Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Kyle and I spend Christmas Eve with his family and then went up to KC to spend Christmas day with my family. I enjoyed the time we got to spend with our families.

Mom and Dad's house was full of presents

All the kid's opening their presents.

Jackson liked the box more than the actual present

Abby is actually sitting still for one second.

It is hard to believe it has been about 3 months since I got the news I was cancer free. My hair is starting to come in (it is looking like it maybe darker than it was) and I couldn't be more excited. It has been nice having short hair and not having to worry about doing it but I am ready to have my own hair instead of the wig. I will be going in next week for all my check up appointments and I am hoping to get some good news to start the year with!

Hope everyone enjoys their New Year. I am ready to start 2013 on a good note.


Monday, December 24, 2012


Our trip to Mexico of Kylie and Wylee's wedding was so much fun. It was nice to get away and enjoy  our time with some great people. We didn't get to Mexico until the day of the wedding and I was a little nervous traveling on the same day. Luckily we had no problems at all and got to the resort with plenty of time to spare. The wedding was beautiful and I am so glad we were able to spend Kylie and Wylee's special day with them. I wish we could have had a couple more days down there to site see a little more but we enjoyed the time we got.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Season to the Next

I know it has been a while since I have updated so here we go....

The week of Thanksgiving I had another biopsy done by Dr. Laki. He was just wanting to make sure there wasn't any abnormal cells in the bladder since some showed up in the scope he did before we went to Houston. I wouldn't get any results back until the Monday after Thanksgiving. Luckily I got to spend Thanksgiving with Kyle's family and my family so I didn't have time to worry about anything.

I know I am a little late with this but I am very thankful for ALL of my families (racing and gymnastics included) that have helped me throughout this. I am also thankful to have been able to fight and beat this disease with so many supporters.

Blake and I enjoying Thanksgiving!

Monday I met with Dr. Laki and he gave me some more good news. Nothing came back on the biopsy and I won't have to see him until March for a check up.

Racing season ended the first weekend in November and our gymnastics season start the last weekend in November. This year has been a good year for the Lobner racing team. Hopefully we can continue the luck next year. For the off season, dad will be getting a new car I will be getting dad's old car and my old car (that was wrecked) will be back halfed and fixed to hopefully have an extra car around to race. Dad also purchased a new trailer so we will be able to fit all 4 dragsters in it or 3 dragsters and the S-11.

The  GymPlus team traveled to Wichita to compete at Judge's Cup this last weekend. Which was the first meet of the 2012-2013 season. I was a little nervous for all of the girls but they all did great.

The level 4 team before competing at their first meet of the season.
The level 5 girls placed 3rd as a team. Great start to the season.

We have just over a month to prepare for the next one and we have a lot to work on from now until then. Once January hits I will be traveling to meets just about every other weekend until the middle of March. And then racing season will start in March.

Next week Kyle and I will be going to Mexico for Kylie and Wylee's wedding. I am so ready for this trip and ready to have a couple of days of relaxation. It is a miracle that I have gotten Kyle on a plane two times in one year! He may turn into a flyer after all.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Making cancer history

Mama and her baby
I am pretty sure I wouldn't mess with this guy
The IV I got to rock for the whole day on Wednesday.
Enjoying the weather and the beach in Galveston
They encouraged us to enjoy a cold one while we shopped
So I had to try it!
Kyle's brother Kevin made this sign for me!

We are clear!!

We had Tuesday off so we went to the Galleria Mall, which was huge and was real easy to get lost. We walked around for maybe an hour and didn't buy one thing. After that we had lunch we headed to the zoo for free admission day. It was nice to walk around, relax and not think or worry about why we were really down in TX.  For dinner we went and ate at this real nice steak house called Vic and Anthony's. The atmosphere was nice and the food was great. We saw James Harden, who had just been recently traded to the Houston Rockets. His sweat pants and t-shirt were not up to the dress code of the restaurant but he was still allowed to eat!

Wednesday was another long day. We got to the hospital around noon and I had to get an IV put in for the scans. They were nice enough to let me keep the same IV in for both the bone scan and the CT scan instead of having to poke me twice. After they put my radioactive material in the IV I had to wait for about 2 hours until they could do the scan.  The bone scan wasn't bad at all, I got to take a short nap during it. They ended up taking a few extra shots because this was my first bone scan I had done. When the scan was finished the doctor asked if I was getting radiation and if I had had an MRI recently. Of course I turned that into something negative and made myself believe he saw something on the scans.

 I had to check in for the CT scan at 3:30 with the scan scheduled for 5:20. I was not looking forward to having to drink the barium again but luckily for me the lady mixed mine with sprite so it wasn't bad at all. I had to drink one cup and then wait for about an hour. Then I went back to this room and had to drink another cup and wait to get called into the room to get scanned. I was suppose to drink one more cup but they never gave it to me. This CT scan took maybe a total of 20 mins. They did scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis area. After that they put in iodine and repeated the scans. The iodine makes your whole body warm up and makes you feel like you are peeing yourself. Dr. Siefker wanted extra scans of the pelvis since she saw something there in the last scans. After getting my IV removed we finally were free to leave the hospital around 7:15pm. Lets just say I was ready to get dinner and relax at the hotel. 

