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!