Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We are on the left side of the Center stairs that Wayne comes down at the start of the show.
See if you can spot us.
Let's Make a Deal
They show mom really close right at the beginning of the show before Wayne comes out.
She was a hippie (right behind the smurfs), dad has on a blue cheese head, I was the tooth fairy and my sister was a 'flirt' fairy. hehe.
We had fun overall. Just wish we hadn't been stuck behind the peeps with the signs... :0)
Saturday, January 10, 2009
We started the year off with Great News. Bonnie is now cancer free. She had a colonoscopy on the 7th and the doctor said everything was clean, not even any polyps. We are excited. She is relieved.
She had a CT scan in mid December and they said they couldn't see anything from it either.
She is still having back pain and she may have some scar tissue on the outside of the large bowel where it was re-sected from the first surgery, There was no scar tissue inside the bowel and you could see where it was stitched.
Thanks to everyone again for your many notes, thoughts, foods, kindnesses, and especially your valued prayers.
It has been a long, hard year, but we still found a way to get in some great travel (WAC Tourney in Las Cruces , Yellowstone, Family reunion in Ephriam, Lake Mead/Vegas/Aggie Football, Orlando, and St George) and hope to do more travel in 2009. We already have a trip to Reno (WAC Tourney) planned in March and we will take a trip to Cancun this spring. Then a family reunion at Bear Lake this summer and probably a couple more before the year is out. Can you think of a better way to celebrate (or not)(who needs a reason) than to travel?
Long time no hear from us, huh.
Thought we better let you know of things going on since the last post in August.
Bonnie started radiation on September 8 and had to go every weekday for a 5 minute treatment. She did it at LDS hospital which is closer than the new IHC hospital. JaNae would take her a day or two a week on average and I would take her on Friday’s. Other kind sisters in the Ward would take her the other days. It took longer to get there and back than the time spent there.
She would lay face down on a table and they would raise it up to the radiation projector and line up the tattooed dots that they put on her butt and each hip. Then the projector would start on one side and go up and over to the other side emanating radiation the whole time. For the last 4 days of radiation they narrowed the beam and increased the intensity for more targeted treatment. Treatments ended on October 16.
The side affects of the radiation were a real treat too. She was nauseated a lot and had diarrhea for many days also. The affects would hit with barely any notice on most evenings and made her pretty miserable. It took 3-4 weeks for the side affects to go away (mostly). She still is tired all the time and has some vertigo feelings going on now.
We went to Lake Mead at the end of August and stayed on James and Tammy’s houseboat for 4 days and had a great time. The lake and weather were warm (hot), but the nice air conditioning made it bearable. We would go out on a wave runner a couple times a day and really enjoyed it. Thanks James and Tammy, it is a wonderful vacation spot and houseboat! Two of my sisters spent the first night with us and we had a good time. Then we spent 3 nights in Vegas and went to the Aggie/Vegas football game.
We are leaving this Friday the 14th to go with my sister and her husband, Louise and Bob to Orlando for a week to go to Disney parks. Merissa and JaNae decided to go down at the same time but are staying at a different resort. We will have a meal together each day when down there. We are taking a wheelchair for Bonnie because she gets so tired after long days. Chad Akagi (Rachelle) arranged for us to use one, thanks.
I'll show some pictures of the houseboat my niece (Tammy) took because ours were not good. And a couple of pictures of Bonnie getting radiation if I can find them.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The PA said that the chemo cures the cancer in the lymph system 60-70 percent of the time when the patient is at stage 3 like Bonnie is. The Surgeon had said he thought she was stage 4 but that means that the cancer is in other organs and Bonnie did not have that, so she really is a stage 3. Stage 3 means that it has gotten outside of wherever it has started growing and into the lymph nodes. We have debated this issue for a while now. So we thought this was good news today.
They connected to her port and ran the blood tests and her white cell counts were the highest they have ever been, by far. That Neulasta works very good except for making her tired and pukie faced. She would have bet her cell counts were low as drained as she felt.
