Monday, December 27, 2010

Update on Mom

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Mom was able to be discharged from the hospital on Christmas Eve and spend the holiday with us at my grandparents' house. She was able to celebrate at Mass. She was very tired, and not able to eat much, but the doctors prescribed her some medication to stop the spasms of her esophagus. This is what is believed to have been making eating and drinking difficult.

Christmas day was another story. She was sick pretty much all day and night. On Sunday, my dad called her oncologist who said to go to the ER for fluids and then she would probably be admitted. Mom was getting sick about every 30 minutes. She was moved to a room after a few hours in ER. The blood work showed that her kidney levels were good though, which was a blessing. I spent the night with her and she did well last night and it seems the medicine is getting the nausea under control. The doctors are still unsure why she is getting so sick. She will have a CT scan in the am. Hopefully we will have some answers. Thanks for all the prayers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Prayers needed please..

I have several posts to about this Christmas season and Lucas' visit to see Santa, but right now I am asking for your prayers.

Mom is in the hospital. She is OK, but Tuesday, when she went for her weekly check-in with the Oncologist her kidney levels were high. They told her to come back Wednesday morning for an ultrasound. Wednesday morning came and the doctor told her that once she is done with the ultrasound to come to the office to talk and that she might be admitted.

The ultrasound came back normal (Praise God!) and this determined that she did not have blockage. The past few weeks she has had a tough time eating and drinking, so they determined that she was probably more dehydrated than anything. They have been pumping her full of fluids with the biggest saline bags I have ever seen and I worked in a hospital for 5 years. Her kidney levels have gone down which leads the doctors to believe that it was dehydration.

The nephrologist (kidney doctor) ordered for Mom to have a procedure this morning that would basically stretch her esophagus to help her with swallowing. She went this morning for the procedure and the doctor then determined that her esophagus was working properly and that was not the problem, which is of course good news, but we are now back at square one with this and Mom still cannot eat or drink much. This is not a good thing for someone going through chemo. They need to eat and drink not only to help keep strength up, but to also help flush out all the toxin that is the chemo. They did a biopsy of her stomach lining because the doctor noticed that it was red and irritated. Hopefully this will give us some information and the problem will be easy to solve.

We are hoping and praying that they will let her come home tomorrow. They will as long as her kidney level keep going down. If she is still not able to eat or drink then she will have to go home with the IV and have home health nurses come periodically to change the bags. All this means that Christmas is going to be quite different this year.

Christmas is my mother's favorite time of year. You should see her house! It is beautiful! We will still have a wonderful Christmas, because all that matters is being together and loving one another. This year has definitely taught my family this fact.

We covet your prayers at this time. Please pray that Mom will be able to come home tomorrow (she HATES being in the hospital) and that she will be able to eat and drink. Please also pray that we will have answers soon so that she will not have to be on IVs for long.

Thank you and we wish all of you a blessed Christmas. Hug your loved ones extra tight this year...I know I am!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Update on Mom

Mom is doing well. She finished her last round of chemo today! She has been going for treatments 1x/month with weekly blood tests. It is a relief to have this round behind her. She will have a CT scan in the next few weeks which will tell us if there are any other areas that detect cancer.

Her CA125 is in the 60s which is not in the normal range, but it has been coming down steadily. There have been a few jumps back up, but typically it drops. Normal is under 35, but to be honest her doctor is surprised she is under 70 so this is good news.

She has an appointment January 13, 2011 with MD Anderson in Houston, TX. I am sure you have heard of MD Anderson since it is the foremost authority on all things cancer related. This is just to see if there is anything else that she can be doing or if there are any clinical trials she can become a participant. There is no cure (as of yet) for ovarian cancer, so we are just covering our bases. Her doctor here is such an amazing man. He in no way is offended by her wanting to go to Houston. In fact, he is encouraging her because in his eyes it lets him know if there is anything else he needs to be aware of.

She is tired, and of course she is tired of being tired. My mother has been dealing with cancer for over a year and some days it takes its tole. She remains in good spirits though and has a faith that is unshakable! She is a remarkable woman who continues to love God and knows that He is with her.

Please continue to pray for my mother. Thank you!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Updates below


I quit my job!! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being an OT! I truly believe that God put me on this Earth to serve Him through being an OT. I was working for a home health agency based in Tuscaloosa, which had me covering 6 counties alone. Not an easy task considering they are very rural counties. I loved treating the patients, but there were times (like 2x/wk when I was 2 hours away from home and hence 2 hours away from Lucas. This was unacceptable.

An opening for a job at a preschool that serves children with and without special needs came open last month and I jumped at the opportunity. I will start in January!! I am so excited!! I will be working with kids again, which I missed a lot more than I thought I would. It is a great organization and has so many plans for the future on ways to expand the services. Have I mentioned that I am excited?!

