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!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Debrah

LOOK at that smile!! My mom is so beautiful! She's a woman on a mission! Stand up to Cancer!!

I apologize I've been MIA with my blog. I've had a kleenex in both hands for about 2 weeks. Foggy head, sneezing, and just keeping all my strength for my mom and my family. I'm finally on the downside of being sick, which I feel so weird to say since my mom is kickin' some tumors butt! My allergies or cold do not compare one bit!

Last Friday we had her check up with the Oncologist. We got record breaking news with her sodium levels! 137! WOW, we haven't seen that # in a long time! In the beginning when she was passing out we found out it was because her sodium level was low. They said it was due to the tumor and a hormone it was releasing to confuse her kidney. With this high #, could it be the treatment is working!

Please continue to keep my mom in your prayers. Today she begins a new journey with her treatment. For the next 3 days this week, she'll undergo 6 hours of chemo daily and 2 radiation treatments. This will make for long days, but she's mentally prepared and ready to fight! Mom will be staying in Dallas at Studio 6 Extended Stay With the help of my friend Chris he was able to reserve rooms at this hotel at no cost. We thank him, from the bottom and top of our hearts! You ROCK Chris!

Next week, she'll undergo the same treatment plan and she will be staying at the same place Monday through Friday. If you're in the area and would like to visit with my mom, take her out to dinner, or just have something delivered to the hotel, please contact me. She would love that and we appreciate it very much!

Our donation efforts are still going. Saturday I'm hosting a Scentsy Party and 20% of the sales will go to my mom. Everyone is encouraged to attend and if you can't, please visit and look for my name, Christina Calderon on the left of the web page. If you are local, I can deliver your product to you!

October 30th, sets the date for our Team Deb Garage Sale! If you have things you'd like to donate, please contact me at or call my cell at 817-713-6851

Many THANKS to those who continue to pray, live, laugh & love! Our family feels lifted up by your thoughts and prayers. Much love, Christy

Friday, September 17, 2010


NANA!!! One thing for sure is Marshall loves his Nana! He's been talking to her over the phone in the evenings. I think he might be a doctor one day. He's very infatuated with blood pressure machines since my mom started having issues with her sodium levels. He now likes to stop at the sit down machine in Kroger and have his #'s checked. He of course is on the 'NORMAL' scale of BP.

Mom is finishing up this weeks Radiation. She's gone daily at 2:45, and getting back home around 5:00 or so. She's been a real trooper with making that commute. She says she wants to drive herself until her white flag starts waving. My Granny, myself, and my brother are all on call for getting her to and from appointment when that flag does go up! She'll rest this weekend to begin once again next week.

Next Friday we'll have an ongologist appointment to check her sodium and get her geared up for another round of chemo. I say "we'll", because I'll be there with her. She is not alone in this process by any means. And we have so many people praying for her.

We've got a couple things coming up to help with donations. Of course donations..even just $5..can be made directly on this blog. We also still have Nicole offering her Mary Kay services, donating 25% of sales to my mom. I'm also hosting a Scentsy party through my friend Rachel on Oct 2, at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome and Rachel is donating 20% of sales also. And any photo shoots scheduled with me I'll be donating 100% to my mom. We're still working on a garage sale date, leaning towards the end of October. Stay tuned for that!

Where do the donations go? Because of your donations, my mom will be able to stay in the downtown area during one of her intense weeks coming up. I contacted Parkland through facebook asking if there were any hotels were my mom could stay and receive a discounted rate. They contacted me with a list!! So awesome....visit Parkland's facebook page here PARKLAND
If you are in need of this information, please let me a comment with your email address and I will email the list to you.

Thanks for staying tuned, texting me for updates, calling, emailing, etc... You are all very special and we appreciate you so very much!

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good morning! Today is Monday, Sept 13th and my mom is about to embark on her 2nd week of radiation. Please continue to keep her in your prayers and thoughts and also remember there's are ways to help by donating or participating in any fund raising opportunities that I list. Ideas always welcome!!