So she is laying here sleeping and I’m trying to do some work remotely. I guess she will be really taking it easy the next month until she can get her last treatment and get recovered from it all before they start radiation a month or so after that. The PA did say that with her localized cancer being in her pelvic area that it would be a benefit to do targeted radiation to that area to help improve her odds more. I think we will try to get the radiation treatments done a little closer to home, probably at LDS Hospital, about 15 minutes closer. Some people say the radiation is harder than the chemo and others say just the opposite, so it all depends on the affects individually. But, nobody likes having to go every day for 6 weeks. We will see, I guess.
Thanks for your visits and calls and notes and cards and love and prayers. We can always use more prayers. Bonnie is very appreciative of all your caring and concern.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Well today is July 8, and we are at the cancer center getting treatment #10. What happened to #9? It came 2 weeks ago but I didn’t post anything on it. For her 7, 8, and 9 treatments she didn’t receive the Oxalaplatin, so her recovery and overall feeling of well being has been a lot better than previously. She was more active and was able to do some cleaning and cooking and enjoyed life a little better.
But today she is getting the Ox again since she has most of the feeling back in her fingers. But they reduced the dose from 140 mg to 70 mg, so hopefully she won’t be as sick as she had been before. That drug helps the other drugs be more affective against the cancer, so it is good to have. When she gets her 48 hour pump off in 2 days they will give her a shot of Nulasta(?) so that her white blood cell counts can recover sooner. Hopefully she can keep getting that Ox again for her last 2 treatments so that it knocks out any and all of that cancer. Her cell count today was 1.7 which was a little low. We were surprised because she felt so good. That is another reason to give her the nulasta to help her white cell count.
She started feeling woozy during her treatment today instead of after. That hasn’t happened before. She is feeling more stomach sickness tonight, but so far so good. We hope she feels ok this week.
On another note, Merissa finally got her loan funded on her new home on July 2 (the 9th anniversary of our wagon accident). Wells Fargo took forever to come through. See pictures of it at http://stylishindraper.blogspot.com/ . I had the 3rd and 4th off and we spent those days and the 5th and the 7th in the evening cleaning it and pulling carpets and fixing the garage door opener (then my own needed replacing) and getting the sprinkler system going. Hopefully the lawn can recover from no water yet this year. There is a big peach tree and apple tree in the back yard loaded with fruit. It is 5 bedrooms and 3 baths and she will have 4 roommates that will pay her mortgage. You can see the new Draper temple out the front door and the
Thanks for you prayers and support. We get into our new church July 27.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Her cell counts were good to go ahead with the treatment. But her left hand/fingers are still numb so they did not do the oxaliplatin again today. But the doctor did say that when/if the hand gets better, that she could do that drug at another time. I guess it is a good drug to knock out (another boxing analogy) the cancer.
When her initial blood test came back and said she could have treatment, Kevin went to go get her some Panda Express lunch. When he got back, which took longer than expected because of a city kitty giving him a ticket, the doctor was at Bonnie's side and ready to consult with her. She couldn't see him when we got here because he was behind, so he came out when he had some time.
We talked to the doctor about radiation and he thought she should do it but not until about a month after her last chemo. That is currently supposed to be August 5 depending on getting treated every other week. So we will be able to do our Lake Mead trip and Aggie football game in Vegas at the end of August (yahoo!). Then she would have 6 weeks of daily radiation and hopefully be ready for another trip in the middle of November (to some place warm). I guess we will stay home this year for Christmas which we haven't done for a few years now. He said after the treatments end that she would have blood tests every 3 months and a CT scan and colonoscopy every year after that. I said I thought that a CT scan should be done sooner than every year and he said it could be done sooner but that is the standard treatment. I think it should be done every month for the first year. But I guess I am being overly cautious.
The redo of the house is going well. Kevin finally got all the new lights up, the house is all painted (do the outside next year), all new carpets are down and furniture is finally arriving after waiting weeks for deliveries. Then comes the finishing touches of decorating and hopefully still a fireplace. Stop by for a visit and view.
Thanks go out to you all again for your caring and thoughts and prayers. We couldn't do this without you and your faith and prayers.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
She has had more energy from the lighter treatment and even felt well enough to make a couple meals this week. But her fingers are still a little numb. So hopefully that will clear up in time. Nobody can get that drug for the full 12 treatments cause it can cause permanent neuropathy.
Now on to YELLOWSTONE!
