Sign in | New here? Sign Up
A community of cancer survivors supporting each other.

May 17, 2017

I know it's been a while since I posted. I've been trying to shake off this funk & it's finally starting to go away.

First of all I would like to say Thank you to the Cinco de Mayo lunch Angels. Unfortunately, having chemo that Monday, between sleeping or sitting on the toilet, I was unable to make it. I was there in spirit, they even had a chair dedicated for me. I received the most touching card in the mail, which was signed by all, I was so touched by their kindness. I look forward to getting treatments behind me, so I can make the next time.

Rick attempted to go to work last Monday, which was 8 weeks, he lasted 2 hours. Everyone could see how weak he was, I knew he wasn't quite ready, yet he is a man of his word, so he went in. They told him to take the rest of the week off & gain his strength. He went in this Monday & worked 5.5 hrs, he was wore out, yet made it that far. Tuesday he stayed 6.5 hours, he would have left earlier, but there was a couple who wanted to buy a new car, when they found out Rick was on medical leave, they waited for him to return, said they would not buy from anyone else. So yesterday he sold them their Cadillac! He was tired, yet so grateful he had a sale, which means he will have a paycheck at the end of the month! He is still weak, does not have an appetite, makes himself eat, drinks boost & has lost 15 pounds, which he did not have to spare, hopefully working will increase his appetite.

As for me, these last 2 weeks have been rough. The first week of chemo, all I could do was sleep & go to the potty, I even slept in there a couple of times. This week, I haven't slept as much, yet still tired. I have had a lot of abdominal pain, if I eat a tiny amount, it's like I'm so full & bloated that everything is pushing on each other. I will eat 3 tums & that helps it ease off. I think it's from my enlarged spleen, which is what's playing havoc with my platelets. I'm praying they are up enough for me to have my round #6 of 6. So I can proceed to Houston for staging.

Due to platelet counts, treatment was delayed 3 weeks, so is my trip to Houston. My oncologist here finally spoke to Dr. Eng & they concur, we have to get the platelets back in control. Dr. Eng has scheduled me for an IR Splenic Artery Embolization, does anyone have any experience with this procedure?

Having issues with low platelet counts, that have delayed treatment, they have taken off Carboplatin thinking that will help. My spleen is enlarged & trapping platelets. It has been highly recommended that I have an IR Splenic Artery Embolization. I was told they would go in via the groin & burn part of my spleen. 

My research says they go in & stop the blood flow which will destroy that part of the spleen. I was also told, it was a one night hospital stay. Working on scheduling, I spoke to the IR dept. who informed me I would be admitted after the procedure & will stay 2 full days, meaning I will be there 3 days. It sounds really serious & has risks, yet the benefits out weigh the risks. Has anyone here had this procedure??? Where does the spleen that is burnt off go when it dies? It's a necessity if I continue chemo

My one night stay in Houston has now turned into 5 nights stay,  granted I will be in the hospital for 3 of those. I can't ask whoever goes with me to sleep in a hospital chair for 3 nights, although I have done it in the past. I'm not sure if Shawn will be able to go since he is on a new job, as before he would have only been off Wed. & Thursday, now it would be Wed. thru Monday. I don't want too jeopardize his job, or his paycheck. I do have a plan B, not Rick as he has been out for 9 weeks. I was telling my brother about it & did not have to ask, when he volunteered & said he would go. So I have that covered.

He asked if we were driving, I said no, flying he said cool. I explained that I could get an Angel Flight for free, that we would have to leave a day early & return a day late, as both trips will take all day. He was confused, so I explained that it would require 3 pilots & 3 different planes, ya know small planes, he said like crop dusters, I said, yep, he said REALLY? I told him, after careful consideration, & discussion with Angel Flight, at this time,  due to my weakness & procedure, that I would not be able to climb aboard. I really considered it, I even spoke to a couple of friends who have friends with planes & they said, you don't want to do that, the turbulence will toss you around & most important NO BATHROOM, well I may have been able to handle the turbulence, but no bathroom, no way. I explained due to the generosity of a few angels I have funds for a non stop flight. He was relieved.

I asked my oncologist here to schedule the procedure here, that it would be better for me. She said she preferred it be done at MD Anderson, since they do it all the time. I guess she has not recommended that in the past. I tried, yet it may have been easier for me, doing it out there sounds like the safest route to take. I'm requested a schedule change to the week of the 15th, the IR dept. changed my schedule to the 16th, I'm waiting for Dr Eng’s team to change my appointments as well. I was about to change it when the IR lady called about the procedure & I thought she was changing all appointments. She called me last Thursday to inform me she had emailed them & told them of the schedule change, I have not looked today to see if they did, she went on vacation & she said she would follow up with me this week when she returns. I think I will wait until Monday to make sure I get that last round of chemo.

I've made it this far, ain't no stopping me now.

Praying for you all! 