Thursday was the day I would get the results from the scans and also see if I needed to meet with the radiation doctor. We got to the hospital around 8:30 and the wait was horrible. I wanted to throw up from being so nervous. Once I got called back to the room the fellow came in and revealed the best news I have heard in a long while.  She said nothing showed up on either of the scans, there was no evidence of re-occurance of the cancer right now and that my blood work looked really good. At that point I could breath and relax. Dr. Siefker came in and let me know that she liked the way my scans look and that the spot near the pelvis she saw earlier didn't show up on these scans. She said it could have been a clot of some sort but it was no longer there. The bone scan looked good as well. There was a spot on my skull that could have just been from either falling off a golf cart, hitting my head doing gymnastics or from my bother beating me up when we were younger so she wasn't real concerned with it. We will just keep an eye on the spot when we repeat the scans in 3 months. Other good news for the day was that she didn't feel we needed to do radiation since there wasn't enough evidence that adenocarcinoma cells would travel to the brain.. The pathologist here looked at the slides from the tumor and they didn't see the small cell components we originally thought were there and they are the ones we were worried would travel to the brain. So since the tumor didn't show the small cell competent they would save my brain from radiation!

So now I can officially say I am cancer free! That is the best feeling ever, it has been a long road but we did it! I will still repeat my scans and blood work every three moths. I will probably alternate between getting the scans down at home and getting them done down here. Since I am now a registered patient here I can call and get an appointment anytime I may need one or I can email my doctor with any questions I may have. 

Kyle and I had a free day on Friday and went down to Galveston. We did some shopping, which you could buy beer from the store and walk around town and drink it. We just had to experience it. We also walked on the beach for a little bit and enjoyed the water.

Our flight from Houston was on Saturday morning. It was really nice to get on that plane and head back home with good news. Once we got back to KS we hung out with my family for a while and then headed back to Manhattan. The puppies were just as excited to see us as we were to see them. It felt good to be back home and to be able to sleep in our own bed.

I want to thank everyone for their continued support throughout this journey. You made it a lot easier to get  through this for myself and my family.

I have do another blog with pictures from the trip.


Monday, November 5, 2012

First day

Today started by catching the 7 am shuttle from the hotel to the medical center. I had to be there by 7:45 to get registered. I finally got called back to see th doctor around 9. We met with an assistant first and she did a quick physical on me and asked some questions. The doctor than came in and did another physical. She looked at the scans and saw something around the pelvis that worried her. The spot is near where they lymph node was taken during surgery in June. It could either be a fluid pouch from surgery or a tumor. I will repeat a CT scan on Wednesday so she can take a closer look at it. If it looks to be a tumor  they will do a biopsy on it. After meeting with the doctor she wanted me to see the urologist because of the abnormal cells Dr. Laki found with the last scope. I met with him and he decided to work me into his schedule to do a scope of the bladder. Everything looked good and he wants to repeat the scope on 6 months.

After seeing both doctors I was scheduled for a chest X-ray and blood work. That would end out the long day. I was ready to go home after sitting and waiting on doctors all day long. If I would have to guess I would say Kyle and I sat in the waiting room or sat in the room waiting on a doctor for a total of 3 to 4 hours. We finally got to leave around 3:15 and decided to just walk back to the hotel instead of waiting for the shuttle to get there.

We decided to get a rental car since we will be here all weekend and we were warned not to walk around after dark! Tonight we went to the downtown Aquarium to eat and do the exhibit. Since we have nothing scheduled for tomorrow I think we are going to find some shopping and go to the zoo for free admission day.

Wednesday I have a bone scan scheduled and after that I have a CT scan. We will be there all afternoon. Then on Thursday I meet with the doctor again to go over the scans. After we figure out what the spot is around the pelvis, we will get an appointment set up with the radiation doctor.

Overall today went alright, it was long and a little overwhelming. I am hoping to have a positive CT scan on Wednesday and the spot just be a fluid pouch. Don't want it to be a tumor because we would have to do more chemo depending on what the biopsy says about it.

Our hotel is nice. It's kind of depressing because of all the sick people but they are down here getting the best medical treatment they need. MD Anderson is huge and I would probably have gotten lost if we hadn't got directions from the receptionist.

Hope to have good news after Thursday!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

One last race

It was nice that Topeka cancelled the race last weekend and rescheduled it for this weekend so we could get another race in. I ended up running the S11 in super pro and JR's dragster in super quick. I felt real good in both cars during time trials and first round. Second round the truck fell off on me and I was red in Batman. So my season came to an end but I have nothing to complain about. This year has probably been one of the best for us overall.

Kyle and I flew out at noon today and made it to Houston around 4. After getting dropped off at the wrong hotel, we finally got settled into our room around 5:30. We have to be at the hospital at 7:45 tomorrow morning and will meet with the doctor at 8:30. I hope to have some answers after that and be able to plan this trip a little more.

I will hopefully be able to update everyone tomorrow after the meeting with the doctor,


Friday, October 26, 2012

Heading to TX

So I got a call from a lady down at MD Anderson yesterday. I had been waiting to hear back from Dr. Bell about what we needed to do as far as radiation and to see if he had been in contact with MD. Instead of talking to Dr. Bell, MD call themselves to let me know I had an appointment scheduled for Monday Nov. 5th. I was real happy with how quickly they could see me, but then I got to thinking that maybe they wanted to see me that quick because they were worried after looking my medical files over.

I will meet with the doctor Monday at 8:30 in the morning and we will go from there on how long I will need to stay. I was told I could be there up to 5 to 7 business days. That is one thing I don't like is not having a set plan in place on when to fly home, how long to get a hotel room or how long we will need to rent a car for. Luckily MD has a travel agent they work with that can reschedule the return flight pretty easily with no charge. I am hoping to have everything set in stone by today so I don't have to stress about it.