We went up to West Yellowstone on May 16 and checked into the new beautiful WorldMark Resort and into our nice 2 bedroom, 2 bath, full kitchen unit. The weather was very nice the first 5 days, it got into the 70's, and snowed the last 2 days. The new resort does not have air conditioning and we were on the top, third floor. So it got nice and warm. One night it was 78 at 11pm and still 73 at 5 am. Even on the cold snowy days, our unit stayed warm, we didnt have to use the heater. I guess they have a circulation system that they were tweeking, but it sure didnt work for us.
We went out to breakfast Saturday morning and checked out the town a bit. We took it easy that day and made dinner for when the girls arrived that evening. We swam in the indoor pool and hot tub that night and went to my sister Karla's room for birthday cake after that. Her and Bart and their family came up for a couple days also. The next morning I went to church with Karla and Bart and I went back to our unit for breakfast. Then we took a nice drive around Hebgen lake and went down to check out Quake lake. We were disappointed the visitors center was closed but the extreme devastation was still very visible.
We went into Yellowstone on Monday and took one loop around the middle of the park and saw the grand canyon and the lower and upper falls. We went down to Yellowstone lake and headed toward the east gate. We had never gone that way before and we still hadn't seen any bears. Well about 3 miles down the road there was a mother grizzly walking along the shore with her 2 cute cubs. We must have watched them for at least a 1/2 hour. It was awesome. We checked out a few more sites and went back to the west side of the lake and come upon more cars stopped and got out to see a big grizzly mom nursing her 2 one year old cubs on the grass by the lake. That was neat too.
We had a marvelous time and saw many beautiful things and much wildlife and many marvels of Gods handiwork. We got to see 8 grizzlies and 5 black bears and they were very fun to watch and we spent a lot of time watching them. We saw Old Faithful, it was fun to watch all the steam the snow caused when it erupted, and the beautiful Inn. We need to stay there one day. We got over 500 pictures and some great video also. On the way home we saw some dear friends and went to lunch with my brother Gary and his wife Debbie. We say that we would like to go back many times. It is wonderful. But maybe we should ask for a lower floor room??
Bonnie wants to thank you all once again for your special notes and comments and thoughts and prayers. We are feeling the power of that and the love of you all. Thank you. See some pictures of our trip.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
First lets talk about last week. Bonnie went in to have chemo last week and her sub white blood cell(WBC) count (NEU) was way too low. It needed to be at least 1.5 and it was .1, so they sent us home for her to rest and see no one (too risky to catch something). Her liver blood test result came in 2 days later and it was high again. It is supposed to be between 0-35 but hers has always been in the 70s or 40s, so the doctor wasnt too concerned, saying it must normally be high. But that day it came in at 137, so he thought we should do a CT scan to check out her liver and kidneys and what ever else they could see. Oh it did say she had a small hiatal hernia, but the liver, gallbladder, speen, pancreas, adrenal glands and kidneys are unremarkable in appearance. They know that from the contrasts she had to drink and put in her port.
JaNae took Bonnie to the ghost hospital (LDS) (ghost since the new hospital opened, it is pretty empty), yesterday to get the scan. The results were good, all things checked were ok. That is great news since she was very concerned about her aching kidneys and also very concerned since the liver is the first place to be affected by those free radical cancer cells that escaped from the colon, if they haven't already been zapped.
So we brought her home last week and I put a note on the door that she couldnt see anyone, but they could call. She didnt like that but we couldnt risk it. People were very understanding, thank you. She started feeling a little better by Friday and decided she could attend her neice's baptism and lunch on Saturday. It was her twin brother John's youngest. She/we had a nice time with family.
We also got the genetic results back for the possible inherited colon cancer markers and it was negative. It was stated as "no mutation detected" for MLH1 and MSH2. But they didnt test the MSH6, and we need to find out why. (I know, I give too much detail) but I like detail.
So, back to today. her initial blood tests today were very good. The NEU was at 6.4, wow! So they did the same chemo treatment and she is home with the pump injecting folfox for the next 2 days. We will find out the liver result when she gets the pump removed on Thursday. But even if it is high I doubt they scan it again anytime soon. Then they want to inject (shot, not in her port, ouch) her with Neulasta(sp) to help keep her WBC higher by helping to rebuild it. But I guess it makes the joints ache. Since we are going on vacation to Yellowstone on the 16-23 she would miss her next treatment (just delayed another week). So she is thinking she doesnt need the shot for this week.