My husband is an IRONMAN!!

Not too many people can say that they are an Ironman, but my husband can proudly say that he is an IRONMAN!!

On November 6, 2010 Eric O'Neal crossed the finish line after 15 hours to hear the words "Eric O'Neal, you are an Ironman!"

What a week leading up to this amazing moment. We left the Monday before the race to head down to Grayton Beach, FL where Eric's family was staying for the week at Aunt Debra's (thanks so much Deb!). Cheryl and Buddy (Eric's parents), Mamaw and Papaw (Eric's grandparents), Melissa (Eric's sister), Jackson and Langdon (Melissa's kids) were there to meet us. Eric's Aunt Debra and Uncle Rusty live in Grayton and so it was so good to spend time with family and "relax" before the big weekend. I use relax loosely since it was hard to keep our mind off of anything else than Ironman. I think everyone was nervous!

On Wednesday my mom, grandmother, and aunt came down to Panama City and Eric and I headed over to see them. Eric had booked a room in Panama City at the race site and that is where he stayed Wednesday and Thursday. Lucas and I stayed with my family - the original plan was for Lucas and I to stay with Eric, but let's just say that the accommodations at the Boardwalk Beach Resort were not quite 14 month old friendly.

Thursday night we at a a Japanese steak house with the whole family. My brother John and cousin Briana came down on Thursday too, so they were able to join in on the fun. It was great to get everyone together. After dinner Eric and I went to the meeting for all the participants. It was so inspirational to see all the athletes. There was an 81 year old man, an 80 year old man, a 67 year old woman, and a man who is blind participating in the race. It was incredible. There was also a man who had completed more than 100 Ironman races. (I said that he obviously does not have a wife and kids!)

On Friday we took it easy and Eric, Lucas, and I went to lunch and then Eric and Little Man took a long nap together. That evening Eric and I went back to the hotel. Eric woke up at 3:00 am Saturday a.m. to eat breakfast and get his nutrition going. It was going to be a long day.

We met up with Eric's family and my family on the beach prior to the start of the swim. Eric was nervous, but he had it under control. My dad and uncle Bob and Melissa's husband Keith all came on Friday, so it was good to see them. We all wore orange shirts with WDE on the front and War Damn Eric on the back. This was one of the best things we could have done because it helped Eric find us while he was out on the race.

It was crazy to say the least! He did awesome on the swim! While he was out on his first lap I took my family up to the hotel room since it overlooked the swim and they were able to warm up (because it was so cold that morning) and get some great pictures. They had to make 2 laps for the swim and so we were able to see Eric running on the beach to start the 2nd lap. Eric's family made some great signs which also helped him see where we were. Once he had started his 2nd lap we made our way to the chute that led to the bike transition. We met up with Jason and Julie Carroll and Sophia. Jason and Eric have been friends since college and Jason is the reason Eric got started in triathlons. Sophia is Eric doctor and fellow triathlete who has been so helpful with "fixing" his knee and ankle. We were able to see Eric head to transition and the we moved on to where we could see him head out on the bike. My family was able to see Eric from the balcony and get some great pics of him heading to his bike.

We were able to cheer for him as he zoomed by at the bike start. Then we had some time to kill while he was making the 112 mile loop. Eric's Aunt Debra, Uncle Rusty, Mamaw, and Papaw left to run some errands and they were able to meet him along the way, which was huge for him to see them! My dad and cousin Briana were also able to meet him along the way. We saw him come out to start the run and he looked great. He did really well on the bike. Now was the toughest part...the 26.2 mile run. He had to make 2 loops and we were able to see him at the turn around point for the 2nd loop. He was tired and cold, but he persevered.

Around the time that he was to come to the finish we went to the bleachers they had set up for spectators. It was so much fun to see all these people come through after a grueling day with huge smiles on their faces. It was so exciting! Then we saw Eric. I grabbed Lucas and we went down to the barrier and cheered for Eric! That is when the water works started...and I am NOT a pretty crier at all! I couldn't help it though. There was so much emotion for me because I knew how hard he had worked for this moment! We met up with him and I got one of the biggest hugs I have ever received from him. He was crying too when he saw us and Lucas was I'm sure thinking "You people have lost your minds!" It was such an amazing time. Read Eric's blog to know what he was thinking while on the race.

Eric, I am so unbelievably proud of you. You worked so hard for this moment! You are an Ironman!! Lucas is so blessed to have you as a father. You are going to teach him what it means to work for what you want in life and to not let anything stop you from achieving your dreams! What a great gift to give to your son! I love you!