As far as what I will be doing when I am down there...I don't have an answer. It will all be determined after I see the doctor and what she feels is necessary. My doctors up here have been in contact with the MD doctors during this whole process so being able to talk with them first hand so quickly makes me feel pretty lucky (if you want to look at it that way). I don't feel lucky that I am in this situation to have to go down there but I am lucky they are willing to help me during this situation.

On a positive note, the biopsies from the surgery came back negative. The abnormal cells that were found during the scope are still drawing a red flag to Dr. Laki, so he wants to get another biopsy in a month to stay on top of things. I am also doing three days worth of urinalysis to make sure those don't come back positive. If any of that comes back positive Dr. Laki could go scope the ureter (the tubes that run from the bladder to the kidney's) to makes sure there is nothing up there.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. We are heading to Tulsa for the CDRA finals and hopefully we will be able to stay warm.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Britt's Farm

Last Saturday we had a team outing at Britt's Farm and Pumpkin Patch here in Manhattan. The girl's had a lot of fun and it was nice to see all of them interact with each other outside of the gym. We got to go on a hay ride, go through a corn maze and pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.

The whole group!

The girls enjoying the hay ride

Mallory loved the animals

Not sure which way to go in the corn maze

Monday, October 22, 2012

A quick surgery

Last Thursday I was scheduled for a quick surgery to scrape the top of the bladder to see if there were any more abnormal cells in there. The procedure was quick and went well. Dr. Laki said nothing stood out and that the incision from the last surgery still looked good. I got released from the hospital as soon as I could eat, drink and pee, which was around noon.

I was happy I got released in time to get a nap in and then got to head up to KC for the Tour of Champions with my mom, sister, sister in law and nieces. I had a blast had the show and it was nice to get a girls night after the week I had.

I am still waiting to hear back from Dr, Laki with the results from the surgery. I talked with the radiation office today and Dr. Bell faxed all my information down to MD Anderson and we are waiting to hear back from them. We are hoping to get a call no later than Wednesday.

Hoping for good news this week.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Going back in

This afternoon Dr.Laki called me with the results from the biopsy they did on the fluid from my scope on Monday. The results weren't really what I wanted to hear. The cells came back abnormal, so he wants to go in and look at the bladder closer and scrap the top of the bladder to see if any more abnormal cells show up.

I am going in tomorrow morning for this surgery and will be able to leave the same day. I hope I don't have to stay long because I was looking forward to going to to KC to watch the gymnastics tour tomorrow night.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Up then down.

Just want to say congratulations to our friends Kelli and Luke on their marriage this past weekend. We had a blast and wish you the best!

On Monday I had a scope done of my bladder with Dr. Laki. He said everything looked good and that the incision from the surgery healed up nicely. I will repeat the scope in three months.

Today I had my radiation appointment with Dr. Bell. He was very open with everything and didn't beat around the bush. He is concerned with my cancer and it coming back somewhere we wouldn't be able to cure. There isn't enough information out there on this type of cancer to know what the best plan of action is. When this cancer is found in the lungs they will usually follow up with radiation to the brain because the small cell carcinoma has been found to spread up to the brain.

I am not as worried about the long term effects from the radiation as I am about the cancer coming back and coming back some place else that we wouldn't be able to cure. As of right now we are going to do another MRI to see if anything pops up and Dr. Bell is going to be in contact with MD Anderson down in Texas to see if I need to go down there to talk with them in person. They may just want to talk with doctors and I over the phone since we have been in contact with them and  we have been following what they recommend.

I am just so frustrated because we don't have a definite answer on what to do and how to get rid of this. I thought I was in the clear when I finished my chemo and the scans came back clear. I guess in the back of my mind I knew I wouldn't be in the clear for a while but I was sure hoping it was true. I just don't like not knowing if or even when it may show back up.

Right now all we can do is hope and pray our decisions now are the best and that the cancer won't come back.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Yesterday was my doctor's appointment with Dr Koeneke to go over my scans and numbers for my labs. I am not going to lie....I was pretty nervous.

My scans came back clear and all my numbers were where they needed to be. So that was a big relief to hear. I am going to go see a physical therapist because of the nerve that got nicked during surgery. The only job the nerve has is pulling the leg in toward the body. My right leg just isn't as strong as it use to be and I have noticed when I lay on my right side I am not able to lift my right leg up off the ground. So I will go meet with the doctor on Friday to see what he recommends. I will also be meeting with a radiation doctor next week. With this type of cancer it sometimes will migrate up to the brain so they have talked about possibly doing radiation to the brain. I am hoping I can get out of doing this because of the long term effects. I am also going back in to see Dr. Laki to get another scope of the bladder to make sure there isn't anything in there that didn't show up on the CAT scan.  After these appointments I will be free from everything for 3 months when I go back in to do another scan and blood work.

Just wanted to update everyone on the good news I received yesterday. Now just hoping the scope comes back clear and that I don't need radiation. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bad taste

This past Saturday Kyle and I went up to De Soto to drop his dragster off so I can race it this coming weekend in St. Louis and while we were there I got to spend some time with my family. I hadn't seen my sister and her family since July 4th, which is a little too long. The whole family met at Jen and Jason's house for some hamburgers, hot dogs and college football.  It was nice to have the whole family together even if it was for just a little bit.