This past Friday I went with my mom to her Oncologist appointment at Parkland to meet her administrating doctor as well as her personal nurse. Even though we're first greeted with a room full of about 60 to 100 people and a woman who handed us a number and said "just wait for your # to be called and then go to the 2nd window". Wow, I figured we'd better pitch our tent and that we were going to be there for awhile. Surely it's not going to be like this every time my mom goes for a check-up and chemo treatment. Why...yes it sure is, but you know what it really didn't take too long. Parkland really has their processes down and again I'm impressed. Yes, Debrah's daughter who is easy to fly off the handle when it comes to her care is 'impressed again'. So we spent some time with the Ongologist, going over her current medications and what she's going to add to the mix. As we talked to the doctor and woman walked in quietly and stood to the side. She looked like a nurse in training (lots of students at this hospital). The doctor asked if she, the nurse, wanted to introduce herself and she kindly replied.."when you're done doctor".

As I'm trying to keep everything straight in my head for my mom I'm still a bit confused on the chemo process since the IV is out of stock. The doctor did say we could 'hope' that they'll have it back in before her next chemo treatment. Until then, it's pills and I believe it's 4 treatments with 3 weeks in between each treatment. Which makes it a pretty long drawn out process vs. the Clinical trail which was 5 weeks long. Mom will still get radiation on a daily basis, and I'll update you on how long that will go on as well. For now...we meet our BFF during this journey, mom's nurse who kindly waited for the doctor to finish.

"I'm Julie Moore, RN, the Nurse Navigator for Lung Cancer" "I am your go to person for care, questions, concerns, cries, etc." FOR REALS? I put her name and direct line (214-590-4258) in my cell phone right way and was already lining up my future questions. Thank goodness!! Turns out Julie has now replaced Sharon whom was our first contact into Parkland. A woman who I cried to and called all the time, now she's moved on which would have scared me, but Julie eased that pain. She hugged mom and said she would be here for her..and us. (She's still talking and I'm memorizing her phone #!)

So, the Friday appointment was very informative. We were also able to move up my mom's radiation appointment that day due to a cancellation. She goes to radiation at UT Southwestern which is down the street from Parkland. She arrives in the front to be greeted by FREE Valet service (patients only), beautiful art work in the lobby and through-out, and marble counter tops. Pretty nice, which gives me comfort with her being there since treatment is every day.

Right now, she's doing ok. She had some restless nights over the weekend and tried to rest as much as possible (had no choice really). Sunday she was feeling a little better and ready to get her game on again for today. More updates to follow soon... thank for taking the time to read this blog and hold out your heart to my mom. She will one day be a guest on this blog and she can tell you her story.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sneaky Luck

As most of my family and friends know, I'm not a cat lover. They'll sneak right up on you and claw you! I took this picture at a photo shoot of a wandering kitty. I thought this picture was appropriate for what I'm about to blog about. Which is luck and sneakiness.

First of all, my mom is doing ok. She made it all day yesterday at Parkland for her first chemo (4 hr session) and her 2nd radiation treatment. So far so good, until I got a call from her.

"Chris, you're not going to believe this, they have ran out of the IV chemo drip all across our nation and they are dropping the clinical trail". WHAT THE!?! Come on people, really? I'm having a very hard time believing this chemo drug is now out of stock and NO ONE knows WHY?! Not even the administering doctors! The 'luck' we got with finally getting started was taken away from us within a 4 hour period.

Don't worry, she will receive chemo by 'pill' for now. This morning along with her breakfast she told me she was having 24 pills along with it. The IV chemo is faster and has better results. The pill form, after choking them all down takes longer and well... just isn't fun (of course none of it is). Right now we have no idea what the game plan is, but I'll be joining my mom at her doctors appointment tomorrow with the oncologist. I did make a call first thing this morning to find out 'what the H E L L", and no calls were returned when before they were right on it. Perhaps they don't know anything either.

I've done several searches on this drug, Etoposide. I can't find any ground breaking news. Wouldn't you think if a shortage or the FDA pulled it off the market there might be some heat about it? I mean, Lipton ice tea got some heat with their green tea and it's health benefits this week, why wouldn't THIS deal be broadcast?

Meanwhile, take a look at these articles my friend Laurie sent me. It's all very interesting. Connection, perhaps not...but you really never's just all sneaky.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Hop on the bus gus...

