Monday, May 4, 2009
I visited with Aunt Joyce on Saturday. She is doing well and looking
Sunday, April 26, 2009
My daughter and I visited Aunt Joyce today. She's looking good, and
reports that this past week has been very good. Her condition is
stable. She says that she's not really been in pain...I wonder if
much of the pain was a result of the chemo rather than the cancer?
Anyway, she's looking good. I will be going there again next Saturday
to help her work on something.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Aunt Joyce spent several days in the hospital this past week, getting
her electolytes back in balance. They have sent her home with things
to keep her comfortable, but the chemo treatments have ended.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, dear Aunt Joyce
Happy Birthday to you!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My apologies for how very long it has been since an update. Partly
that is due to "no news." Aunt Joyce did spend some
time in the hospital recently, with pneumonia. She had been on
this, and was also fighting some dehydration issues. These things
seem to be under control now, and she's back home and holding her
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Well, bad news this time. The tumors are growing. Her doctor is going
to switch her chemo to a pill-based form.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Aunt Joyce was at the doctor today to review the results of recent
scans. The doctor
is classifying everything as stable. Great News!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Aunt Joyce went to the doctor today to receive some test results.
Most all of them came back stable. They did find a new spot on her
going to watch that one. The doctor is also changing her chemo. One
of the chemo’s she's on can damage the jaw bone, so that is the one
they are changing. Instead of 20 minutes like the old one, she will
be there for one and half hours longer.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
On Wednesday, Aunt Joyce saw her doctor. The test results all came
back stable. Great news! They
did find a few
spots on her femure, but they will continue to watch that area...don't
want the bone to get too thin to fracture it.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Aunt Joyce has been able to drive herself to her treatments lately,
which have been going well. Tests show that everything is stable. She
has a cat scan and bone scan soon.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Aunt Joyce went through several tests, body scans, etc last week, and
the results show that all is stable!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Today she reports that her eyebrows and eyelashes have all fallen out.
However, her glasses cover it for the most part, and she doesn't
mind. She hasn't heard back from the doctor about the results of
last week's MRI yet.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Aunt Joyce had an MRI on her right femor yesterday. Now she waits to
hear from the doctor. When she saw him last week, he was concerned
about the bone getting thin, which could lead to a broken leg. He
mentioned that a rod could be inserted to strengthen the leg.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Sorry again, folks. I've been having computer issues and not being
able to update this. Hopefully everything is fixed!
Aunt Joyce had a body scan done, and while some areas showed nothing
new, there were some new spots on her leg. I haven't received an update
on the results of tests that followed that discovery, but hope to soon.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Aunt Joyce
Happy Birthday to you!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
The computer containing all of the website files was at the computer
hospital, so I've been update to do an update for 2 weeks. Aunt Joyce
is continuing her chemo, and feeling fine, and thus far has managed
to avoid all of those awful viruses that are going around this winter.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Aunt Joyce went to the doctors yesterday, and she's gained another
5 pounds. Now, ordinarily that isn't something that one would tell
about a woman. But when that woman is fighting cancer, I think it's
something to celebrate! She's losing her eyebrows, but she says she
never liked them anyway :)
Monday, January 14, 2008
Aunt Joyce had a cat scan last week, and today received the results.
It came back stable, which indicates that the chemo is working.
She's also gained back 5 pounds! The doctor has a "threshold" for
Aunt Joyce's weight, so if she gains more weight, they may have
to put her on a diet. Isn't that great!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Aunt Joyce's hair has begun to fall out again, but she's not going
to have it shaved this time. Other than that, she's feeling pretty
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Aunt Joyce had her second round of chemo yesterday, and is feeling
pretty good, with no ill-effects so far.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Aunt Joyce had her chemo treatment yesterday. She is feeling pretty
good today. They did tell her that with this new round, she may lose
her hair again. It had come back in pretty nicely.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Updates for Aunt Joyce are slower now, as things have been relatively "stable" in terms of "being the same." We
had a very nice Thanksgiving, though
I was pretty busy and didn't get to visit with her at all, though
she was at the house. This year she was able to make her wonderful
pies and butter pats (in pretty shapes) though! Last year, her
treatments had just begun and she was not able to make the pies or
She sent this
"My catscan came back a little worse than the last one. So I will
be starting a different kind of chemo this Wednesday and every Wednesday
until further notice. I will have the fourth week off then back on
for once a week for 3 weeks at a time."
