Sally Ann was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a few months ago. Good news is that it is "well behaved and slow growing". Her next treatments are to be in New Orleans at Oschner's Medical Center. They are done as outpatient but this means we have to stay in a hotel. The Hope Lodge is full but is helping us get a discount on motel. With taxes and fees it will still be over $100 per night. Plus we will need meals and travel expenses. We will do it, but will likely put us more in debt. There are many other expenses we have waiting for us including multiple repairs needed at out home & on vehicles. We would be grateful for any donations, even $1 donations
Skipper is going to have a couple of surgeries in the near future; cataracts, hiatal hernia, etc.
Thanks for your help - every bit helps a lot no matter how small or large.
we are back at Oschner's for 2 appointments today with radiation oncology department, then we return Monday to begin 5 weeks of treatments.
We were hoping to be able to stay at the Hope Lodge to help with expenses but they still have no openings. We will stay first couple on nights at Brent House Hotel on Oschner's campus then see how we are doing. If there are still no openings & we think we can safely travel we will drive over every day for treatments then drive home. It's two hours give or take depending on traffic. In my younger days 4 hours of driving a day would have been nothing, but its harder now.
We will have a better handle next week on how things will work out.
We are optimistic about the outcome & happy to be starting a plan to get rid of this C word.
Continued prayers appreciated.
We are back home until March 6. At that point we will go back to NOLA on weekdays, Mon-Fri for 5 weeks for daily treatments. Plans at present are to stay at Hope Lodge during March and drive over daily the first week in April. We have our cars in shop today to get it ready for frequent trips to NOLA.
We are grateful for everyone's support and prayers
Here is our latest update...
We have finished the first round of radiation treatments. They did 3 internal treatments & removed the tube. We will go home tomorrowWe have several friends who have much more serious cancer & going through a lot more physical suffering. we continue our prayers for them. In a small way we know what they are going through. Physical is definitely an issue with SallyAnn but the mental/emotional side is even worse by far, there have been so many ups & downs & confusion about what to do.
We will return to Oschner's March 6 & stay Monday- Friday every week in March. We will be staying at Hope Lodge on nights then. They don't charge for the room but we will have to drive to the hospitalsl each day (only a couple of miles). It will not be as convenient in many ways BUT will be much better in $s. We got a big discount to stay at Brent House but it was still expensive (at least in our eyes). It was so easy just to walk to & from the room, go back for a nap, have fridge & microwave right there. We actually ate most meals in our room. We will not be allowed to do that at Hope but they do have a kitchen/dining area where we can fix our meals.
We talked to Dr et al about immunotherapy. They told us it was an excellent treatment that really worked for some cancers but not the type SallyAnn has. It was a major disappointment when her last labs came back positive & meant she was no longer eligible for brachytherapy. Only options left were mastectomy or radiation. The biggest problem with mastectomy is that given her medical history she is not a good candidate for silicon insert reconstruction. They could do the diep flap but the plastic surgeon was 100% sure she would have issues with the wounds. After much thought & prayer it seems best option is radiation.
She started with 3 internal treatments through the MammoSite tube. She will have 25 treatments of beam radiation on right breast - 5 a week for 5 weeks. We will stay at Hope in March. Barrett is coming to help April 1. The first week of April we will drive over daily with his help. Sometime after the end of the treatment SallyAnn will start taking an estrogen blocking med for 5 or more years. These are slow growing but estrogen driven cancers.
After treatments they say there only 1% chance of cancer returning, at least this type & area. Most women have at least 3% or getting breast cancer. 1 in 8 do develop breast cancer.
This has been such a difficult roller coaster. So many times we thought we had a plan worked out only to see things change. The one option we thought we ruled out was radiation, now it seems to by far be best option.
SallyAnn will have to give up tutoring for several weeks. That is more of a blow than just lost income. She really enjoys tutoring. We will be missing Gracie Beth & Elijah a lot. But we will do what we have to do. SallyAnn will also not be able to teach the Wednesday ladies Bible Study for a few weeks. Our Plexus business is way down. We will do what we can on the computer but probably will not be able to do much until after treatments end. We will continue taking the products we take currently, it helps us SO much. Not a sales pitch BTW, just how we feel.
This type of treatment is available in Gulfport but doctors here can only suggest they continue as they prescribed. We have developed a real trust in the Oschner's staff & don't feel we should make another change. Our Gulfport oncologist will continue to handle post radiation treatments.
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Path report was not terrible but also not the best. They found 5 more DCIS stage 0 pre-cancers. SallyAnn won't be able to do the 5 day brackytherapy as hoped. Depending on CAT scan results they will do an internal "boost". She had two internal treatments today. She will have to do 25 external beam radiation treatments & in a few weeks after all is done may need to go on the estrogen blocking drugs.
We did ask about immunotherapy treatments. They said it actually works great for some types of cancers but not what SallyAnn has. This appears to be the best option at this time. It has been such a roller coaster ride since September. Yet we know GOD is in control. Romans 8:28 / I Corinthians 13:12
We are hoping SallyAnn will get to begin the brachytherapy treatments tomorrow, Friday February 17.
First she will have a CAT scan, then we hope to get final pathology report. If the scan and report come back okay she will have two treatments tomorrow.
If the Hope Lodge had had any openings we would have stayed there. It would have saved us a lot of money, but we would be driving a short distance every day. They helped us get a substantial discount at the Brent House but it's still over $100 per day. It is very convenient. If money were no object it would be the preferred place all the way around. It's right on the Oschner's main campus. We walked to surgery, Dr appointments, and will walk to the twice a day treatments. They are done 6 hours apart, so we can walk (or use wheelchair) back to the room to rest between treatments. We are so grateful to all who have prayed for Sally Ann & for all who have helped with finances.
Please continue to keep SallyAnn in prayer.
We are finally back to our hotel room. SallyAnn is resting. Got pain med & antibiotics filled. We will be here until at least Friday. She will have a cat scan & waiting in path report before we know if it's okay for the brachytherapy. Doctors feel good that all will be okay. Plans are to start treatment on Friday & go through Wednesday. Depending on how well SallyAnn tolerates treatments we may go home Wednesday night next week. If she is getting too fatigued we may stay until Thursday morning next week. So far they still don't have an opening in the Hope Lodge so we will probably be staying at the hotel.
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