Don't need to discuss much...
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free"....

Yes, I'm singing! And sure, that song is all about breaking up with someone....and WE ARE breaking up with this tumor! We are finally here...

Mom starts chemo and radiation tomorrow. She will go in this afternoon for a dry run and hopefully find out what group she'll be in with the clinical trial. Group 1, 2, or 3...'it's like drawing straws' so the Clinical Trail paperwork states. I find that interesting that they describe my mother's care in that since. Hmm...

Mom celebrated her 59th birthday Sept 2nd by being released from Parkland that day. On our way to her house she requested El Chico STAT! She was ready for some Mexican food, fresh air and real clothes instead of pajamas. She really does look good and she's rollin' up her sleeves to fight this battle....

Mom, we are all standing behind you. Can you feel the force? We as a family will knock this lil' booger out and send him on it's way. You are so brave and you make me and Daniel (my bro) brave too. We couldn't be more proud of you for not allowing all your hospital visits, blood draws, IV pokin', & bad hospital food knock you down! You are our HERO! We love, let's get this party started!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chapter 4

He's sweet, the couple that just moved into the room with my mom. The husband is very attentive to his wife and her illness. They've been in and out of Parkland for 15 years. I'm pretty sure she's battling cancer, since we are NOW on the cancer floor. The husband introduce himself and is very kind. Although mom is now sharing a room, things could really be worse. I know she feels this even though it's hard to see.
When I arrived this morning in hopes of my mom receiving her first chemo treatment. I found that they will not start a treatment until her Absolute Neutrophil Levels are up. Something to do with the white blood cells. They took her off her tyroid medicine and it's help the level go up. She's now at 950 and she needs to be at 1000. So close, chemo could be later today, this evening, or possibly tomorrow. She wants to go home, as you can imagine. She's been her 1 week and 1 day, and we hope she gets the best present for her birthday (which is tomorrow) - 1st treatment and a ticket HOME.
The picture featured on this posting is where my mom will receive treatment. She has signed up for a clinical trial. During our quest for treatment and avenues I had contacted UT Southwestern regarding clinicial trails. They told my mom would still have to have some sort of insurance. Since we've been picked up by Ellis County Indigent Care and also Parkland - seems $$$ talks. There are 3 group studies to this clinical, and you are randomly picked. They gave her paperwork on what to expect, including side effects, and scheduling. Just some light reading for me today.
Will probably have another update today, I plan on staying here for the day. We're about to go for an adventure outside after we see the doctors on this floor. Your continued prayers are appreciated!! Much love!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chapter 3

It's Monday, one day shy of when mom was admitted to Parkland. Although she's climbing the walls she's still finding a smile. We know help is coming..and it's here.

A nurse today described Parkland as, "It may be ugly, but we get you fixed up here", and "the same bum outside may ask you again for money, but this nurse said she'd never trade this hospital for a fancier one. She said in all her 20 years of working, Parkland was by far the best with treating patients and also NOT turning away people....AMEN.

Saturday, Marshall insisted on going to see Nana and find out about her blood pressure. He's infatuated by blood pressure and the machine. I have to say he really likes pushing the buttons on her bed to make it go up and down. He loves anything mechanical! He and I played on it and he almost closed me up like a sandwich. Of course we kicked mom out of her bed before we dook it over, which was not a fight!

Saturday's at Parkland are a little quiter, plus you get FREE parking! We took Marshall outside to the grassy area so he could run some steam off, chase some pigeons, throw rocks (made him stop) and try to saw down a light pole with a stick. I love his imagination. Mom and I (my brother and family) have found ours...we imagine we have found our help in getting Mom treatment.

On Sunday, seeing mom is just vacationing :-), my Granny, Aunt Sue, and my Mother-in law, came up to shower her with goodies, love, books, and conversation. That was a nice treat! We had heard rumors of my mom getting transferred to the 7th floor, cancer floor, to receive her first treatment, but she's still in the same room as of today, Monday. A room had opened up for her, but someone from ER took it, which is fine. My mom has her patient hat on. Her sodium is now 130, almost normal!

