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Carleen

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Hi everyone,

Boy, I feel like I've been gone forever this past time. :cry:

Things have been a bit hectic the past two months. I think the last time I posted, I updated everyone to the fact that Keith's cancer has spread to his brain. Well, he's completed his 3 weeks of WBR and really went through that well. He was so tired all the time, but other than that he really tolerated the treatment well; no other side effects. We will get a scan the second week in Dec. Last Friday he also started a new chemo routine. He is doing 2 rounds of Cytoxin, Doxarubicin, and Vichristin. Scans to follow 12/14/04.

This really kicked his A$$. I've never seen him so sick as with this combo. He was throwing up for 3 days straight, and even needed to have a spit cup as his own saliva made him vomit. He couldn't even take anti-nausea meds as he would throw them up as soon as he swallowed. So, basically he weathered the storm on his own. Its been a week, and he is just starting to feel good again, albeit still very fatigued. He hasn't been eating, and has dropped a lot of weight. This worries me.

Also during this time we moved; terminated out contract with our home builder (and started legal proceedings on him), moved into our still not completed home (but completed enough to be liveable). We've been unpacking, which is just a mess since all our belongings have been in storage for the past 6 months, and our storage container leaked water and half our possessions were ruined. The other half are salvageable but everything needs to be washed and cleaned before being unpacked and put away. I've also have had to take bids and schedule subcontractors to finish the home construction projects we have left.

So, we've been so very busy and so very stressed out.

Since Keith has been sick I feel like I am shouldering all this weight and challenges alone. I work 10 hours a day, then come home to work another 8-10 hours and try and catch 4 hours of sleep if I can, which is hard because my mind is so wildly reeling from all the things I am involved in right now. I am so tired, but my mind just won't shut down.

Keith does try to help, and he is working full time too. It actually makes it harder on me to see him trying to help with all the stresses in our lives right now, because I know they wear him out and make him feel all the more ill from it. It makes me feel guilty. He feels guilty because he wants to do more and doesn't feel like he is helping me enough, and I feel guilty that I can't bear it all alone when all I want is for him to be able to rest and regain his strength.

We are also most likely going to go for another treatment in New Orleans for the Indium III study. We're not sure it it had any noticeable benefit on his tumors, as the doctors there recommended he receive a scan 2 months following treatment. His doctor here decided to scan him only 5 weeks following and didn't see any change. But, I know from Keith's history with various radiation treatments that he rarely shows decrease the month following treatment, but usually 2-3 months following he all of a sudden shows decrease in those radiaiton sites. Indium is not the same as radiaiton, but it is a treatment based on systemic distribution of radioactive isotopes. So, they should act in the same way.

I also believe its working because all the symptoms Keith was experiencing prior to going there have stopped completely. He was sweating so profusely that he would soak through several shirts just sitting doing nothing. That hasn't happened since. To me, that's a good sign. The doctors agreed that although the scan didn't show a change, the benefit received in the relief of symptoms is enough evidence to support another dose. So, I think we are going back down there in January.

I have so much catching up to do here, but I have been praying for you all daily, even if I haven't been on board each day. I know I have a number of PMs in my mailbox, and I will touch back with everyone right away. However, if anyone wants to contact me or check in with me, as I know you all worry when I am gone so long, please e-mail me. I may not have internet access at work, but I do get e-mail and that I read and respond to every day. I've missed you all so much and I truly hope it won't be so long between my next chance to log on.

Love you, and God Bless you

Carleen

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Carleen and Keith..

Holy Moly.

You guys have been through it. Puts me to shame.

Just want to wonder if you have tried suppositories for nausea. That is enough from me....as I feel I have taken your precious time already.

Please know that my prayers and love are going your way.

Undoubtedly.

Cindi o'h

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Thanks for updating us, we've been wondering how you were. I am sorry to hear about Keith's nausea. Poor guy, nothing worse than feeling so sick. You both take care of yourselves, try some drugs for shutting your mind down and sleeping. You know we have a saying here in Michigan (home of Dow Chemical) "better living through chemistry." Try it. :P

Rochelle

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Carleen,

So glad to see this post. I think many of here were worried about you. Thanks for updating us! I have kept you and keith in my prayers, and will continue to ask God to watch over you both. You two are amazing people. Keith is still working even. How has his job been about treatment? Mine has not been to understanding to say the least. You guys drop us a line when you can. WE will be thinking of you.

Much Love,

Cheryl

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Carleen,

Wow, sweetie, you need a break. Find some time for you. Keith does not need you sick too and he may not feel quite as bad about not being able to help you if you go off for an hour and get a manicure or massage or just sit and have a cup of coffee and read a juicy romance novel.

You are always in our thoughts and prayers even when you don't post for awhile.

Love,

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Carleen,

I am glad to hear that Keith weathered the radiation well. Sorry about the awful Chemo side effects!! I don't know how you keep going with everything happening in your life, you are a very strong and courageous woman. I applaud you. Please know that you and Keith are never far from my thoughts.... Love, Sharon

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Carleen, thanks for the update. I hate it that Keith has been going through all this, and that on top of everything, you have house problems to deal with! No sense in either of you feeling guilty, though. (I know, since when did THAT make a difference :)) Please take care of yourself, and know that we're praying for you both.

