Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Laura's Wish

From Twyla:

As I am sure most of you already know, my dear friend Laura Carbone was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early this year and underwent a very lengthy surgery to remove the cancer. They were able to remove most of the tumor and we thought things were going in the right direction but Laura was recently handed some even more devastating news, the cancer has metastasized and things are not looking good. She has chosen not to take the harsh chemo that they were changing her to as they told her it would make her very sick and not be worth the pain she would endure. Laura has a wish to take her children on vacation and we would like to make her wish come true! Laura and Darren are already booked on a cruise and our goal is to get their children booked with them.
From Mario:
Laura is married to Darren Carbone who I've worked with for many years in the music industry. We played together in a band call Texas Best for many years. This is when I met my wife Christy. We are both trying to help in any way we can for this wish. Like Christy mentioned, even $2 helps this sweet woman with her wish for her childern. We thank you so much! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Much love...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From MY MOMMA....

Hallelujah! The Ct Scan that I had November 21st showed NED (no evidence of disease)! This of course was the outcome that we were all hoping for! Dr. Choy (Radiation Doctor) calls this a “very good response”. He would not use the word “Cured”. He says that title is not given until there has been no evidence of disease for 5 years. He did say that if I have no recurrence in 2 years then my chances of going 5 years are very good. No guarantees are given of course.

I’ve read many stories and articles about how, today, many people are living 10 years and longer after diagnoses of this disease. Early detection plays a large role in longevity. When I was found to have Small Cell Lung cancer, also called Oat Cell, the tumor was between 1 and 2 cm. This is considered tiny, but small cell lung cancer is very aggressive. The cancer was also what they called “limited” meaning that it had not metastized to other areas of the body. For those of you that don’t know, the main reason that the cancer was caught so early was due to low sodium levels in the blood. I was hospitalized more times than I care to talk about for low sodium levels, then the cancer was found. Certain Lung cancer’s often cause people to have low sodium levels. Sodium is a vital nutrient, like potassium. So I’m going to give smokers a little hint, when you have yearly checkups and CBC are done, ask the doctor to routinely check your sodium levels. Normal sodium levels are between 135 and 145. Mine had dropped as low as 117, dangerously low. Another hint, get an occasional CT scan to check for tumors. My tumor was so tiny that it did not show on a regular X-Ray. The American Cancer Society is considering recommending CT scans instead of X-Rays for early detection.

I want to say “Thank you” to the many people that helped me get through this battle. You all have such big hearts, and are so giving and loving. This battle would have been so much harder without each and everyone one of you. There have been fund raisers, cash contributions, visits while I was hospitalized, flowers, and lots of prayers and well wishes given by all. All of those things meant so much to me and have helped tremendously. Thank you so much. I do want to give a very special “Thank you” to my very own warrior – Christy. She fought so hard, never ever gave up and did not relax until I had landed in the right place and my treatments began. She has been by my side every step of the way. Also, a very special “Thank you” to Daniel, he was a huge help while I was going through all the hospitalizations and after treatments began. He held the house together, including paying the bills, taking care of these crazy dogs, and taking care of whatever needed to be done. He has been by my side every step of the way. Also, a very special “Thank you” to my sweet Mother, I felt her love every day and in so many ways, a Mothers love is so special. She was always available to take me into Dallas for treatments, lab work, etc. She was by my side every step of the way.

On January 3rd, 2011, I had a MRI of the brain (gotta love those MRI’s). The MRI showed no evidence of disease. How about that, I have a clean brain! The reason for having the MRI was that lung cancer often metastizes to the brain. Since my brain was clean, in the near future I will be scheduled to undergo 10 low dose whole brain radiation (WBR) treatments. The reasoning is that if any cancer cells did make it to the brain, the radiation should kill them off. The risk of side effects is very minimal. Then about every 3 months I will be given CT scans, watchful eye approach, of course I hope they always show NED (no evidence of disease). I am in a Clinical Trial, so if all goes well, they will follow me for the next ten years.