We're hoping this evening, Monday night she'll be moved and we can start Tuesday morning with a chemo treatment we have all worked and faught hard to get. Hang 10 mom, I really promise you're almost there. At least you know where the eateries, vending machines are, and the front door for some fresh air. We love you!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chapter 2

You might be wondering, why I think Parkland is like NYC? Well, I say that only because it seems as though it's a city within a city. People every where, all nationalities, lots of action, lots of people watching. I love NYC. Right now, I LOVE Parkland. It's been a ride getting to this point, but the light has been turned on. It will be brighter soon as they get the ball rolling.

Wednesday morning when I returned to Baylor mom had been moved from the Observation Unit, and her cell phone was on vibrate just as I left it and her. The good detective I am, I traced her down. She was now on the 5 th floor North Pole side and enjoying a private room. Still sceptic on the cleanliness of Parkland I walked her room to inspect. All I found was 'spirit', spirit from 1952 when the hospital was first opened. Wow, how many people do you think were in that same hospital room as mom? Yes, I weigh my mind down with stupid random questions.

Seeing this her 4th hospital to be in within 3 months we have a chance now to dissect, judge, praise, and exhale, we're hoping this is the last, but the beginning of a new game. Dukes up tumor, you're going down!! As Parkland now tells my mom..."WE OWN YOU NOW" to get you better!!

During the ER process several doctors and nurses told us what a difficult process it is to get into a hospital with no insurance for treatment. Yes, we had hoops, hurtles, and lots of tears. We're here now! Mom is repeating a lot of testing that she's already gone through, but it's for the best. This way they can determine the amount of treatment and scheduling. She could be receiving her first treatment in the hospital...our dream come true. Her next treatment will be Sept 10th. The radiation doctor said her radiation will probably be Monday through Friday, with Chemo treatment every 3 weeks. These are only words right now and could change once both teams come together for her MRI and CT scan results.

Before I left Wednesday mom traveled with me to the 1st floor. As soon as we got off the elevator it was like walking off the subway. Everyone in everyone's way. We found the vending machines, the main entrance to the outside world, the gift shop, and had the privilege of seeing a gentleman walking around with his catheter. Yes, had a been prepared with my cell phone I might have taken a picture of that just for this blog posting. :-)

Thursday I arrived back to Parkland after I worked 1/2 day at my job. Although I'm not at my desk I'm still working off my cell phone. I've been blessed to have a job where I can be mobile if needed. Thank you lord, and my boss! On the way I stopped at Whole Foods to get her a massive sandwich, chips, salsa, lemon cake (to share), and a dark chocolate bar. We enjoyed lunch while we waited for any new news. We stared out the window a lot, watched planes fly into Love Field, and channel flip on the TV. I left around 6pm, and my brother spent some time in the evening with her.

Today is now Friday. Mom is having a bone scan, and we are waiting for the Chemo doctor to come by with his plan and the results of her new tests. She is going good with her spirits and staying focused. Although a little bored she is managing with a cross stitch dealio.

We love you mom, hang in there and hang TOUGH!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

N.Y.C. (aka Parkland Hospital, Downtown Dallas)

Parkland, Chapter 1

My mom and I arrived at Parkland ER on Tuesday evening at 7:15. We were greeted by an officer who asked us to pass our purses to him so he could search through them. Then he said, “Walk through”, no “please” and no eye contact. Oh this? A metal detector? Ok, now I’m scared.

We walked up to a desk where a guy asked us why we were year and I briefly told him they story. He put her name into a system and then told us to go to the right of this room and sit down and wait to have your name called. We rounded the corner to find about 20 people sitting and waiting. At first I didn’t see any chair for us to sit in because there was trash and items that had been left behind so I figure someone was sitting in those, what looked to be available seats. I pointed and ask, “are these open”, the lady nodded yes. So we sat.

While in that waiting area, we head all kinds of conversations. Mainly in Spanish, which doesn’t bother me one bit. There were families with children, people hunched over in pain, kids drawing in their notebooks from their 2nd day of school starting, and a what seem to be a very knowledgeable drug addicted person who was randomly giving advice to people who may or may not have wanted to talk to him.