3 people like this post.
3 people threw a punch at your cancer.
9 people sent you a prayer.
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
Ann, it is so good to get an update from you. All of us who met for lunch knew how much you wanted to be there, but we all understood and we certainly knew you were there with us in spirit. I promise you, we will shoot for another time in the near future. In the meantime, you have some things to take care of. I cannot give you any information about the Splenic Artery Emoblization. I would presume that the portion that is burned off is absorbed into the body and eliminated, but that's just my best guess. I'm sure having this done at MDA is the best option, as your local oncologist has said. Please let us know when you get it scheduled. I'm glad you have your brother going with you to Houston and that you will be on a big plane--with a bathroom. As we all know, bathrooms can NOT be overrated!

It sounds like Rick is slowly getting back to work and I'm glad that his company is allowing him to work on a limited basis until he gets his full strength back. Congratulations to him for selling that new Cadillac!

As you know by know, your BFAC friends are here for you. I always have you and Rick in my prayers and if there's anything else I can do, just holler. Safe travels to you and your brother and may all go well for you there. Dr. Eng is the best. Take care, my friend.

Love and Hugs--
Cleo likes this comment
Ann -- so good to hear from you. We did miss you at lunch, but know that you will be occupying that extra chair soon. Sounds like Rick is well on his way, great news about the sale. I know having that stress even partially alleviated will be helpful. Tell him to go slow, listen to his body and soon he will be fully recovered.

As for you, glad to hear that you found a way to get on a full grown up plane for your trip. Know spending a week in Houston and having to go through surgery was not what you wanted, but it is important to be where the best docs are ... you deserve the absolute best.

You and Rick are in my daily prayers and I can't wait until you get this behind you so we can meet for lunch. Let me know when you are ready and I will make it happen around your availability. Have lunch plans, will travel 😋

Lots and lots of virtual hugs!!!

I have missed you and wondered how your husband was doing as well. Thanks for the updates. You have been very busy, it is a full time job coordinating treatment and deciding what is best for yourself. You've got this bull by the horns and are not yielding to it. That's what we all have to do to get past it. I am keeping you in my prayers.
My prayers are with you sweet lady. I wish I could help you with info on the Splenic Artery Emobilization, but I am sure MDA will take care of you where it is concerned. Good news on your husband's car sale.
My husband and I go back to MDA next Sunday for my follow up.
Ann, I once boarded a plane where they actually asked how much I weighed. There were 6 is us and all I kept thinking was, "please, dear God, don't let any of these other five people be too vain and LIE! Lol. Oh Lord, I was a brave one when I was young. I hope your hubs feels better and stronger each day. He must be very good at his job. I think you are doing ok Ann 😉. Blessings for MDA. God bless.
I was at the Cinco de Mayo lunch and you were missed. I do not have any experience with Splenic Artery Embolization but I agree that if possible, having it done in a facility that has experience would be best.

I'm happy to hear that Rick is back to work. Tell him to take it easy and not to push it.

Please keep us updated. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Wow, you and your husband are such forces of nature! Love to hear from you Ann.
So good to hear you southern gals get together. I hope you will catch them soon. There is so much learning, sharing and supporting, I am sure, in getting our "specialness" together.
Love and hugs, Jean
I am glad to hear from you. You and your family are at the top of the prayer list. You are in the best of hands going to MDA for the embolization. I have heard of it done for other cancers, but I am positive with Dr Eng involved you will have the best care. It is a blessing that you will be able to make the trip with your brother by your side along with the ever necessary bathroom retreat close by.
I know that going back to work will help Rick to stay mentally busy, especially with you in Houston. I know that is hard on both of you. Hopefully, he can sell 20 more Cadillacs while you are away!
Big hugs to you!
Dear Ann, I just read the abstract to this article and it was enough to convince me this procedure is in your best interest. The success for this group of 33 in the study is amazing. Return to chemo may be a couple weeks, but it look like you'll get there.

Just don't wear that big hat on the plane.

Love and constant prayers to you!
Laura likes this comment
Ann, great to hear an update. So glad Rick is steadily getting stronger, and that you are being well taken care of as hard as it is along the way. Things will get better. I admire your strength. You will beat this. Always in my thoughts and prayers!
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
(February 9, 1960 - October 24, 2017)

Vital Info


October 17, 2015

North Augusta, South Carolina 2

February 9, 1960

Cancer Fighter

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

July 31, 2015

Stage 1

1.1 - 2.0 cm


Any amount is appreciated

The isolation and embarrassment from the stigma of Anal Cancer

That I am the only one in control of my body.


11/3/16 mets lung and liver

Searching for one


12/8 going to Dr. Eng MD Anderson for options

Eat lots of protein, or drink protein shakes.

Rest, when your body says sleep do it. Sleep is when the body heals.

November 23, 2015

December 28, 2015

Blood in stools, lower right abdominal pain. Frequent bouts of diarrhea.

Tumor excision 7/31/15

Radiation 9/23/15 uncontrollable diarrhea, severe burns, hair loss, pain in hips, now stiff



New Here?

Sign up to comment or create your own blog. Already a member? Sign in