It is always nice to have a weekend home and get to relax. Racing season is about over but gymnastics season is about to start so my restful weekends are limited. Plus, I was getting really nervous about my CAT scan on Monday. I know everything is fine but I still think about the worse. I don't think I can go through any more chemo. I get anxiety when I just go in to get my blood work done and it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about sitting in that chair receiving treatment again.

I was not looking forward to drinking the bottle of barium Sunday night. I have heard so many people comment on how gross it taste, so I was dreading that. I took everyone's tips and put it in the refrigerator so it was cold when it was time to drink it. Once 10pm came around on Sunday, I tried to find anything and everything to do other than drink that stuff. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting but I wouldn't suggest drinking this stuff unless you have to.

Monday morning came around and I had to drink 1/2 of the second bottle before I went into my 7:15 appointment. This one went a little faster because I didn't mess around with the straw, I poured 1/2 of it into a solo cup and drank it from there. I was suppose to finish the rest of the bottle when I got there, but the nice lady didn't make me finish it. The scan lasted maybe 5 minutes but in that 5 minutes I had stuff pumped into me that made me feel like I was peeing myself and gave me a really bad taste in my mouth. Other than that everything went good. I won't know any results until I meet with my doctor on the 8th. 

I have been feeling really good the last couple of weeks. My appetite is back for the most part. I have days where food just doesn't settle well but it has gotten a lot better since I stopped treatment. My hair is starting to grow back, slowly but surely.  My new wig is nice, I have been wearing it everyday and it is nice not to have to do it in the mornings but I am ready to have my own hair back.

I will have an update for everyone after my doctors appointment on Monday. Hoping for good news!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Hair

This wig is so much easier. The long one was heavy, hot and annoying. If I would have bought this one first I would have been rockin the wig more often.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I can finally be happy that my last round of chemo is over. Everyone kept asking me last week if I was happy and I can honestly say I was not. Last week was probably the worst round. I felt like crap all week and I couldn't do anything to make myself feel better. I felt like I slept a lot but it still felt like it wasn't enough.

Dad had come up and sat with me on my last 9 hour day in the chair. We both got a few naps in since we had gotten back late the night before from the division race in Earlville and were running on little sleep.

I was starting to go crazy because the only time I left the house was to go into chemo. I really wanted to go into work but I couldn't drag myself out of the house to do that. By Friday afternoon I was feeling a little better and since Kyle left Thursday night to go racing, I decided I had enough sitting around so I drove up to KC for the night. By Saturday I was feeling 100% better and was going to give racing a shot. I ended up going a few rounds Saturday night until the truck let me down. Once Sunday came around I was feeling back to normal and was able to start enjoying the accomplishment of making it through 4 rounds of chemo.

Today I went back to work to an out of control desk and many emails to answer and I couldn't have been happier. I was so excited to get back in the gym, to see everyone and to be able to coach this team of girls who have been so considerate of everything that has been going on.  They have worked hard while I have been in and out and we are ready for our season to start!

I just want to say it again, THANK YOU! Thank you for going through this journey with me and for being so supportive throughout the whole thing. I love each and everyone of you.

I will get my CAT scan on October 1st to make sure everything is gone and then I will meet with my doctor right after that. Right now the plan is to get scans and meet with the doctor every 3 months for at least a year. If that is all I have to do, I can handle that!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ready for a new hair style

The title says it all. I don't know what it is but I have really been wanting my hair back recently. I envy every girl out there that can get up in the morning and just throw their hair into a pony tail. Don't get me wrong it is nice not having to worry about doing something with my hair in the mornings and just putting a hat on, but I am over wearing hats. I wear my wig every now and then but it drives me crazy, it is hot and itchy so I would just rather not wear it. I am now counting down the days until I can throw my hair up into a pony tail. I am just worried of what it will look like in the early stages of growth, maybe I will end up with a mullet or something cool like that.

I am writing this blog as we drive back up to Earlville, IA. My family and I were just there last weekend and returned home on Monday morning so I have became pretty familiar with this highway in a short amount of time. During the ride I have been reading Shawn Johnson's book, so as we drove through Des Moines I found Chow's Gymnastics on the map and tried to get Kyle to take a detour to see the gym but he wasn't sold on the idea.
Our pit area last weekend. The S11 and Batman had broken transmissions. Which we had to pull the transmission out of the truck and fix it twice. And we had to change motors in dad's car. All before we could leave Sunday night.

Tomorrow we will be finishing the race from Topeka and then we will start the second race of the weekend on Friday. This will probably be the last division race we will attend this year unless I go rounds at both races then I may take the truck the Noble, OK.

Today I had my check up with Dr. Koeneke since next week is my last chemo week. He was happy with all my numbers once again, my hemoglobin was a little low but he wasn't concerned about it. We discussed the plan after next week and lets say I can't wait for the next week to be over with. For the first month I will continue with weekly labs. After the month I will meet with Dr. Koeneke again to discuss my labs and I will also get another CAT scan of my chest and abdomen to make sure everything looks good there.We may also do a MRI of my brain because small cell carcinoma will sometimes migrate up there, so they want to make sure those little guys haven't found somewhere else to live. If everything looks good then I will go in for labs and scans every 3 months for at least a year. After that we will move to every 6 months and then move to just once a year.

Thank you to Mike Edwards for showing his support on his pro stock car.. It is an overwhelming feeling seeing these stickers on so many people's race cars.