Monday, October 15, 2007
Wow! Sorry it has been so long since there has been an update (I've
been on vacation, getting my only child settled in college, etc
etc!). Basically, things are moving along in a "nothing new" kind
of way for Aunt Joyce. She had a
test last Thursday to check on her heart, otherwise she doesn't
have another appointment until November 21.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
No chemo today, though her platelettes were high enough. Instead, she
received a treatment of Herceptin, which attacks just the cancer. It
sounds like that is what she'll be receiving until further notice.
She also received the results of her CAT scan. Everything looked stable
and better than it was before. She goes back on September 19.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
For another week, those blasted blood platelettes are too low, so no
chemo again. She goes in on August 27th for another chest and stomach
CAT scan. Then on the 30th she goes back to the doctor, and hope is
that she can get chemo on that day.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
No chemo again, due to those darned low blood platelettes. She'll try
again for next week.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Aunt Joyce was unable to her chemo treatment due to low blood platelettes.
She did, however, receive the bone strenghthening treatment.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Aunt Joyce received the results of her bone marrow biopsy today,
and good news - there was no leukemia! The test basically showed
her bone marrow "doesn't like" the chemo. What they're
doing is splitting up the chemo treatments; she received a partial
dose last Wednesday,
and will get another one (tomorrow??). On the first she goes back
for another bone strengthening treatment and chemo. Also, the test
for the blood clot showed that that is resolved, too.
Monday, July 9, 2007
She was unable to get her regularly-scheduled chemo treatment last
Thursday, once again due to those low blood platelettes. They will
do chemo this Wednesday for sure. She's heading up north this coming
weekend for a nice relaxing weekend.
Aunt Joyce will be undergoing a bone marrow biopsy, as part of their
effort to figure out why her blood platelettes have been so low. It
is scheduled to be done on July 16 at 11:00am, and should take about
two hours to complete.
Thursday, June 28,
Aunt Joyce did not get her regularly scheduled chemo treatment today due to her
blood platelets being low again. She has an appointment tomorrow, along with
her bone strengthening treatment, to
can figure out why the platelet count is not coming back up to the expected
count. On a positive
note, she is now finished with the shots that she was having to give herself
for the bloood clot.
June 21, 2007
An ultrasound showed that Aunt Joyce has a blood clot in her right leg.
So, she will start having to give herself twice-daily shots of lovenox,
a blood thinner, and a daily pill of cumodin to work on that. She also
did not receive her chemo today due to those pesky low blood platelettes.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Today, Aunt Joyce underwent a ct scan for her chest and abdomen,
as well as a bone scan. The results will be back on Thursday, when she
undergoes (HOPEFULLY) her next session of chemo.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Today Aunt Joyce was able to have her scheduled
chemo. On top of that, she got a shot of Aranst, which is a support medication
to treat anemia caused by chemo. Then on Saturday, she'll be getting a
blood transfusion to further combat the anemia.
Oh! And thank you, TVB Staff! I did receive the envelope, and it's on its
way to the 3-Day folks. Gotta tell you - it was funny - I got the mail,
saw the return address, and thought, "ACK! WHAT DID I DO????" Then I realized
what it was :)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This isn't a medical update. This is a plea to all of you friends of Aunt
Joyce! She keeps an eye on my fundraising page, and hasn't seen any of
your names on the list yet. Just a friendly nudge :)
Monday, May 21, 2007
Aunt Joyce had a doctor appointment today to do some bloodwork. All looked
good, and her platelettes were back up to 140. Hopefully they'll stay up
like that, so that she'll be able to have her next scheduled chemo on time,
next Thursday, May 31.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Aunt Joyce has a doctor appointment set for next
Monday, May 21, to have some bloodwork done. They want to see what may
be going on that is keeping her platelettes so low.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I apologize for the delay in updating! I left for Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Wednesday, and through the miracle of technology, am editing a file on my PC at home from here in my Sioux Falls hotel room!
Aunt Joyce was able to get her chemo yesterday! Yeah!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Well, another week like the last. Today was
supposed to be the re-scheduled chemo from last week. But her platelettes
only went up 3 points, so no chemo again this week. :(
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Aunt Joyce was supposed to have a chemo treatment today. However, her
blood platelettes were too low, so it was postponed for a week.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
She had her third round of chemo today. The doctor received the
results from the cat scan that was done on Tuesday, and everything
is looking good. The cat scan showed that the chemo is getting to
her chest and getting better. Great News!!!
