I think the sea air will do mom some good!

Many of you have reached out to us to plan some quality visit time with our lovely sunshine girl. As promised, now that we have a better handle on our schedule and know the best times for visits, we will be able to begin planning those asap.

We've found that a 2-hour visit is ideal for mom. So, I will reach out to those of you that have expressed an interest in coming by. If you would like to plan a visit, please email me at

As I posted on the calendar, mom's CAT Scan is scheduled for 1pm on 4/4 and meeting to discuss the results with her oncologist, Dr. Pan, on 4/5. I will let you know what we here. As fate would have it, I am also receiving a test at 1pm on 4/4 to take another step in our path to have a baby. I'll be scheduling my 2nd surgery with 3 weeks from that date. So, I will keep you posted on my progress as well.

When we discovered that our tests were the same time, mom said, "Well, we said we would heal together. I guess we're right on track."

The other important thing we've learned is this: mom can rock bald as well as a sassy blond wig!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 56

It's been quite a big week at the Green Ranch...

Mom has come through 3 rounds of chemo and is heading strongly into round 4 next Tuesday, 3/27. We've had a great deal of success with some simple nutritional changes.

We decided to address her digestive needs with a diet designed in three phases through her 2 week cycle between chemo. As a result, her side effects have lessened significantly and she finds she has more energy throughout the day.

We've also learned that naps are a gift from God above! So, everyday mom enjoys a lovely afternoon lie down.

Also, mom is exploring her artistic expression. She'll be working on a 3-panel Tuscan installation (a.k.a. paint by numbers). As the sun decides to show up a bit more, we'll set her up in the back yard with an easel, a sun hat, scarf and overalls. After all, it's our motto here at the Green Ranch: To everything, add a little romance!

Speaking of romance... Ben is here!

Ben and I are officially Californians. For those of you who haven't seen my hunky honey in a some time, I highly recommend a viewing, I mean a visit. Ben has already started to settle in to his new Starbucks (on Jefferson & Woodside if you want to swing by to see him). He is still scoping out the perfect bike route up and down the hill and having fun exploring the area.

We're still setting up our space downstairs, but with all the work JG put into the new paint job it's already beginning to look like home. Thanks to all our friends and family that helped get Benj & I on our way. We couldn't have done it without you!

Oh, yeah... one more thing. Mom has a new look with a sexy blonde diva wig that quite simply, makes mom look like mom again! I'll be sure to throw a pic up as soon as I can get her to pose for one.

Important Dates:
3/27 - Round 4 Chemo
4/4 - CAT Scan
4/5 - Meeting with Dr. Pan

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 40

We had 2 medical appointments today. Both went very well...

Anzonette, Nutritionist at Kaiser
Anzonette and I spoke on the phone. We both agreed that a more regimented nutrition schedule would help prevent some of mom's digestive struggles without the use of over-the-counter drugs like immodium and senacot. So, I've put a list together of low & high fiber foods, which will be interchanging as she goes through her chemo week.

Also, she heartily approved our interest in fish oil & curcumin, which are non-aggressive antioxidants that won't combat too much with the chemo and focus on restoring health to mom's digestive track. Basically, the name of the game is finding ways to allow the chemo to do its job while maintaining healthy digestion, nutrition and preventing inflammation and infection. The more of that we can do with good old fashioned nutrition, the healthier mom will be and thus the longer we'll be able to fight the cancer.

She's also looking into a fermented soy drink, called Haelan 951, which will help coat and restore cell growth in the digestive lining. I'll let you know if that becomes a part of our regimen. It is quite costly, so we'll really have to weigh the benefits, which I think will be considerable.

Dr. Pan
I finally met the magnificent Dr. Pan. He was pleased to see that mom was doing so well with the Folfirinox. He intends to keep her on it for 2 more rounds and then we'll do a CT scan on 4/4/12. We're going to meet with him the following day, on 4/5, so we will know then how effective the chemo has been thus far. I'll let you know as soon as we do.

Once we determine if the Folfirinox is doing its job by either decreasing or halting the growth of the cancer, then we'll decide where we go from there.

Also, there is a small update in my world...

I'm flying to Seattle on Thursday. I'm headed back to give my man a hand with the move and then the 2 of us will most likely drive back down in a uhaul. Ah the joys of moving. I also want to give my sister, Becca, a big blog hug for getting me up to Seattle - MUAH!

Thanks for keeping track of us.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finding Our Feet

As some of you know, Mom has just finished round 2 of chemo. Well, I say finished, but in fact, each "round" is more accurately the whole 2 week cycle. We're learning that the few days after the bag has been removed (which was Thursday) are the hardest. She has actually come through the injections days with the strength and determination we all know and love in her.

Though Mom's pain hasn't been a problem, her fatigue and digestion have been the most effected. I'm sure some words of hope and encouragement would be most welcome right now. You have all been so wonderful.

Thank you Uncle Mark for the Kindle Fire. Mom has never much liked lying in bed, so having a Kindle to take to bed to play solitaire and read new cook books has been a great comfort.

Thanks to Aunt Roxi, Aunt Terri & Scottie for the Amazon bucks which will be well spent on various diversions for our healing lady.

Thanks to Dawn & Tom for the flowers (they showered us in beautiful flowers, which we arranged and placed around the house. Thanks also for the spa escape Dawn!

Thanks to Nancy Brooks who keeps us in encouraging cards and lovely thoughts (and her friends too!)

Thanks to Bethie for keeping me sane and being there whenever I call.

Thank you all for your prayers, understanding and patience in this time. Mom is dedicating all that strength to this fight and as many of you have said, "If anyone can beat this, it's Denise."

We have an appointment with Mom's oncologist, Dr. Pan, on Monday - as well as her dietician; so, I'll have much to report next week. Keep your thoughts high.