BeckyCW

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Carleen,

So glad to hear from you. You and Keith have been through it!!! I hope with all my heart that the new chemo gives Keith some improvement and the results from the radiation and wbr will be good news. You both are in my thoughts and prayers and I will continue to pray for you both to have "extra strength" through this rough time! I don't know how Keith is still working. WBR has really worn me out. I have not worked since starting chemo 19 months ago. Missed too many days and disability was a better option for me. Keep your chin up and remember we are always here for you both.

TAnn

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CARLEEN! How wonderful to hear from you! As the others have said, we have all been worried about you and Keith. I was thrilled to see your name up there tonight.

You obviously have a full plate, and I know what that's like. Somehow we just find a way to get through it, though, don't we? Like the others, the thing to do is to slow down and take a break, but I know you won't do it. When my dad was so sick, I got the same advice from everyone I know, but it's just not something that we are willing to do when there are so many pressing things going on. And, yes, it does wear you down almost to a breaking point, but God will see you through all this.

It saddens me to hear that Keith has had so much nausea. Out of every sicky thing I've ever had, including surgeries and pain, the thing I hate the most is being sick to my stomach. That is the pits. The suppository suggestion above sounded like it might be a good solution to look into.

Carleen, hang in there, honey! I'm glad we know we can send you emails, so it won't be so long between getting updates.

All my love and prayers to you both,

Peggy

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Hi Sweetie!

Boy we've missed you! Sorry to hear that Keiths having such a hard time, and that the house has been a problem on top of it.

As always, you're handling it all with great attitude. Whis there was something I could do to lighten your load..........

Give that hubby of yours a great big hug for us,

Hugs and prayers,

SandyS

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Carleen,

Oh my heavens - what you've been through!! I'm glad Keith's WBR is finished. That knocked Steve out for months. You both need to get a break from all the stress. Now's the time to accept all those open offers of "if there's anything I can do..." This is no time to be independent. People really do want to help. Take care.

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It's so good to hear from you again. I think we've all been wondering how it went in New Orleans, and it sounds as though there is promise. Great! (One thing though -- couldn't they give him suppositories when he was so sick? Geez.)

God bless you both. Sounds like you're running every which way -- take care of yourself.

Di

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Carleen,

It was so nice to see your posts today! I've missed you and wondered and prayed for you and Keith.

I agree with everyone else....wow...so much...too much...need a break...you need help! Do you have any help? I pray that you have some support where you are. I wish I were closer, I'd do what I could to help you guys.

Just know that I am keeping you both in my prayers.

Much love and smoother roads ahead,

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Dear Carleen,

Add me to the list of people who are in "shock and awe" at your situation and who are concerned as well for you! What a time you've both been through, Keith weathering the WBR and then having such a terrible time with the chemo, both of you with the house and working and treatment and, and, and...it's just too much!!! I hope you have someone who can help you with all that's on your plate. Will be thinking of you and hoping that all goes well in New Orleans and otherwise as well!

Ellen

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Carleen, it is soooo good to see your two beautiful faces. Appreciate the update. Yep, you need to slow down a bit and give yourself some sleeping and breathing time. Ask for help. Glad to hear progress is being made controlling the cancer and symptoms. As caregivers, we do walk a tightrope between letting them help and do and letting them rest and get well. We do need to let them be useful as much as they can. You continue in my prayers. Don

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Carleen,

I was so glad to see your name on a post. It sounds like you both are in way over your heads. Slow down girl. Its hard to believe that Keith is still working....I was dead on my feet for weeks following chemo and radiation and mine was nothing like Keith's. You two are lucky to have each other, but I agree with the others...you need help. Can you get someone to help with the house? Someone to help you clean everything and put it away? I admire you both, but without sleep you are going to get sick yourself and then you will be no help to either one of you. You both are in my prayers Carleen and I hope that things start to level off for you soon.

Nina

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Carleen I am so relieved to see you post. I don't log on as often as I used to but when I do I always look for news from you. I was very worried when none came. It is very obvious that you have more on your plate than is reasonable but having been where you are I know that with cancer reason plays no part. Please take care of your self the best that you can under the circumstances and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Kieth.

I hope when you were in New Orleans you got to see some of the good side of the city. Having lived less than seventy miles from there for 32 years I am well aquainted with both it's good and bad side. I know that you don't have much time for sight seeing while you are there but if you get a chance try to visit some of the old plantation homes. There is one not far from Baton Rouge called Knotaway. It is one of the most elegant. Also be aware that the cemetaries or cities of the dead may be interesting to see but they are also very dangerous places. If you visit one make sure you have several people with you. It is sad to say that there are those who take advantage there and pray on tourists.

I hope that you can get a chance to keep us updated now and again. If not we do understand tho we miss you. My best to both you and Kieth. Lillian

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