About 20 minutes passed and my brother arrived. Thank goodness, I felt safer, even though he showed up carrying his Apple laptop. He didn’t want to leave it in the car, but I was scared that he had it on him. Catch 22. We sat huddled together waiting for “DEBRAH BURNETT”?

Her name was called and we went into a very room to explain again why we were there. The lady typed in noted on the computer for what seemed to be 10 minutes of silence. Then she said, “ok, your daughter and son need to wait in this next waiting room and you’ll go back to the nurses and doctors”. She told my brother and I we could be waiting 1 to 2 hours in this next room. She opened the door.

No seats here. Lots of people waiting. We found a corner to stand and not before I could even put my purse down, the lady who we were just with came over and said you can go back now, but you have to get a pass at the front. Wow, that was a fast hour, so we thought Parkland knew she needed to seek care quickly since her sodium level was very low. We walked out passed the metal detector to get our hall passes. We returned within 1 minute with our hall pass to be searched again before entering. Then proceeded to the area where she was at. The war zone, the ER area.

Circling around, holding my breath for fear of getting sick we found her in the hall way area on a stretcher. Not in a room, but out in the open. There were a lot of people out in the open, sitting, and standing, and hunched over. Doctors & Nurses calmly running around (my compliments to Parkland staff). The time now was about 8:30 p.m.. We really thought we were being admitted pretty quickly. NOT.
After repeating my mom’s story about 45 times, getting some blood and urine tests, they said she will be admitted to the hospital. THANK GOD. So, we waited…and waited…and waited…

A ham sandwich and an eye brow plucked later, it was about 11:30 and we decided to send my brother (love you ‘eye brow’) home. He called us when he arrived home which was about 12:30 a.m.. I told him we were still in the same spot and we were ok. My mom tried to catnap while I stood over her and watched all the action taking place. I saw shift changes, heard diagnosis’s on people around us, someone singing "Amazing Grace, a man yelling out in pain, blood, guts (ok, no guts), and listened to the admitting clerks talk about facebook, pain killers, and what they want to eat.

Then 1:30 a.m. rolled, the nurse said they were going to take my mom upstairs to the next holding area, the Observation Unit. She said it was quieter up there and my mom could rest there until a room would be assigned. While the next area was a step up from ER, we still heard a man crying out in pain. Accommodations for me were still not good, so I told my mom I would go home and sleep for 3 hours and return in the morning. I hated to leave her, but I was beyond tired.

The next morning, I had a Parkland hangover….

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

While we are still waiting for Parkland's door to open, my mom has to have her sodium checked. As of August 19th it was 122 when Baylor released her, even though they had a target of 130. This morning my Granny picked her up in Waxahachie and drove her to Las Colinas (Thanks Granny)! We are now waiting for a phone call with her results. If it is low, we will take her to Parkland ER. We'll just push that door open ourselves!

I'm spending my lunch today writing thank you cards, wiping my mascara off that I 'thought' I might be able to wear today. Never thought writing out thank you cards would make me cry, but it has. My heart if just overwhelmed with everything right now. Heaven forbid a McDonald's commercial, or Folgers commercial comes on the TV. AND I'm staying away from sad movies. Give me slapstick comedies (80's take me away)!

In one of my thank you cards I write to Dr. Kancharla of Las Colinas Cancer Center, who opened her heart to us even though we're not in her office anymore and the lack of insurance we do not hold.

Dr. Kancharla -

My eyes swell while writing this note to you. I can’t thank you enough for your caring support, and guidance to help my mom Debrah Burnett. To receive a call from your office to let us know there was possibly HOPE was a blessing immeasurable. You have changed my prospective of “once you’re released you’re on your own”. So thank you from the top and bottom of my heart. A door of HOPE has been opened because of you and I am forever grateful.

Best regards

Christina Calderon

Off to the bathroom now to clean up my eyes. More updates to come...and thank you for following MY MOMMA.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"I Gotta Golden Ticket"

Family and Friends -

I'm sitting here staring at the computer trying to find the brain cells to update this blog. It's been a wild ride this week. First my mom is doing ok, and she's at home enjoying her own bed. Thursday night Baylor Waxahachie released my mom even though her sodium was low. The doctor who was over her at the hospital basically said there was nothing he could do and that she needed to seek treatment. We'll get back to this doctors action in a few..