We are looking forward to the get away and hope to see some bears and lots of wildlife and even some friends and family.
Thanks again for all your thoughts and concerns and interest and prayers. We sure appreciate it.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
She went in for treatment on Tuesday and everything seemed normal. On Wednesday when she woke up she was very sick. Fever, sore throat, nausea, and other symptoms. Mom of course didn't want to call the doctor, and I didn't find out about it until after 5. About 8 I finally called the on call doctor and had him call the house. I can't get a clear story about what the doctor said but they want to keep checking her temperature and that they would see her on Thursday to get the pump out.
So today she went into the doctor about 1 o'clock and they didn't really do anything. She said she was feeling a little better, and she sounded better. She keeps saying that this is something that she needs to just wait out and get over. I am a little concerned about this due to the fact that she is so resistant to calling the doctor , or getting help.
They also told her the results of the latest blood work and her liver function is down further. That is a scary thing to hear considering what that could mean.
We are still living life to the fullest in every good moment we have.
I will post shortly about all the goings on outside of cancer world.
Please pray for our family. Please place our names on the temple rolls, and prayer rolls in your area. We need all of the hope, courage, and positivity that we can muster.
Thank you for all that you have done for us and for the support you have given our family.
We truly love you all!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Once they got home Bonnie took a long nap, and didn't eat. Today she has been sleeping a lot. She is sore and nauseous. She gets a weird craving for a few days after treatment, McDonald's fish sandwiches and fries. We are more then happy to go get those for her so she will actually eat something.
Bonnie and Kevin spend 5 days last week in Las Cruces, New Mexico for the Aggie basketball tournament. They enjoyed the trip and were able to spend some well deserved time away from home.
The house has been in the process of a remodel for several months. So while they were gone the main part of the house was painted. Then today new carpet was laid. The next step is for us to find new furniture that Mom likes. This will be an interesting feat with not being able to go out for very long since she gets tired so quickly. But we will get it done.
Thank you for the prayers and thoughts.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
They had Bonnie change in one of their 5-6 changing rooms and put her clothes in one of 10-12 lockers. This was very different. I guess they have people do this because it takes longer to change than to get their radiation treatment. So they are in and out pretty quick.
We didn’t understand why they needed her to change to consult getting radiation treatments. After waiting for 20+ minutes he checked her lungs and abdomen and then did a rectal exam to see how far up the resection was. Then he read the surgery reports and checked the CT scan pictures taken
Anyway, the doctor thought it would be good to do radiation therapy because there could be ‘cancer seedlings’ out in the pelvis area. The radiation would help treat any free radical cancer cells along with the chemo. The affects aren’t very nice for the 3-6% increase in benefits. Mostly that is diarrhea, accelerating menopause, and possible similar after affects for life. The oncologist and surgeon told us previously they didn’t think it needed to be done. So they will consult each other and decide what to do. Then we need to decide if we want to do it. (They have decided that radiation is needed after the chemo is done, we’ll see)
Then we went upstairs to get chemo going and they put us in an exam room to talk to the doctor first. We waited 40+ minutes for the doc and then talked them into letting her get started with her treatment and have the doctor come talk to us while doing that. So she started her treatment an hour later than planned.
I ran and bought Bonnie’s favorite Philly Cheese Steak from the Philadelphian and brought it back for our lunch.
They insert a big short needle into her new purple heart and take blood and dispense the chemo into it. The needle stays in for the treatment and 2 days after for the other chemical to dispense with the pump. The numbing cream worked this time and she didn't feel the needle. Her white blood count for fighting infection was a 1.4 and they want it to be 1.5 or higher. Her previous number was 3.5. They decided to go ahead with treatment since she felt good, but they did reduce the amount of one of the drugs so hopefully it won’t be low for the next one. The treatment was uneventful and we got out at .
The doctor did proscribe medication for when Bonnie has night sweats and also an antibiotic for her to have in case she gets a fever from something while we are on our trip to
Her side affects from this treatment have been slightly milder than the first go round. But she is still very tired.
We are checking into getting the gene testing done at the next treatment. The insurance has to approve of paying for it so we will see what happens there. We still cannot get the percentage of recurrence from our oncologist. He said he would work it up again from our previous visit and then talked about it with us and said as he was leaving that he just told us again. I will try to pin him down next time. But, thinking about it, there is probably no way at all to know that or estimate what it would be, so….