I still consider myself a bit of a spring chicken, so I figure that there is still a lot of life out there for me. I have places to go, things to see, people that I love, people that love me, people I hope to find in the future to love, and a whole lot of FAITH. Losing this battle simply does not fit in.

Once again, Thanks to all of you for your prayers and your help. You have all just been wonderful and I love you for it.

Love to all,
Debrah B.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Special THANKS....

When I was putting together this collage it became pretty overwhelming for me to see how many people who extended their heart to my mom. All the names listed are people who donated items or their time to this fundraiser cause. My mom, my brother, and my family are forever grateful for this. My mom especially, she said “I can’t form enough words for the gratitude I feel, no one has ever done something like this for me”. WOW…TEAM DEB, YOU ROCK!!!

Keith and Crystal hosted the garage sale, which in turn really means we took over their garage for at least a month while we gathered items. Crystal is an awesome merchandiser with an amazing heart! All her hard work sure paid off. She gathered, sorted, tagged, tripped over stuff, and got mosquito bites while working in the garage. She did an amazing job!! Crystal called Stacy and I over for last minute sorting and organizing the final week before the big day We were non-stop. Thank you Stacy, for all the grease you collected from the garage railing by hanging clothes and getting them sorted. Your heart is appreciated and I do hope that grease came off your hands.

The big day came quick and early! Crystal, Stacy and I started our day around 6 a.m. pulling things out of the garage and down to the driveway, sidewalk, and lawn. WOW, there was sooo much stuff! “If you build it, they will come”, quoted from the movie Field of Dreams. I must have said that a million times in my head. I believed it. I knew it was going to be a successful day! Stacy work for a few hours and then Michele relieved her so Stacy could go to work. Michele, Thank you, I know you traveled for work that week and you still managed to come give your heart…and you weren’t late, you were the one who brought breakfast tacos! Love these girls…

I don’t want it to go unnoticed that they we had some big ticket items donated. My professor from college donated an antique piece of furniture, a buffet to be exact from 1935. Stacy, Crystal, and I met her husband and son at their storage unit to pick up. Her husband said she would never let it go, so this donation for her must be pretty special. That day, it was the very last piece we sold and to a very special family…

Around 2:30 p.m., ya know the time where you’ve been on your feet all day wheelin’ and dealin’, you’re tired of reorganizing the same stuff; you’re looking at your watch and wondering when the next wave of people will arrive? A couple came to us. You see we told my mom’s story over and over that day so people would understand our fundraising cause and why we would not come down just 50 cents on an item. This couple grabbed a hold of our story.

The gentleman began to tell us about his wife who passed of cancer. You could tell he was upset and genuinely cared about my mom, how she was doing, and asking question after question. He started to shop again and Crystal, Michele, and I gathered in the garage to break from the sun.

The couple came into the garage. The gentlemen asked if he could pray for my mom. How did he know? That moment, that exact time, I needed it. We needed it, my mom needed it. I felt as if I was standing outside my body praying and crying, yet calmness and joy came over me. Who sent him that day...that moment…that hour? God.

The couple left and we cried more and got our garage sale game face back on for the rest of the day. At about 3:30 the gentlemen came back with this daughter. Turns out she loves antique pieces. He had gone home to tell her about it, our story, and she had to see it. She loved it. This was our closing sale for the day, and took us over our $1000 goal. Thank you to these wonderers…and God Bless you too.


Also special thank you to Buffy and Morgan for bringing us warm doughnuts to start our day!

MOM UPDATE: She is doing much better. She is less tired, but still takes it easy. She can finally eat without it hurting so much. We will go this Friday to see her Oncologist for an update on her labs and the game plan for the following week of chemo. Continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I will update again after her doc appointment.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's shrinking!!!

Hello! Yes, it's me finally! I'm sure you've all been waiting on the exact findings of my mom's latest CT scan. WE HAVE GREAT NEWS!!! So, since I don't understand medical reports so well, I'll just give it to you straight up. I mainly focus on the decreasing in mm (size).