So my brother went to pick her up around 7 p.m.. When he got her home I called her and told her to pack a bag and that I'd be there in the morning to take her to Parkland ER. You see, we actually had someone call us back to help. This was the Oncologist at Las Colinas. Her assistant called and said they had found out that if Ellis County Indigent Program denied her she could go to Parkland, a Dallas County Hospital. The Oncologist called Ellis County and told them how serious this to my mother's health. And apparently got pretty loud about it.

We were pretty overwelmed that Las Colinas Cancer Center called to follow up and give guidance to us. What a blessing, something we never even saw coming. Someone remembered, someone cared. Don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of understanding and compassionite people on the other side of the telephone. But all said "without insurance, the treatment is costly".

So, knowing we possibly had an avenue into Parkland, I said "Let's pack for camp" and head to the ER. I worked as much as I could for my job in the morning, then dropped my son off at daycare, and headed to Waxahachie to pick up MY MOMMA. On our way there I made several phone calls. One of which was to Las Colinas to let them know we were in route. They suggested we stay home, until they had heard back from Parkland. We thought...really how long could it take. We'll just get to Dallas and stay around the hospital while waiting for the phone calls.

I hope you're keeping up, because I might sound confusing! On the way there we found out that the Ellis County Indigent care had approved my mom. They told us they would fax or call Parkland. Waiting..waiting...waiting, I call and get another person with Ellis County. She said we had to come back to Waxahachie to the Hope Clinic where doctor there would fill out a referral for my mom to get into Parkland. The "golden ticket". Of course the doctor had to be briefed on what was going on which was painful, but needed. She called Ellis County, and Las Colinas Medical Center, AND Parkland. You can see how confusing it is. Once she connected the dots, she had wrote a referral and handed it to us.

Almost there.... We had to go to the Indigent care place that the Court House and hand them the paper. They reviewed, and handed us a typed piece of paper stating SHE WAS APPROVED! Although we were angry that all of this couldn't be 'faxed' or 'email' in this day in age. We were still happy. We went straight to Office Depot and FAXED the Golden Ticket to Parkland! We are now waiting for Parkland to call, which will be Monday. They'll schedule her first appointment. In the meantime if she starts to feel week, we'll go straight to Parkland ER. Other option is to go to Baylor Waxachie again and say...."HERE'S JOHNNY" and they will HAVE to take care of her.
Back to the Baylor doctor, I can tell you I will be writing a letter to the hospital administrator! This doctor never once checked my mom's heart, or the sweeling in her legs. She wrote her off as soon as he reviewed her medical records. With our hopsital experience, which started June 8, every doctor (and there were many) would check my mom's heart, ask her if she's hurting, etc etc. THIS doctor did not. And the Hope Clinic didn't understand why he released her and/or
transfer her to Baylor Dallas. Ridiculous!!! He's on my list!
I apologize if this is confusing or if there obvious typos, or bad grammer. I wanted to make sure I got an update out on the blog to where we stand right now. APPROVED. THE GOLDEN TICKET. Now, we wait for a phone call from Parkland for appointment time, or they see us sooner in the ER.
Las Colinas - YAY!!! Thank you so much for my momma weighing on your heart and that you didn't forget about her. WE THANK YOU.
I also have a very SPECIAL thanks to eveyone who has been praying for us, following my annoying play by play Facebook postings and this blog. We are overwelmed with all the love and support. We have also received several donations. THANK YOU. It fills my heart and helps MY MOMMA so much. Everything little bit helps, and we appreciate it!!
Much love to you,

Monday, August 16, 2010

A little bit of outdoors FOR MY MOMMA

Back in caring hands...

Just when you think you’re working fast, turns out it’s just not fast enough. My momma is back in the hospital. She arrived at the ER Thursday evening and they admitted her. Her blood reports from the free clinic showed a low sodium level, which was 120. Seeing it took them a whole week to get her results back a trip to the ER was unavoidable. Her sodium dropped to a dangerous level again, of 114. The ER docs and nurses couldn’t believe she wasn’t having seizures. Thank goodness!!