Thanks again for all your encouragement and support and love.
Love the Rawlings
Saturday, February 23, 2008
She is now having insomnia during the night because of the medicine, she gets to sleep off of a sleeping pill but when it wears off she is wide awake. She is reading a book at night to try to pass the time.
We have to be really careful with germs and bacteria so there are several precautions we are taking. We found out that fresh fruit or vegtables are probably not a good idea, due to the bacteria possiblities. We have a bottle of hand sanitizer at the front door, since hands are what usually spread the most germs. Also we are going into church once the opening song has started and leaving during the closing song so there is as little contact as possible, same thing goes with hand shaking, so please don't think we are being rude we are just trying to be very careful.
Any questions let me know I will answer them in a different post.
the picture is from the valentines dance at the stake the saturday before chemo.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I got there around 12:45 and she was about half way through the treatment. I came with lunch and mom and dad were hungry by the time I got there. We were able to chat for a while, and I got to check out the facility. It was pretty nice, everything was very new. The Huntsman Cancer Center on the new Intermountain Medical Center campus is one year old. The other buildings on the campus including the hospital are 2 months old.
About 2:15 the doctor came over and spoke with us. We were able to ask all the questions that had been written down, and several more I came up with on the spot. He said that he believes she is only a stage 3 not stage 4 like the surgeon thought. (we thought the books about cancer backed up his belief)(he is going to check into why the surgeon thought it was stage 4). He also told us that it is possibly hereditary and wants Bonnie to get genetic testing done to find out if it is or not. The doctor wants her to go to a radiologist to discuss if she should get radiation treatment as well.He said that even though she does not have any markers (measurable tests) for cancer like blood levels or etc, they will always check for that because if the cancer starts up somewhere else, it could trigger a measurable marker to show. He thought that she should not get any mouth sores from her treatments (we'll see, I guess). He thought her most bothersome affects would be sensitivity to cold and tingling fingers/toes. They would probably have to discontinue one of the drugs that causes the tingling after about 8 treatments so that it does not have life long affects.
The tumor board has not discussed her case yet. So he hopes to do that in 2 weeks when they meet again. I am not sure what that will actually tell us. He will also work up the percentages of recurrence that he did for himself but not for us when we met the first time. He gave us a form to get a 6 month handicapped placard for easier access for Bonnie.
Tonight Bonnie has had a headache like a migraine (which she used to get) and was nauseous, she took some Tylenol and some anti-nausea medication. She also was tired starting at 7 tonight, probably from having a long day. See new pictures below also.
(added to by Kevin)
Saturday, February 16, 2008
They took her in at and prepped her to go into minor surgery to insert the port implant. They gave her an I.V. for fluids including an antibiotic and to put her out enough to not feel the surgery.
They showed us the port they were going to implant. It was about a 3/4-1 by 1/2 inch purple heart shaped implant that had a small tube that was to go up 2-3 inches toward her neck and then would be inserted into an artery and go back down toward the heart another 2-3 inches. This is all under her skin of course. See the link for some info on the port.
They can give her all her Chemo and take blood for tests and administer contrasts for scans and even do transfusion if needed through the port.
They said she would be gone for an hour to do the 20-30 minute procedure. She was gone for an hour and 50 minutes. She said it took a while before they even got started and a nurse said she kept asking for more pain meds. She doesn’t remember that but said she was awake and aware of quite a bit of the procedure. They brought her a sandwich and chips for lunch while she recovered and we left at . She is very sore today around the neck area and says it feels like it did when she had her thyroid surgery. It is also black and blue today. As a side note. Apparently those who have had thyroid nodules (benign or malignant) are more likely to get colon cancer at a later time.
She is scheduled for her first chemo treatment (FolFox) Tuesday at 11 that should take about 3-4 hours. She will have a pump put on the port that will administer the 5FU drug for the 48 hours after she leaves the cancer center. We are hoping she doesn’t get too wiped out after her treatment and the next one 2 weeks later so that we can still go to
She wants to thank you all again very much for your generous acts of kindness and cards and comments and food. It is very much appreciated. It is great to have such tremendous support during this trying time. Thanks again.