That is it for now, I will update everyone next week sometime during my LAST round!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Year of Firsts

This year has been a year of firsts for the Lobner racing team. Dad just picked up his first national event win a couple weekends ago in Brainerd. It was such an awesome feeling listening to him win over the live audiocast but it would have been better if I could have been up there to celebrate with them. We may have lost a car that same weekend but dad getting his first national event wally sure helped ease the pain.

Check out dad doing wheelies!

I was unable to attend the Brainerd national because the week after was round 3. The week started with the 9 hour day but they had me come in at 8 so I was done by 5:15 and that meant I could go to practice for a little while. I only lasted about an hour before I started feeling sick and had to go home. It is just so frustrating to me because all I want to do is keep everything as normal as I can but I can't do that when I feel so crappy. I decided to start taking a vitamin C to see if that would help me feel better and give me some more energy during my on weeks; there is only so much sitting around I can take. It seemed to help a little bit. I didn't feel as sick but my energy level was still pretty low. I was able to go to practice each night for a little bit, I may have had to sit down and coach but at least I was able to attend.

Each week I get lab work done to make sure all my numbers are good and that my kidney and liver functions are good. I met with Dr. Koeneke the Friday before round 3 and he was really happy about everything. He said my kidney and liver functions were good and all my numbers were where they needed to be, even a little higher!

I have to say a huge thank you to Jeremy Maples, Sarah Scogin and both of their families. They had t-shirts made and were selling them like crazy this last weekend at the Topeka divisional. It was such an overwhelming feeling to be walking through the staging lanes and see so many people wearing your shirt and supporting you. I also have to thank Rick and Chase Huffman at Accelerated Graphics for donating the stickers.

This is the back of the amazing shirt Jeremy had done.

Unfortunately the weather didn't work with us this weekend. They ended up calling the race on Sunday around 2 and will finish it in Earlville in a couple of weeks. I had won first round of super street, dad won first round in top dragster and JR is still in top dragster and top sportsman as he did not get to run first round. So we will head to Earlville and try our luck there.

I was glad Jennifer and the kids were able to come up and watch me win first round. They all wore their shirts proudly and had a good time.

I am ready to enjoy these next two weeks off and then get started on my FINAL round of chemo!!

Thanks for reading and hope everyone has a great week.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Feeling Good

I know I have said it before and I won't be able to say it enough but THANK YOU! All the support my family and I have recieved during this time is amazing and I can't begin to put it into words how thankful I am.

The last two weeks have been really good. I have felt great and got to do what I love doing, coach and race. I got to be in the gym all last week and this week. It is so nice to be able to go in there and forget everything that is going on and just coach a wonderful group of girls. The ladies I work with make my job so enjoyable and I feel so lucky to have found a great place to work.

My family and Kyle's family made the trip up to Cordova,IL last weekend for the division race. I was a little nervous being around people that may not know the story and may just think I was being a rebel that shaved my head. Everything turned out just fine! The weekend ended up being yet another good one for the Lobner racing crew. First round I ended up racing one of the toughest racers there is and luckily the win light came on in my lane. I ended up losing 3rd round to the eventual race winner, who made a great pass in the other lane. JR ended up winning top dragster and Kyle made it to the semis in super street.

This weekend my brother and dad will be going up to Brainerd for the national and I will be heading up to Topeka on Saturday to race the wagon in super pro, we will see how that goes.

Next week is round three, I am still not looking forward to it but I know everything will go as expected. I just have to keep reminding mself that this could be worse and that I could be stuck at home everyday and not out doing the things I love to do.

Once again, thank you to all of my supporters, you guys really mean a lot to me and I am so lucky to have each and every one of you in my life.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Half Way Done

This week marks the half way point!! I have made it through two rounds and just have two rounds left. Right now I am dreading doing those last two rounds but I know it is something I have to do to get better. I don't like the feeling of not feeling right (kind of a hungover feeling, just all the time). There was nothing I could do to make myself feel 100% better or 100% comfortable. I was still having a hard time staying asleep at night, so that was frustrating and those who know me know I love my sleep more than anything!

I was so happy to watch the USA gymnastics team win gold and to also watch Gabby win the individual all around medal. Having the Olympics on this week really has helped time fly by. I get pretty bored sitting at home but then I don't have enough energy to do anything so I can't seem to win that battle. I try and pick up the house and I will maybe get 10 minutes of stuff done before I have to sit back down.

I mentioned in the last post that my hair had started falling out. So on Thursday Kyle and I decided it was time to shave it. I'm not bald but it is still pretty short and a huge change. I was sure I would lose it as Kyle was cutting it, but I actually kept myself together, it was hard to look at myself in the mirror afterward but I now know the chemo is doing its job. My wig came in today and I took it over to Melanie so she could cut it just a little bit and just get it to fit and look right. Thanks Melanie, you have been wonderful throughout this whole process. I'm not sure how much I'll wear the wig but it is nice to have. It is also nice to not have to worry about doing my hair when I get out of the shower! That means I can sleep in a little longer in the mornings.

This is a small amount of hair that has came off in the the last week
My new hair for a little while!

Thanks for reading and hope everyone has a great weekend.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Second round

Today was the first day of the second round of chemo. Just like last time it was my long day, mom and I got in there at 8:30 and we left at 6:00. Getting to watch the Olympics all day helped the time pass by pretty quickly. I am not feeling the best tonight so I am hoping this isn't a bad sign on how this week will go.

