Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Prayers for Jeryka

I am writing this for Jeryka...Lauren

I am no longer on the trial due to the medication raising my liver enzymes. We tried to lower the dose a couple times with no success.
I did have a good Christmas with my family and they even surprised me with us all going and getting infinity tattoos. It was a good day.
I am now out of the hospital spending time with family and close friends. I'm not up for visitors right now and not very good at answering text. Please leave me a message under this blog on fb and my family will make sure i get it.
Your continued love and support means the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


So I have made it through the first week of the trial. I haven't noticed any side effects and I feel fine minus being in some pain, but we are addressing that situation. The last scans I got from NIH showed an increase in the liver mass plus multiple spots on multiple bones (femur, humorous, rib cage, and back). That helps explain the pain I have been having in my side right along my rib cage and into my back. Right now I am using a Fentanyl patch and pain pills to help keep the pain down. It seems to be working right now after having the up the dosage of the patch. As long as it stay on top of taking my pills the pain is under control. I am also going to go see a Pain Management Doctor next week to see what some other options are. We are also going to see if I am able to do radiation while on the trial. Which I think this would be the best option but I'm not the doctor.

We will be heading back to Maryland this coming up Monday for the two week check up with the doctors. My appointment is on Tuesday but it will still end up being a 3 day trip with the traveling. We will be making this trip every other week for as long as I'm on this trial. At four weeks they will repeat scans to see if there is any progress. After that first set of scans they will the repeat them every 6 weeks. If after 8 weeks there isn't evidence of improvement I will stop the trial.

Since its Thansgiving I just wanted to let everyone know what and who I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my family and friends for their continued support through this journey. I would not be where I am physically or mentally without each and every one of you. The encouraging words and prayers really mean a lot especially when things don't seem to be getting any better. Sometimes all it takes is that one text or that one hug to turn the day around. And I am fortunate enough to have so many people that will take the time out of their day to send that text or make the effort to just give me that hug.

I am thankful for the doctors, nurses, techs, and any other medical staff that has been right beside me through this journey and made sure the path has been as smooth as it could possibly get. There are some special people in this medical world that really know how to make a patient feel comfortable.

I am thankful that I am still able to work and go racing. Both of those hobbies (I guess my job can be considered a hobby) allow me to forget what is really going on and let's me enjoy the two things I love doing. Both my gym and racing families have really stepped up and shown what true support is.

And lastly I am truly greatful for Kyle. He has been beside me since the very beginning and will do whatever it takes to make sure I am comfortable and happy. From refusing to fly anywhere when we met 9 years ago to now refusing to let me fly by myself to appointments just shows how lucky I am to have him with me during this journey. I wouldn't be near as strong if it wasn't for him. 

If you are reading this, I am thankful for you! You took the time the see what was new in this crazy thing I like to call life. 

So what are y'all thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!! Enjoy the day with family and friend. And good luck if you are going Black Fridsy shopping!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Well the second time around was a little worse.  The pain from the shots user to numb my head and the pressure from screwing the halo on made me sick and light headed. After that little episode everythibg else went pretty smoothly. I honestly don't remember a whole lot since I slept for most of the procedure.  The nurses and doctors were wonderful and even remembered me from the last visit. I had a new radiation oncologist because the last one moved to Alaska. 

We got to the hospital around 630am and left that afternoon around 1. During the procedure they actually did two other spots that looked suspicious to them so they ended up giving me some steriods. We were hoping they wouldn't have to use them so we could start the trial faster but since there were three spots that got treated they had to give me some.

Removing the halo wasn't as bad as the first time but it still wasn't fun. 

We are on our way home now for a couple of weeks before hopefully heading back to Maryland to see those doctors.

A special thanks goes out to Joey Keith for making a quick trip down there to be with us (mainly Kyle since yesterday was a little blurry for me). And also thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We will keep everyone up to date.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Houston Bound

We are at the airport now waiting to board our plane to Houston.  I got the call on Friday saying the moved my Gamma Knife appointment up to Tuesday Nov 4th. Which is a good thing because it was scheduled for Nov 18th which would put off starting the trial that much longer.  Thanks to Dr Koeneke for helping speed up the process and getting this ball rolling a little faster.

Right now we are scheduled to meet with all the doctors tomorrow. Tuesday is when I'll actually receive Gamma Knife and then we should get to come home on Wednesday.