Friday, March 30, 2007
Yesterday, Aunt Joyce had her bone strengthening
treatment. Also, her blood platelettes were up in the 150's, which
is a good increase from the last two measurements. She's eating well,
Oh yes...and a friend of hers asked me to remind everyone (well,
the females!) that in addition to mammograms, it is also very important
to get your annual
pap smear. I admit to having lapsed on that one, by two or three
years. I promise to go get tested soon.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Sorry about that folks! I've been slow in updating this week. I talked
with Aunt Joyce on Wednesday or Thursday night. Her head is now shaved
and her wigs have been trimmed to her liking. Her tummy has been more
upset since the second round of chemo than she experienced with the
first round, but said she's doing fine otherwise. :)
Monday, March 19, 2007
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Aunt Joyce
Happy Birthday to you!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Aunt Joyce had her second chemo treatment today, and she's feeling
pretty good. The pain in her leg is greatly reduced, too. On the 29th
she goes in for a CT scan to see how the treatments are working. She
also has another appointment for early April to check on bone strength,
and another follow-up with her oncologist. On the 20th (Tuesday) she
goes in to have her head shaved, as her hair has gotten very thin.
She'll take her wigs along so that her stylist can help trim and shape
them up nicely, too.
Friday, March 9, 2007
This note isn't so much about Aunt Joyce,
but it is for all you females! Today I go in for my every-six-month
mammogram. When I turned 40, I went in for that "baseline" mammogram
that they recommend, and they found a lump. It turned out to just be
some fibrous tissue, but the fact that it was there put me in the "high
risk" group. So, every six months I go back for a new mammogram. With
Aunt Joyce having breast cancer, that puts me even more into the "high
risk", as a maternal aunt with breast cancer is yet another
So, all you female cousins of mine, all you other aunts, and really
any of you females! Do you do your mammograms? When was the last
were checked? I can't think of any of you who are too young (sorry!)
to be doing this. None of us want to be facing what Aunt Joyce is
through, and it's easy to check. It was initially hard, due to the
"I don't want to know" thing...we all feel that way...but isn't it
better to bite the bullet and get the check done rather than find
out bad news at a later time? Ok, sermon closed :) But I do mean
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Aunt Joyce could not get her chemo today. Her blood platelettes were
too low, so they're going to try again next Thursday. Blood platelettes
help control clotting, so now she has to be careful about bruises,
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
She won't need to go back to the lung doctor; the main oncologist will
be working on the cancer in all parts, so no need to run to lots of
different doctors. Her hair is still falling out in clumps...which
is good, as it means the chemo is working! I've been trying to get
her to take a picture once she gets really mangey looking, but so far
no luck. :) Her appetite is much better, and she's gained 4 pounds
recently, which is excellent. Tomorrow is her next chemo treatment.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
It's been a little over one week since
the chemo treatment, and today she called to say that her hair has
begun to fall out. She is also on some new medication to help with
heartburn, which is allowing her to eat normally again.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Aunt Joyce received the results back from the test taken on Tuesday.
The test was to determine
continue with the chemo the doctor recommended. She passed with
flying colors. On Monday she'll the surgeon who did the
open lung biopsy, then she'll see her oncologist for treatment
On March 8 she receives another chemo treatment.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Today Aunt Joyce and I went wig shopping!
It was successful, too. After trying on several, the first one that
attracted our attention was the winner (though she looked lovely in
most of them). So, she now has a very pretty head of hair and also
a turban to wear when she doesn't feel like wearing a wig but wants
her head to stay warm. I'm going to make her a selction of turbans
in various colors so that she has variety. Chemo begins tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Aunt Joyce had her doctor appointment
this morning. She begins chemo treatments on Friday at 9:30am. This
time she will be losing her hair.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
This past Monday, the day Aunt Joyce got out of the hospital, all of
her siblings gathered to escort her out the door :) Some pictures were
taken, which can be seen here.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
The oncologist confirmed on Wednesday the results of the lung biopsy
(breast cancer had spread to the lung tissue). The oncologist is looking
into another clinical trial that would deliver the chemo via pills
rather than the traditional liquid chemo. Aunt Joyce is considering
the side effects for this clinical trial, some of which are pretty
severe. She goes back to the oncologist on Tuesday. At that time, they'll
determine a plan of attack for the right lung (where the cancer had
spread to). The bruise from her lung biopsy runs from under the armpit
down to the waist. She said it's ugly but is healing very nicely :)
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Last night Aunt Joyce received the results
of her lung biopsy. The spots were not the result of residual medication,
but are in fact caused by the breast cancer having metasticized.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Oh! An interesting thing she said last
night that I forgot to pass along....Since she'd described it as "open
lung surgery", I envisioned them having to crack her sternum etc like
they do in open heart surgery. But, she said they went in from her
side, and made 3 little incisions and worked from that. Hope no one
gets grossed out. I just thought it was interesting. But then, when
we had our house fire, I was fascinated with all of the "fire forensics",
Friday, February 2, 2007
Aunt Joyce just called from her hospital room. The surgery went well.