I started losing my hair last week, this was one thing I was alright with until it started happening. It's kind of a shock to see hair everywhere when you are getting ready in the morning. Kyle and I went and looked at wigs on Friday just to get a feel for what I would need when the time comes. Right now it isn't real noticeable to everyday eyes, but I can defiantly tell. I went and saw Melanie on Sunday to see what she thought I needed to do. We just trimmed the bottom up to about my shoulders. She didn't feel like it was time to shave it but thought it would be a good idea to get a wig ordered pretty soon, so that is what I am doing tomorrow.

Friday I had my appointment with Dr. Koeneke to discuss my labs and if anything needed to be changed for this week. He was real happy with everything and said all my numbers were great, so that was good news.

Sarah, my roommate from college came up Saturday to experience the Manhattan life! We went out to eat and then came back to the house and hung out. It was so nice to have her up here and to get my mind off things considering I was dreading chemo on Monday.

Tomorrow should be alright, I go in at 10 and the woman's team finals for gymnastics start at 10:30 so that is what I'll be doing while I am sitting there. I will update everyone at the end of this week. Thank you for reading!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Fight Like A Girl

This week was a good week, no problems and no sickness! I got to actually be a coach again and it felt great to be back in the gym. The girls have been working hard and they showed me that this week! It was so nice to be back and I am looking forward to a full week next week as well.

One of the parents purchased "fight like a girl" bladder cancer awareness bracelets that each team member got and they are proud to wear them around! They are also selling them at the gym if you are interested. I can't believe the amount of support is unbelievable, I am so blessed.

Speaking of support, I received a phone call from Fast Jack Beckman yesterday. He is a NHRA funny car driver and also a cancer survivor. He had so much insight on how to stay positive and upbeat during this battle, that I will take whole heartedly and use to win this. I know if I have any questions or just need someone to talk to I can call him up and he will listen in a second.

Looking forward to a great and relaxing weekend with mom. Hope everyone else has a good weekend as well.


Monday, July 16, 2012

I can handle this...

I survived my first week of treatment without any major issues! Tuesday and Wednesday flew by considering treatment was only 2 hours long compared to 10! This first week wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I never really got sick, I would feel nauseous every now and then but they provided me with some awesome anti-nausea medicine that works wonders. I didn't have much of an appetite throughout the week but when I did I craved soup, so thanks to Allen Reinhart for sending me a whole box of chicken noodle soup! The only way I can describe how I felt during the week would be uncomfortable, I just never felt right. My head was a little more cloudy than normal, but other than that I never had any major problems so that made this whole situation better because I realized I could handle it.

I did go into work a during the week so that helped keep my mind off things, even though I didn't last very long at the gym, it was so nice to get out of the house and do something other than setting in a chair for hours.

Today Kyle and I saw the ferttility doctor up in KC just to see what our options were and if chemo would effect us having babies. Dr. Kim was very optimistic, he felt my chances of losing fertility was less than 40%, which Kyle and I thought were pretty good odds. We decided not to freeze my eggs or do anything with those percentages. After chemo we will go back up to see him so he can check my egg count again and see if anything has changed.

I am excited to get back to the grind this week. I will get to be at practice with the girls and see how hard they have been working these last couple of weeks and see what new skills they have.

I want to thank everyone once more for the continued support throughout this, especially my whole family, you guys have been wonderful. We have one round down and just three more to go before we win this battle!


Monday, July 9, 2012

First day

Well the first day of chemo is finally in the books. And it was a long one! JR and I got to the office around 9 this morning and I got home at 7, that would be a ten hour day sitting in the recliner watching tv, playing on my iPad, reading, sleeping and having to pee a lot. I had to do two huge bags of the cisplatin with other fluids to make sure I stayed hydrated. Each bag took about 3 hours each to finish. The last drug they gave me was the etoposide and that was suppose to take 2 hours but it ended up being close to 3. Right now I feel great, just a little tired but other than that everything went good today. It was nice to have JR up there with me for the first half of treatment. Kyle brought us lunch and he stayed after JR headed home.

Tomorrow and Wednesday will only be about 2 hours long since I will only be receiving the etoposide. On Thursday I will go in the get a shot of neulasta, which is a drug that raises my white blood cell count. For the following three weeks I will go in on Fridays for lab work to make sure everything looks good. I will then meet with Dr. Koeneke the Friday before my next treatment to discuss everything and get the dosages set up if anything needs to change.

That's all for now, thanks for reading and for you support through all of this!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Scans, fireworks, & racing

Most people dread Monday mornings, I on the other hand was excited for it. I got out of the house and got to go into work, the only thing that could have made it better was if team had practice. I felt so much more productive being at work than I did sitting at home. One bad thing about Monday was that I had to be on a "diet" for the day. I was scheduled for a PET scan on Tuesday so I was on a high protein, no carbs or sugars for the day. As most of you know, I love candy so it was incredibly hard not to eat any (which right now I have a ton of candy in this house!)

Tuesday morning I had to go in the get my PET scan done to make sure there was any other cancer cells or any other lymph node involvement. This scan took a total of 2 hours. I was injected with radio active surgar (radiotracer is the medical name) and had to sit in a recliner for about 45 mins. Then I was taken to this room where I had to lay on this hard board and my feet were rubber banded together so I wouldn't tap them during the scan. That was the hard part for me because I can't stand my feet being trapped to where I couldn't make a quick get a way if I needed to. I had to lay with my arms above my head with rolled up blankets between my arms and ears so my head doesn't move side to side, it was real comfortable! The scan took about 25 mins to perform, needless to say my arms were a sleep by the time I got out of there. I was now free eat all the candy I wanted to now!