I know this frustrates my mom to know end. The little bit of light she had between hospitals was a blessing. Now she must look at the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu for the next few days. Last report sodium level was Saturday at only 117. They can’t bring up sodium levels too fast, so it’s a long process which includes a nice poke at 4 a.m. daily.

Update on paperwork madness:

*She’s got an appointment over the phone tomorrow with Social Security Office, 9 a.m.

*We’re still working on getting all the paperwork for the Ellis County Indigent program (she was in the process before this spell happened) I have contacted them and I aim to take them some more paperwork tomorrow.

*MD Anderson has a referral from her doctor

*UTMB has a referral from her doctor

*Medical City lung coordinator is keeping an eye out for charity opportunities

*Baylor has started the process for charity care and if also requesting all sort of data

That’s all I have to report as of now. She’s at Baylor Waxahachie and in good hands. We have also raised over $300 FOR MY MOMMA which helps with living expenses, prescriptions, etc. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Just thought I'd update you on the meeting my mom had at the Ellis County Indigent Program. She really hates that word by the way. I say it's H O P E! Love you mom! As we struggle back and forth on whether or not she returns to work the program has pretty much determined that for us. Ellis County basically wants my mom to take herself to poverty level. Meaning, no job, apply for food stamps, etc.

This is a hard one to swallow and seems so ridiculous since she is willing and able to work except she just doesn't have that "get out of doctor, free card" a.k.a an insurance card. So, she's got a few days to do what they ask before the can approve her. Once approved she'll go back to the free clinic in Waxhachie called Hope Clinic and we're 'assuming' they'll take it from there. Her sister is going to be helping her apply for the food stamps and medicaid. Thanks Aunt Sue (she works in this field and is the best to help her with any questions or directions).

Yesterday I found a clinical trial my mom would qualify for, but once I did more leg work they came back and said they did not have funding. She would still have to provide insurance. I guess I misunderstood what clinical trial really meant. Sure doesn't mean they're handing out FREE experimental treatments. It's a process in itself!

I did talk to a very nice lady with Pfizer Cancer Trails. She provided me with this link to clinical trials. She also told me that if I would 'ask' her for a certain PDF document of "Resources and Financial Assistance" that she could send it to me. Find that so weird that I had to ask for it like it's some sort of secret finding. When I got the PDF (please contact me for this because I don't know how to link a PDF yet) I was surprised to find so much information on a treasure map! Today mom has submitted her info to MD Anderson out of Houston through this link
We should hear from them by tomorrow or the next day. Crossing all fingers and toes (ouch).

I will be posting some other links along our journey so if you or someone you know needs some direction hopefully this will help. Again, email me for that PDF!

So....I thought this might be a quick update, but I am finding through this process that there's nothing quick about anything expect T I M E. In which I've taken too much your time today. Keep those prayers coming. More updates and information to follow soon!

Much love,

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Momma his Nana my son


My mom, Debrah Burnett was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer. She is 58 years old with no health insurance. It’s to my surprise and sadness that if she had insurance she probably could have gotten treatment the day she was diagnosed. The world is upside down in health care matters, but the matter at hand is my mother and what can I do (and we) to help.

Right now, we're unsure if my mom will return to her contract work (with no insurance). So, our first fund raising effort will be through my friend Nicole and her Mary Kay business. All sales she receives on her web site she'll donate 25% to my mom. I realize you may not use Mary Kay products, but I do believe most people use eye make-up remover, lip gloss, sun screen, or moisturizer. There are also great gift ideas! ($2 shipping any where in the U.S. any weight.)

Several fund raising efforts and ideas are in the works. This is our first to launch. My goal is to raise $1000 through this effort. I won't ask you to email blast your entire friends list, but I would ask that you forward this to whomever you think might like to help. Any one can contact me with questions or concerns, etc.

Christina Calderon


All you need to do is go to Place your order and in the “COMMENTS” section type TEAM DEB (you may also leave a note for my mom there also)

If you have any fund raising ideas please contact me. Thank you!

"With GOD, everything is POSSIBLE!" Mark 10:27