Anna’s Balloon Release

Anna’s Balloon Release will be at 1:00 pm tomorrow.

The weather reports I have seen predict the rain to begin in Nashville/Brentwood late in the day tomorrow. However, I will completely understand if many of you do not feel it is worth the risk. Our family will likely be out there, even if there is a light drizzle. If it is a downpour, we won’t try it.


Yesterday proved to be yet another interesting day at Centennial/Sarah Cannon. Last Wednesday my appointment was at 11, and I left there at 5:15.  Yesterday mom and I got there at 7 am and left at 4:45. Both days I was only supposed to be there a few hours.

My CT scan did not reveal a kidney stone. It did reveal that my cancer has continued to grow unabated. The vectibix had done nothing. It also revealed a lot of fluid in my abdomen, called ascites, which basically makes me look and feel pregnant, and this is likely responsible for much of my pain. Most likely this fluid build up is due to the widespread cancer. The scan also revealed a “large pericardial effusion,” which is a large build up of fluid around my heart. This information was determined in the middle of my first bag of blood with my tranfusion. This sent everyone into a bit of a tailspin, meant I needed an echocardiogram right away, and meant we were in a holding pattern with the tranfusion until the echo was performed and analyzed. I was obviously fighting a lot of fear during this time.

The good news is the echocardiogram was just fine. The nurse said, “It showed a completely different picture than the CT scan did. The echo looks great.” There was a bit of fluid around the heart but that is normal with cancer treatment.

I came home feeling pretty discouraged last night. I felt I should be elated about the echo results, and the fact that there was no kidney stone, and about the fact that they didn’t find that my kidneys were full of cancer. But I was just very tired, very sore, and devoid of hope. Oh, I failed to mention they also found that there is a lot of “junk in my lungs,” primarily in the base of my right lobe (just above my liver). They said it could be metastases, but it could also be pneumonia (I’ve started a 7 day course of cipro), or just atelectasis from not breathing deeply enough because of pain. I know that I breathe very shallow due to pain, so I am trying to fix my mind on the fact that that is the cause. The nurse encouraged me to try and take deeper breaths at times to open up those bases of my lungs and I am doing so. Still, I am discouraged because I am having to take so much pain medicine these days to keep the pain in control.

But then today my hope has returned. I actually feel better today than I have in weeks in terms of energy and stamina. I have been on my feet a LOT today. I seem to have much less shortness of breath. Everything is still on track to begin the study next Friday, and the oncologists and nurses are very optimistic that these drugs will work for me. Their hope is rubbing off on me.

Please pray that tomorrow is a good day for me as well since it is an important day for us.

As always, I can’t thank you enough for praying for me.


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