I got to visit Dr. Fischer Tuesday afternoon to get my stitches out of my belly button.I was a little worried because I am not a fan of my belly button being messed with and last week I just about passed out when he was messing with my incision. This time I just sat there with my head back and didn't watch anything he was doing. I made it of there without passing out and I now had a normal looking belly button.

Wednesday for the 4th we had family and friends over for food and fireworks. The kids and adults enjoyed setting off fireworks for the majority of the afternoon. Even our retired neighbors were outside setting off some! The kids, along with my mother and Kyle's mother really enjoyed the pool since it was so hot out. We then went and watched the Wamego fireworks show. I will admit, they have a really awesome show, I would suggest anyone that hasn't seen it to go watch it sometime. It was so nice getting to spend time with our families and friends. Kyle and I are pretty lucky to have them all in our lives.

Friday morning I was scheduled for a MRI of my brain. This would be the last test I would need to do before I started chemo. This scan wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but it was extremely loud. They gave me earphones to listen to music but the noises in the tube were so loud I couldn't hear the music. I went 15 minutes and then the nurse injected me with a dye and I went for another 15 minutes. As I was walking out I tried to look at the computer screen with my scans on it but I didn't know what I was looking at. And of course I tried to read the nurse's face to see if she saw something up there or not, I would not recommend this because you will automatically think the worst.

I had a hair appointment for Friday afternoon and I had really debated if I wanted to cancel it or not. I didn't want to cut my hair and then end of losing it. I ended up going it and I am so glad I did. Melanie was so nice and understanding to my situation. She is going through this battle with her mother so she had a ton of advice for me. I know I will be in good hands if I do lose my hair! I also got to meet one of the chemo nurses, who was in there getting her hair cut as well. She will be there on Monday when I go in so it was nice to talk with her and get a feel of what to expect when I'm sitting in the room getting treatment.

Dr Koeneke called late Friday afternoon to let me know my scans had came back clear, so that was a relief. We are on schedule to start chemo this Monday, which will be the longest day of the three. They will do a couple injections of the cisplatin with a round of fluids in between each. Cisplatin can be hard on the kidneys so they want to make sure I am staying hydrated during this.

I had decided I was going to race this weekend in Topeka. I am so glad I did because I sure have missed being in the car. The day didn't start off real well the the team, but it ended pretty good. I lost to dad at 6 cars in super pro and he went on to the final where he lost to Willie. JR had last at 6 cars as well in super pro, he made it the semis in th S11 and won the super class race. So overall it wasn't a bad day, but it sure was a long one. Kyle and I needed up getting home at 5 in the morning and have been pretty lazy all day.

I am a little nervous for tomorrow but I am ready to get started so I can get done with this. JR is coming up to sit with me so that will make the time go by a little faster. I will try and update everyone after this first round of chemo.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

All on the same page

I had an appointment with Dr.Koeneke (my oncologist) this last Thursday to just go over our plan of action. When he came in with the pathology results from this last surgery, he was a little concerned. The tumor was now being classified as neuroendocrine, which is a type of cancer found in the lungs. I knew the adenocarcinoma cancer was very rare, but this one was even rarer (less than 1% of neuroendocine are found in the bladder). With this new twist in things, we would have to change my chemo plan. He was thinking I would now just get two types of chemo instead of the original four and I would go 3 days on instead of 5. This regimen would be harder on my body but since this cancer is considered a small cell cancer and is very aggressive we want to be just as aggressive back at it.

After hearing this news I was ready to get up to KU Cancer Center in Kansas City to hear what the specialist had to say there. I didn't know what to think, I didn't know if I needed to get a hold of cancer centers to see if I could get in there with this being so rare. It was sad sitting in the waiting room of the caner center because you knew what each and every person was in there for.

We met with Dr. Van who was this quite older man. I was nervous to hear what he had to say, I didn't know if he would agree with Dr. Koeneke's plan or not. We talked with him for a while and I left there feeling confident we would beat this. He felt Dr. Koeneke was right on track with the treatment plan. and he didn't feel we had to rush to start anything because getting the right regimen set up is more important than rushing into things and having to change it down the road. He wanted the slides of my tumor to be sent up the KU pathologist for a second look and for me to get a PET scan before we started chemo. The PET scan is to make sure there aren't any other lymph node involvements since we found one in the last surgery. He felt we could wait 2-3 weeks to start chemo, which was a relieve to me but I was just want to start it so I can get over this. I will get a PET scan on Tuesday and I will also get my stitches out that day and we are planning on starting chemo next Monday. I have an appointment set up with a fertility doctor in KC to discuss my options. They didn't feel chemo would effect my ability to have babies but since there is a slight chance we are going to meet with this specialist. Since everything is moving so fast I am not sure what can be done, I will have already started chemo by the time I can get into the doctor, so we aren't sure what they will tell us. Right now I am more worried about getting myself healthy, there are other options out there if we are not able to conceive.

We got back to Manhattan and went straight to Dr. Laki's office to get my catheter out!!! I was now a free woman, I didn't have to carry my pee around with me every where I went. They warned me that I may have to use the restroom more because my bladder was smaller, but it hasn't been real bad yet. I am not sure how Kyle felt about me not being tied to the side of the bed any more! I like to roll and take up as much space as I can when I am sleeping and this last week has been rough on me. I was now free to roll all over the place and that's exactly what I did.