Just a quick update for everyone.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Patiently Waiting

We went to NIH a couple of weeks back in hopes of starting the trial. But after doing every type of scan they had we found out there is a new small spot of the brain which eliminated my from the trial as of right now. I am not sure why there is a spot because that is why we did full brain radiation and full brain radiation was suppose to kill any and all spots that may be presents in the brain. Obviously it missed one. So now we are waiting for MD to look at the scans and decide if doing Gamma Knife to that spot is an option. Or to tell us if this is a spot we should even be worried about. If I do end up doing radiation again I can go back to NIH two weeks after and hopefully start that trial or maybe even a different one that may end up being a better choice. MD just got the scans and reports last Wednesday so I am hoping I hear from them really soon. The longer it takes the longer I have to wait to start this trial. So let's jusy say I'm getting impatient.

The scans from NIH showed an increase in the size of the tumors in both the liver and lungs with a couple of new spots.  There was a suspect spot on the iliac bone. The bladder still looks good along with my kidney and liver function. I am still in some sort of pain each day either in my rib area, my back, my chest, or all three but my energy level continues to increase.  Sleeping at night is still questionable but I usually make it up from about 7 am to 10 am.

On the other hand I am going to be adding breast milk to my diet. There is a current study out there that states breast milk helps with liver and lungs cancer.  Which I currently have spots in both of those spots. No, I won't be buying breast milk off the internet from a stranger or from the person standing on the corner. I don't need any extra "stuff" floating around in my body.  I will definitely let y'all know how it is after I get a chance to try it.

I have been staying busy with work and racing. Racing season is just about over and meet season is just about to start. So I really don't have too much time to sit around and worry. Not saying I don't by any means but as long as I keep myself busy my brain isn't usually allowed to wonder to the "what ifs" that are constantly in the back of my mind.


Our new warm ups for the season.

Just being at the track makes.everything better

Except when you lose a race like this.
My pink tutu for Pink Out week at the gym. And who knew I could make this myself!

Friday, September 26, 2014


My support group running in the color run. Love each and every one of this ladies.

Maryland was short lived for us. We got there late Monday night and spend all day at NIH on Tuesday. We met some incredible people and doctors there. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful. The only downfall was the waiting. My appointment was scheduled for 12:45, we didn't actually go back and see the fellow until 2:00. After she talked to us and did an exam she went into a meeting with the doctors to discuss my situation. The team didn't come back into our room until 4:30. At this point I thought we would be spending another night in MD because our flight was scheduled for 7:50 and the airport was at least an hour away and it was rush hour. We didn't leave the hospital until after 5 and had to go back to the hotel. We got a taxi from the hotel to the airport but he didn't get there until at least 5:45. But the good news is that we made the flight with about 20 extra minutes to spare.
Kyle was pretty excited that we got to watch baseball on the flight home.

The trial I will be participating in involves me just taking a pill called Cabozantinib every night. I have to to NIH every two weeks for the first 4 months for a check up. After 4 months if everything looks good then I will get to go back up there every month. I will get scans every 2 months up there. This pill has shown improvement in patients with spots in their lungs but they don't have a lot of information with patients that have spots in the liver. So hopefully I can be the one that it shows improvement in both the liver and lungs.

Once again the doctors had to inform me that my case is very rare. So I am hoping I can help them learn more about it and they will know how to treat people in the future that may have this same rare form of cancer.

I am excited to get started. I was relieved I didn't have to spend a long period of time up there and that I can do this all at home. I will just become more of a frequent flyer and will get to know Maryland like we did Houston. NIH will help with all travel arrangements and they were actually going to see if I qualified to stay in the Children's Hotel while I was there but they thought the age cut off was 26.

Right now we are planning on going back the week of Oct 6 to get scans and then see the team on Oct 7 and will get started after that.

Thank you everyone for the thoughts a prayers. My family and I really appreciate it.

National Gymnatics Day was Sept 20th so I had to do my yearly handstand. If only took about 10 tries to actually get a picture with me all the way up in a handstand

Monday, September 22, 2014


Here in just a few hours Kyle and I will be on a plane to Maryland.  We will be meeting the doctors tomorrow at NIH to learn about a trial they have for me. I'm excited to go but nervous because I don't know what to expect. I don't know how long I'll have to be away from home so that part is kind of stressing me out. I like to have a plan but right now we are just going with the flow.

As soon as we learn more I will update everyone.