Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Chemo

Mom started her new, more intensive chemotherapy on Thursday morning. It includes a mix of several medications (Irinotecan, Leucovorin, Oxaliplatin, 5-Fluorouracil) to be administered during a 5 hour infusion at the office and through a pump that runs 46 hours at home. She just finished her first round and is home resting after having the pump removed and getting some fluids. Thankful she can begin recovery until the next treatment in two weeks.

At the appointment on Thursday, they did learn that her cancer counts decreased from 42,000 to 40,000. That was a great surprise, because she had skipped a week of chemo before starting this new one. So happy for a bit of good news!

this lady amazes me everyday.
Please pray with us for mom as her pain has increased over the past couple weeks and this chemo is tough. We continue to hope and pray that she will be able to tolerate it well and that it will shrink the tumors in her liver and bring her counts down! Thank you for your love and support.

PS ~ We did the PurpleStride DFW walk this morning and it was amazing. Another post coming soon on that!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Direction

Mom and Dad went to her oncology appointment yesterday morning, anxious to hear the latest cancer marker counts and the results of the CT scan. She has been in more pain over the last two weeks, running a low grade fever most days. The cancer markers increased from 23,000 (on 10/17) to 42,000 and the CT scan showed that two of the liver tumors grew. One bit of good news was that the spot on the pancreas is smaller. Thankful for that!

On Wednesday or Thursday of this week, she will begin a stronger, 3-day a week chemo. She will go in the first day and have an infusion, take the pump home for an infusion on the second day and go back the third day. This type of chemo will most likely have more side effects, but we are praying it's hard on the cancer, but not hard on mom!

With no chemo yesterday, she has been able to enjoy the weekend! She loves Halloween--from dressing up, to decorating the house, to passing out candy at the door--so we had a great time together last night! Also, Mom and Dad went to the Texas Renaissance Festival today, which was awesome! They had a great time and were able to hear their favorite renaissance musicians, Cantiga, perform three times! They love to relax and enjoy the outdoors and music at TRF, so this was wonderful for them.

We are thankful the first nine rounds of chemo have taken her cancer markers from 139,000 to 44,000. We are hopeful and pray this new regimen will shrink the tumors and reduce the cancer markers. She is such a beautiful lady and has such an amazing man by her side. Thank you for the continued prayers, love and support.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Birthdays, Port Surgery & Cancer Markers Update

Having Fun!
On September 24th, we celebrated Mom's 61st Birthday with dinner and cake! It was so nice to be together and celebrate. :) This was also her chemo free week, so she and Dad took a day trip to the Sherwood Celtic Music Festival outside of Austin. We also celebrated Elaine's birthday, Dad's 60th Birthday {thank you, Vanessa and TCC friends!} and Oliver's 1st Birthday! We've enjoyed lots of time together as a family in the last month.
mom's birthday // the grandkids and mom at dad's surprise party at work // family dinner for dad's birthday
mom & dad at the music fest // awesome sunset on the way home!
Central Port Surgery
Mom had surgery to place her power port on September 30th. The procedure went well, but recovery took a little time. She was doing well after about a week, and I think she's happy to have the PICC line out.

Chemo & Cancer Markers Update
Mom has completed nine rounds of chemo and is on a chemo free week right now! Yay! The last round of chemo was harder for her to bounce back from. She ran a temperature between 99 and 100 for several days following chemo {common side effect} and has been having some pain from the tumors in the liver. She's gaining strength and feeling good today, so we are thankful and hoping that continues.

Following the cancer markers through blood work is one way to track the progress of treatment. On October 3rd, the cancer markers were down from 40,000 to 22,000 and the liver enzymes showed improvement! That was a huge praise!! On October 17th, the cancer markers slightly increased from 22,000 to 23,000. While that's not what we were hoping for, we hope it was just a blip and we'll see improvement next time.
our beautiful lady.
CT Scan & Coming Up
Mom had a CT scan to track progress today {October 27th}. She will have round 10 of chemo next Friday, October 31st and should hear the results of the CT scan and the latest cancer markers.

Thank you to those that have been helping with food and for all of the prayers and support! We are so thankful for each of you and appreciate your continued prayers for mom and dad and for the tumors to shrink and for the cancer markers to decrease! Thanks!

PS ~ We're participating in the PurpleStride Walk on November 8th at Klyde Warren Park. We would LOVE for you to join our team as we walk together for mom and to support the fight against pancreatic cancer! CLICK HERE for our team page or contact Kathleen for more information at

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Treatment Begins

Welcome and thank you for visiting Dianna's {Mom's} blog. We appreciate you so much! We would not be where we are today without all the love and support from each of you. We will be providing updates here throughout Mom's treatment. If you would like to start from the beginning of her journey with pancreatic cancer, please check out the page: The Beginning of the Journey & Diagnosis. After reading that, here's the latest:

Treatment Plan
Mom's treatment plan consists of weekly chemotherapy infusions to shrink the tumors. She is currently not a candidate for surgery, but praying we will get there! Progress will be tracked weekly through bloodwork and CT scans will be done regularly.
- Length: 6 - 28 day cycles
- Infusions: Approximately 3 hours once week for 3 weeks (4th week off)
- 2 Medications: Gemzar & Abraxane

Chemo Progress
Mom started chemo on Friday, August 8th and she has completed five rounds with a week off between rounds three and four. She meets with the doctor every other week in addition to getting the infusion. We are thankful that her pancreatic cancer markers (based on bloodwork) have gone from 130,000 on August 1st to 40,000 on September 5th. YAY, YAY!! The oncologist also said it's encouraging that Mom is in less pain and her bloodwork looks good in general. Praying this continues! Mom has had some side effects, but the fever spiking after chemo has been the most concerning. She has been instructed to go to the hospital at 101 and it has been very close to that point a couple times. The doctor gave her a steroid to take two days following treatment this last weekend and that seemed to make a difference. Hoping this continues!

she texts, "ready to kill the cancer!"
we love her so much--she is inspiring!
Mom has been sending us pictures before each infusion. You can see she's wrapped in the beautiful prayer shawl from our Trinity United Methodist Church family and the prayer blanket from the kind folks at her parents' {Rev. Jimmie & Mary Frances Mobley's} church, First United Methodist Church in Richardson. Thank you for praying with us!!

CT Scan, 2nd Biopsy & Infection Update
Based on a comparison of the CT scan from the hospital on 7/26 and a new CT scan on 8/20, the largest tumor in the liver grew from 6 to 9 cm. Based on this information, Infectious Disease doctor wanted to schedule a second biopsy of the tumor in the liver. This would determine if there is still an active infection that continues to need IV antibiotics. Mom did have some pain after the second biopsy, but she did great! After waiting about a week, they found out it was clear of infection, so Mom was able to stop the daily IV antibiotics and begin an oral antibiotic. Woohoo!! For the past month, she's been getting up before Dad leaves each morning to get ready and then start the IV antibiotic infusion, which took about an hour. So happy the infection is gone and the focus be on "killing the cancer!" Please pray with us for the tumors to begin shrinking.  

Alrighty--we are caught up on all the happenings over the past month. It has already been a roller coaster, but a much smoother ride because we are together as a family and supported by family and such wonderful friends and extended family along the way. We will update the blog regularly as we have news to share. Thank you for praying with us! Much love to each of you. xo