Dr. Koeneke has been in touch with MD Anderson throughout this whole thing and when he talked to the doctor down there she had agreed with the treatment plan as well and told him she had just ran into another case that involved a neuroendocrine carcinoma of the bladder. Which was weird since this is a very rare type of cancer in the first place and now the MD Anderson doctor has seen two within the last month!

Now that everyone is on the same page, I am ready to start and kick this cancer in the butt so I can get back to racing and working. 

This weekend I felt pretty productive, we got to work on the backyard a little on Saturday to get ready to have people over on the 4th and I also got to get into the pool for a little bit!! Sunday I cleaned the house and we took the puppies to Petco. I still have to take breaks every 20 minutes or so when I am up doing things, just because I start hurting.  We watched the Olympic Trials, which was hard to do because I was suppose to be there but Dr. Laki told me I should stay close to home. I also got to listen to my brother win the Jegs All Star race in Chicago on Saturday. That made me want to be at the track more than anything so I could celebrate with everyone. 

I want to thank each and everyone of you for reading and for all the encouraging words, they really mean a lot during this rough patch.


Friday, June 29, 2012

"I have cancer"

"I have cancer."

Those are three words I hadn't said to myself until this past Wednesday. Saying those words made everything come crashing down on top of me and I lost it. I had just been saying "the tumor is cancerous" or "there is cancer on my bladder", that was easier to say instead of being placed as the owner. I felt I had been doing real good at staying strong and as positive about this until I said those three aweful words. Even though the doctors felt real confidnt they got everything out it is still a scary thought to think there maybe just one little guy hanging out just waiting to attack. So I am ready to do whatever it takes to attack harder. I am the youngest child and thanks to my older brother I have learned how to put up a fight and now is the time.

I had my appointment with my oncologist this afternoon and it didn't go as planned. Things changed and not for the better. I have an appointment with an oncologist at KU tomorrow morning (this morning) so Kyle and I drove up to KC to spend the night. I got to see my sister, her husband and their 3 kids while we wete up here so that made things better as we don't get to see each other that often.

My good news for the day: I get this stupid catheter out tomorrow and the stitches in my belly button will get to come out on Tuesday. The plastic surgeon did an awesome job on the belly button and I can't wait to see what it looks like without the stitches. He also told me I could get in the pool but no chicken fights or swimming laps, so that's what I'll do this weekend.

I will update tomorrow with more information on what the KU oncologist says and our possible new plan with treatment.


Monday, June 25, 2012

One Negative but Many Positives

I finally had an answer. I had been having this pain in my lower stomach since about February and nothing the doctors were doing was helping. I had been treated for a UTI two times, nothing. They thought I may have interstitial cystitis and had me change my diet, nothing. I was referred to Dr. Evangelidis who is a urologist here in Manhattan. He had me get a CT scan of my stomach and a cystoscopy of my bladder. The results from the CT scan were good, but the results from the cystoscopy were not as good. Dr. Evangelidis saw a tumor on the top part of my bladder that he felt needed to be removed as soon as possible. I had the cystoscopy done on Monday June 11th and was having surgery to remove the tumor the following day.

I had a follow up appointment on Friday June 15th to get the results from the biopsy. As Kyle and I sat in the room waiting for Dr. Evangelidis, every possible thing was running through my mind. I knew the chances of it being cancerous were pretty high but I wasn't sure if it would be the low grade or the high grade. If it was low grade I would just have follow up appointments every 3 months to keep an eye on it. If it was high grade they would perform another surgery and I would have to start chemotherapy.

The tumor turned out to be high grade cancer and my surgery to remove the rest of the tumor, the urachus, and part of my belly button was now scheduled for Wednesday June 20th and on that same day they would insert my Port, which is used to give me the chemo. This was not the news I had wanted, I was scared and not sure how to react. I was scared to let my family know because I didn't want to let anyone down or scare anyone. I was scared to let all my girls know at the gym and disappointed I wouldn't be able to be there for them as much as I wanted to be. I was scared to let everyone at work know, I didn't want to disappoint any of them either. And I was scared for Kyle because he has and still is going through this stupid cancer thing with his father. I didn't understand why I was the 1 in 5 million people to get this type of cancer and with it being so rare would they be able to treat me as well...

The type of cancer I have is adenocarcinoma of the bladder. Adenocarcinoma beings in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids and only about 2% of cancers are considered adenocarcinoma. My cancer was caused from a birth defect in the urachus, which is the tube that runs from the bladder to the belly button that drains the bladder of a fetus. The tube is suppose to close off before birth, but mine did not. I was really lucky to where the tumor was found. If it was in the urachus I wouldn't have had any symptoms which would have meant they wouldn't have found this. The doctors believe we caught it real early and will be able to be aggressive with the chemo because I am young and healthy.

During the surgery they had found that the cancer had spread to one of my lymph nodes so they removed both of those but everything else went good and they feel really confident that got all of it out. I will be able to start the chemo on July 2nd and my doctor doesn't think it will make me lose my hair or make me sick. I will be on for 5 days and get 2 weeks off. That news made me feel better because it is killing me not being in the gym with the girls or being able to go racing right now. They aren't putting any resistrictions on me during this process, it just all depends on how I am feeling.

I have had so much support from family and friends and I am very thankful for that. Kyle is loving all the food and goodies we are getting.

This blog is going to be used to keep everyone up to date on how I am doing, so make sure to check back for more updates.