The surgeon feels that there is not cancer in the lungs, but they should
know the official results of the biopsy Sunday or Monday. She sounded
groggy (they had just given her morphine) but otherwise in good spirits.
She even has a private room!
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Tomorrow Aunt Joyce has open lung surgery at 3:30. They want to investigate
the "spots" they see on her lungs, and see whether it is
residual from her medications or if there is lung cancer.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Aunt Joyce visited the oncologist yesterday. They are investigating
another possible clinical trial. Some of the side-effects of that
trial are pretty nasty, but it's something they will be weighing
as a possibility.
Her last radiation treatment is Tuesday, at which point she'll be
able to start chemo again. But that will partially depend upon
about a clinical trial versus "regular" chemo, and details
pertaining to that trial.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - Part 2
Aunt Joyce just called to give
me an update. She went in to have some lung scans done, as there
are still some spots on her lung. The doctor wants to wait a few
more weeks before doing a biopsy, however, as the spots may be
from the clinical trial medication. Speaking of the clinical trial,
she "no longer qualifies" for that treatment, so will begin
getting standard chemo treatments soon. She meets with her oncologist
for more information.
She has also resumed her radiation treatment.
Her stomach is in much better shape, and she can now keep down food
and liquids, and is feeling better, possibly due to getting some
hydration and nutrition into her system.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I apologize for the lack of updates. Aunt Joyce came home from the
hospital late last week. I've not heard directly from her since I
spoke with her in the hospital, however. So I'll just let you all
know that she is home.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
OK. Aunt Joyce has been in the hospital
for the last few days. It started as dehydration. They have kept her
because her medications (I'm assuming the pain medications, but am
not sure) are all out-of-whack, that she'd been getting too much of
something which was affecting her ability to keep food down. Hopefully
the hospital will be able to get things back in-sync and she'll be
able to come home soon.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Aunt Joyce and Uncle Geno went to a pain management doctor yesterday.
She has a couple of options. One choice is to have a shot every now
and then; the other option is to have a device implanted that could
administer medication. She says she is leaning towards the implanted
pain pump, so that she won't have to worry about remembering what medications
she has/hasn't taken, and the medication is then also administered
directly to the area that is causing the pain. That way, extra medicine
isn't wandering around the rest of her body.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Yesterday Aunt Joyce had a CT Scan to make sure the radiation
pain therapy is getting to the correct areas. She should have some
results back later today or tomorrow. Aunt Joyce seems to think the
therepy is working and said that if she could just get her ribs healed
she would feel a lot better.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Today Aunt Joyce went to the Radiation Pain Treatment Center. She
received her first treatment in a four-week regimen. The doctors
told her it would be four weeks because there are two areas causing
her the most pain. She also received a new
anti nausea pill today. She has to take one every 8 hours but I think
she likes this one. She said, "It melts in your mouth" and that
it starts working immediately, and that is always good. Tomorrow, Friday,
She will go back for her next treatment at 4:30 P.M. She is hoping
that as she gains seniority she will get better choices of appointment
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I met Aunt Joyce and Uncle Geno in St. Paul today as they prepared
to attend her department Christmas party. She spent the morning
at the oncologist. They hooked her up to an IV to give her something
to help with the brittleness of her bones. In January she'll have "pain radiation" to do something about the pain in her hip and "freeze"
the problem. They also told her "2 to 10 years" and Uncle Geno quickly
added "...or more!".
"Or More" part.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
She woke up yesterday feeling pretty good then "everything went
to to heck in a hand basket." The doctors office called so she
told them what was going on. She now has a strong pain patch and
stronger pain pills. She took one of the pain pills this morning
15 minutes, the sink became her personal friend again. She also goes
to see the oncologist on Thursday morning to see if there is anything
they can do to help her out.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Last night she struggled with being sick again. The pills are doing
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
She had a pretty good day today, and even did some baking. She and
I will be getting together on Thursday.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Aunt Joyce called the Cancer Nurse to ask about stronger pain
medication. She's been having a hard time with her left hip,
which has been
hurting a great deal. During this phone call, she received some additional,
difficult news. She was told that in addition to the breast cancer,
there is bone cancer in that left hip. Today is a difficult day.
Please say additional prayers.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
My apologies to all who have anxiously awaiting updates. My daughter
and I have been in Manhattan. The message I received from Aunt Joyce
while we were gone is that this weekend was very rough for her. The
chemo pills have caused her to throw up quite a bit. I'll be speaking
with my Mom on Monday for a more in-depth update.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Treatment begins! She takes two pills a day, then will go back on the
29th of December for blood work. Her next appointment with her Doctor
is on January 3, 2007.