Findings: Interval improvement in left perihilar adenopathy. Currently soft tissue adjacent to the left lower lobe basilar truck measuring 5mm thick; this had previously measured 20 mm thick. Soft tissue adjacent to the lingula bronchus measures only 3 mm thick, previously 12 mm thick. A few station 5/6 nodes are also decreased in conspicuity, the largest measuring 5 to 6 mm nodes are also decreased in conspicuity, the largest measuring 5 to 6 mm in short axis previously 7 mm. Station 4 R nodes are smaller and more discrete currently measuring only 4 mm and previously at least 8 mm. The only nodes which appear a little larger 2-e in close proximity to the upper thor2-ic esophagus and measure 3 mm and less.

The nodule in the lingula has also decreased in size now measuring 6mm greatest transaxial diameter previously 18 mm!! A nodular opacity previously seen in the left lower lobe has decreased in size from 6 mm to 3 mm. No other significant change appreciated in the lungs.

Gall bladder is contracted. The adrenal glands are stable.

Marked internal improvement in left pulmonary nodules and left perihilar adenopathy. Most mediastinal nodes are either stable or decreased in size.

So with that said, we're doing the happy dance!! Mom is doing great, but tired from time to time. Still some trouble swallowing due to diffuse thickening of the thoracic esophageal wall, likely scar tissue from radiation. She just completed another round of chemo this week and she'll go in next week for labs. Following that next month is another round of chemo.

THANK YOU ALL so much for your prayers, help, donations, love, and support. GOD IS GOOD. We are so blessed to have you in our lives and can't say it enough.

Remember the Garage sale for a purpose is this Saturday in Bedford!! Come out and support us just so we can see your face!

Much love,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prayer Request

Mario, Marshall and I went to a new church on Sunday as a family. My friend Sabrina who I've known since Jr. High invited us to come . We loved it! Marshall you can tell by the cheesy grin with his new necklace he got! God loves me.

During the service the pastor gives an opportunity for anyone to come down to the alter, light a candle, and pray. So I did just that...for my momma. Such an emotional rush of comforted tears were hard to maintain. Anyone who knows me probably knows I'm crying as I type this. :-)

So with that, we're in need of major prayers this week. My mom has had a small break in between treatments and is resting at home. She's having some side effects, being tired it the main one, but also some swallowing problems. Hurts to eat a burger basically, so it's peaches and yogurt. Mainly soups, and soft stuff.

On Thursday she'll go in for a CT scan to see how the treatment is responding. And on Friday I will be with her as we review results with Oncologist and hear what the next steps are. We do know she's got 2 more rounds of chemo. So...SAY PRAYERS...LOTS. I believe in miracles and I know we've done the work. Now God needs to work his plan.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last day!

Today is my mom's last day of radiation. WOOT!! I know she's looking forward to a little break. Last week was the hardest week she's had to face. She had 3 days of chemo and 5 days of radiation (2 appointment daily). She stayed comfortably in Dallas so she didn't have to drive. She took naps when she needed to and really listened to her body and not over do things.

Marshall and I took her out to the Iron Cactus in Dallas for dinner one night and my brother took her to Papa's BBQ another night. We are making sure she's surrounded by support and love and getting some good grub in the process.

Next week on Thursday she'll go in for a CT scan to see how the treatment is working. My guess it's doing a fabulous job! Then Friday we'll go in to see the Oncologist to hopefully review those results and also talk about lab results. The oncologist will also tell us when her next chemo treatment will be. I believe in a couple of weeks she'll have another round....followed by another round.

I'm just so in awe of my mother right now. She is so strong and makes me strong. Everyone should be so proud of her. I cry with happy tears because she has more strength than I've even known in a person. She makes me a better person and mom. I hope I can grow up to be just like her. Love you so much momma! Keep on truckin' and smilin'......XOXO
Our Scentsy fund raising party was a success and very fun for all!! We raised $150 for my mom! Thank you all sooooo much!! Hugs to the following attendees...

Rachel, Buffy, Anna, Aunt Kathy, Cousin Alicia, Crystal, Debi, Janis, Michele, Stephen, Theresa L, Monica, Michelle, Theresa C, Aunt Sue, Granny, Kristen, Randy, and of course all the kiddos!