MaeLynn's Final Resting Place

MaeLynn's Final Resting Place
I went over to the cemetery the day after Memorial Day. You can tell she was so loved...and still is.

MaeLynn's Hummingbird Box

MaeLynn's Hummingbird Box
MaeLynn and Andy have been having a lot of fun getting into their artistic sides lately. This is one of MaeLynn's projects from this fall.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Not Try Something just might work...

So I finally talked to MaeLynn about how her appointment went with the internist, and there really isn't much more to tell than what I've already told :). Her chromagranin A levels are the indicator of growth of the cancer, so if it's higher this month than it was before, that means there is more cancer than there was before.

She remains positive (and slightly drugged...haha). Apparently the phentanol patch helps so much that she keeps it on all the time. Anything to help the pain!

She has come across a couple of natural approaches to suspending the growth of the cancer. One is called an alkaline diet which changes the pH in the body. Apparently cancer can not grow in an extremely alkaline environment, so....make the body alkaline=stop the growth. Some things that are really good for her to eat are wheatgrass (and other types of grasses), dandelions (haven't tried that one, yet), cucumbers, and jicama. There are only a few things that she should totally steer clear of such as beef, pork, tuna, and artificial sweeteners. Just the four things that we LOVE! I'm not sure how long she's been trying to follow this diet, so I'm not sure exactly how it's going for her...but hopefully good!

Another thing she's been trying is brewing her own mushroom tea called Kombucha. I would try to explain it, but you'd get a lot more correct information if you check it out on Wikipedia. It's really interesting. People claim that it has natural healing why not? What does she have to lose? I guess Andy likes it, anyway.

She's getting along pretty well right now. As I type this, she is in Wyoming at an adults only retreat with Andy's family. Her sweet mother is watching those five crazy kids for her (crazy---but cute, I should say). Hopefully the weekend goes well for everyone. It's funny. Some people have mentioned how if they knew they were dying, they would treasure every moment with their children. BUT, watching MaeLynn and her kids...I've come to realize that although you DO want to treasure every moment, kids are still kids. A tired mom is still a tired mom. There are still moments of spanks and swearing (haha) and throwing-up-of-the-hands. Life is still life. It's busy, it's wonderful, it's frustrating, it's good. We still need adult retreats every once in awhile.

Oh one more thing for tonight...apparently the Zions' donation bank account is closed now. However, there is a Wells Fargo donation account and a Lewiston State Bank donation account set up for the Harris family. I'm pretty sure it's under MaeLynn's name. So if you ever have a bit extra to send their way they'd greatly appreciate it. They also want to thank everyone for all their support in whatever way it's given. This is quite the experience.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Pain in the *&($#*(&@# along with other areas

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything. We always hope no news is good news, right?

On that note, things are going alright for MaeLynn. Not perfect, but alright. A couple of weeks ago she got to go on a weekend getaway with some old college roommates. It was SO fun and relaxing. However, while she was there, she was having some pretty extreme pains in her 'gut'. So after the long weekend, she called her oncologist, and got in to see him. He was able to prescribe a phentanol patch for her. It is a small transparent patch about two inches long and one inch wide that releases the drug phentanolthat she can put anywhere on her upper body . It's used for chronic pain and interestingly enough, women in labor.

The patch has helped a lot, although when used in combination with her everyday Lortab, she says it makes her VERY tired. When I saw her a few days after she got the patch, she could barely keep her eyes open while we talked. But the PAIN is taken care of...and that's good. She apparently doesn't need the patch all the time, either. She can wear it for three days, and then take a break until she feels like she needs it again.

While she was at the oncologist, they also drew some blood to see how her hormone levels are doing. I guess that's a good indicator of what the cancer is doing without having to do CT scans etc.

For a little background, everyone has a hormone called chromagranin A in their bodies. A normal person has about 50 parts per million (ppm) of this hormone in their blood. When MaeLynn found out she had cancer 2 1/2 months ago, she had 23,000 ppm of this hormone in her blood. When she got the results back this last week from her blood test, the chromagranin A was at 32,000 ppm. She didn't know exactly what that meant, but it doesn't sound great. She had an appointment with her internist last Friday to talk about the results of the blood test, but I haven't had a chance to find out how that went.

I'll let you all know more when I know more. Hope everyone is well.