Monday, December 4, 2006
On Sunday she over did it again, shopping and visiting. Today
her right hip is hurting really badly. She layed down and took a
nap which she hasn't had to do for 5 days. As she said, "Oh well, it
is cold outside and my blanket
felt nice and cozy around me." For those of you not here in
the Cities, it is in the low teens with high winds, making a wind
zero and -15. bbbbrrrr! Perfect for napping!
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Well, she overdid it a bit on Friday, visiting work to visit with
friends. So, yesterday she wasn't feeling her best. She's feeling
better today, though. She starts her "chemo pills" on
Friday, December 1, 2006
Treatments begin Tuesday! She will go to the clinic and be given her
treatment via pills. I'm so glad treatment is finally beginning!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Aunt Joyce begins her treatments sometime next week. Since she's participating
in a clinical trial, she'll need to track side effects, etc so that
they can be documented. She's been busy sewing with her friend Kate
and is feeling very good. Yesterday
made two pumpkin pies---she makes the BEST pumpkin pies!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
OK! We have some good news! That final test came back negative; it
was a test to determine what was feeding the cancer, something like
that. And with it being negative, Aunt Joyce said that means something
very positive for her situation. YIPPEE!! She goes in soon to begin
the shots and/or pills for the clinical trial she will be participating
in. Keep those prayers and good wishes coming for continued good
Monday, November 27, 2006
This morning Aunt Joyce met with the oncologist. Unfortunately, one
of the tests had not come back yet. So, the doctor wants to wait
for that test, which should be back late tomorrow afternoon, before
laying out the entire situation. Aunt Joyce said that the oncologist
sounded very positive, and so does Aunt Joyce. More information tomorrow....
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Uncle John visited from Wisconsin. Pictures are available - click
Friday, November 24, 2006
We had a nice Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday, though we did miss the
pies Aunt Joyce makes. Pictures are available - click
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Yesterday Aunt Joyce ended up at the hospital, in terrible pain. It
was found that she had additional cracked ribs. Not all of her tests
from last week are back, but her oncologist did talk to her yesterday
to say that the initial breast cancer had spread and now includes
bone cancer. More information will be available after Monday's appointment
with the oncologist.
Friday, November 17, 2006
For todays test, on of the techs filled her up with a nuclear concoction.
Then she was sent off to have the ultra sound on her thyroid. Then
away for 2 hours and came back for the bone scan. She was
laying on my back again, which is very painful. It is also difficult
to get up.
The pet test was a scan of her chest and pelvis area. She had to drink
stuff. (For Wednesday's MRI and scan, she laid still by pretending
she was a stick!) :)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Aunt Joyce has her brain scan and MRI early tomorrow morning.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Unfortunately, today's doctor appointment didn't resolve much. There
is still uncertainty as to what type of cancer and where it came
from. So, there are more tests to conduct. Next Wednesday and Friday
she will undergo a ped scan, bone scan, brain scan and an MRI
from her head to her pelvis area, as well as an ultrasound on her
thyroid. Then she will go in on the Monday after Thanksgiving for
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Waiting, waiting, waiting. Aunt Joyce is off of work now indefinitely.
Due to the pain from the fractured ribs (or should I say the pain
medication!), she is sleeping alot these past few days. Tomorrow
we should know what
Monday, November 6, 2006
She is scheduled to meet with the oncologist Thursday morning at
8:40 A.M.. She was unable to get an earlier appointment due to lack
doctors looked at her files and felt comfortable with Thursday.
Friday, November 3, 2006
Here is today's update, from an e-mail from Aunt Joyce: "I talked
to the nurse at the Breast Center this morning and found out a little
more information. I thought I heard that the cancer wasn't in my
however, I received a call from one of my doctors while I was driving
home and he scanned the reports and stated it did start in the breast
and has progressed. Nurse Marlene stated that I have fractured ribs
so that is what is causing the pain in my left side. Makes sense."
Thursday, November 2, 2006
The MRI showed that the cancer is
not in her breast, but in another part of the body. Now we're waiting on
with an oncologist.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
The breast center called and scheduled an MRI for Thursday morning,
and cancelled the surgeon appointment for Friday. They want to gather
more information first.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Call came from the breast center with the news that it is cancer.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Today was the biopsy. Waiting on the results. Call should come tomorrow
or Wednesday. An appointment was set up with a surgeon for Friday,
just in case.