Welcome to Shelley's Update Page
8/3/2015
It's been a stressful weekend around here, and it has nothing to do with how I'm feeling!
Except that I'm feeling helpless... Dominic, our brand new grandson, has been camping out with
his parents at Children's Hospital for 2 nights.  He has undergone a battery of tests to see what
may have caused a single, fleeting, mini-seizure-like event on Saturday.  They are still waiting for
some results to come back before they release him.  He has been fine since, but because he is
not even 2 months old, it's good that they are being extra careful.  And of course they would like
to know what the heck it was and what caused it!  Could be many things like apnea, infection, or
reflux, none of which sound like they fit to us, but who knows?!  Stephen spent most of Saturday
afternoon and evening with them at the hospital for moral support while Aly's mom, June, is
staying at the house with Kevy Jr.  Steve had to stay clear because of this cold that is never
ending.  And I'm of no help, of course!  We are waiting for good news today, and that he can go
home.  So send some prayers their way to help expedite things!  I know your thoughts and
prayers have really helped me, and I'm so grateful for them.  They really work!!
So it's off to chemo tomorrow for the last super-strong treatment, hopefully!!  
I am ready as long as they think I can handle it with the cold still not totally gone.
One day at a time....

Love, Shell

7/31/2015
Another month checked off the calendar!  Summer is flying by.  I am so glad that we had some fun
with my niece, Lily, in May before all this started.  And the visit from Susie and Ahmad this week,
too, at least gives me some good memories of July 2015.  I am on the upswing leading to the last
of the "a/c" treatments.  Still have the bad cold hanging on, as does Steve, but feeling a little better
each day.  He is worried that I am too weak to have the chemo on Tuesday, but they do blood work
and blood pressure before they decide to go ahead or not. Only takes about 10 minutes for the
results to be done.  I have been very lightheaded upon standing up and still can only last til about
2pm before napping, or at least remaining horizontal on the couch!  
So today is a full moon. I love watching it start as a giant orange ball rising and then lighting up the
whole house late at night.  There is so much more to each day than what we have to do, or need to
do.  I'm learning to better appreciate the little things that we usually take for granted, like the
hummingbirds and goldfinches at the feeders from my perch on the couch.  So don't forget to look
up at the sky once in a while and be grateful for your place in the universe!  

Love, Shell

7/28/2015
I am so sick and tired of being sick!  I have been in bed for 3 days I think.  Well, I dragged myself
into the shower while Cinderfella put fresh linens on the bed and then made my way downstairs to
the couch.  The change of scenery is refreshing, although I probably will not stick my head outside
since it's supposed to be 90 for the next couple of days.  (We have not reached that temp officially
since 2013!)  I am so weak it's ridiculous.  I can't wait for the days when I can do some yoga
stretching and pedal the stationary bike a little.  Steve says I had a bad night, coughing alot.
Maybe I coughed some of the bad cold away. I sure hope so!  My sister Susie and brother-in law
Ahmad are in town, so that helped motivate me to get downstairs.  They are taking my Dad to
Hayes Seafood House for lunch and I will see them later.  I would love a big grilled shrimp salad
from Hayes....maybe I will be able to handle that sometime soon, but not yet. Still only able to
stomach the basic toast, bananas, some chicken soup, etc.  Sighhh, so boring, but only 1 more of
the super strong treatments (in a week) and maybe things will be a little better with the next
12 weeks of Taxol after that!!  Hi to all our Falzone cousins who may have checked onto the
website after the Family Picnic on Sunday.  And a special thank you to cousin Joe Constantino
who included us in a family prayer that Steve's sister Joy said was amazing and eloquent.
We don't like missing the day with them...I plan to be there for the 86th reunion!!

Love, Shelley

7/25/2015
We tried so hard to stay well and avoid colds,etc., but something hitchhiked home on Steve
and now we both have a bad virus.  Mine is complete with super sore throat.
So, today is rest, salt water gargles and lots of fluids.  Steve is at work, hopefully staying
away from everyone as best he can.  I hope it is short lived!  It's my "good week" coming up!
My sister Susie and brother-in-law Ahmad plan a visit, too.  I can wave from the couch.
It was a lousy last few days, as usual after chemo, anyway.
I am so sad to have to miss the Falzone Family Picnic this year.
We always try to attend each year and look forward to seeing family from Steve' Mom's side.
I think this is the 85th annual picnic, a longstanding family tradition held at Evangola
State Park on the lake.  I will miss everyone!!

Love to all,
Shelley

7/22/2015
There is some good news in the midst of all this...I am 3/4 of the way through the first round
of the strongest chemo!! All the nurses, and my sister Sharon who went through this with my
niece Kari, say the next round of once a week Taxol is usually much better tolerated.  I sure hope
so!!  Also, I had a check-up before my infusion yesterday and the chemo is working!  The huge
lymph node and the biggest lump/tumor have gone down considerably.  So, that is all very hopeful
and encouraging news!!  We are hanging in there and thinking ahead to better days.  
Off to the office to get my Nulasta shot..
..

Love, Shelley

7/18/2015
I thought I would breeze through the week, seeing as it was my "good" week, but with
all the dr appointments it was pretty wearing.  The nuclear stress test on Thursday was
very draining and I got a whopper of a headache from the medicine they injected.
At first they had planned for me to do the treadmill way, but I said there was no way I was
strong enough to do the treadmill.  So they did it chemically, by injection.  Still, there was
about 3 hours of testing/pictures, sitting, waiting, drinking tons of water (on an empty stomach
because you have to fast), etc.  I just wanted to put my head down and sleep!  But it needed
to be done, and my primary dr has already contacted me to say it all looked normal.
So that is great news!  It was done because there was a slight abnormality on my initial
echocardiogram that I had done before the chemo started.  We go back to have a consult
with the cardiologist on the 28th.  I have never had heart problems, but my Mom had some
and they are very careful when you are on chemotherapy as it can do some damage to some
people's hearts. (Hopefully not mine! Geez.)  I have been able to eat better the last few days
which is also a good thing.  I need to eat when I can because the week of chemo is never
very good.  On that note, I think it's time for a snack....

Love, Shell

7/15/2015
I'm feeling better each day as the "good" week goes on.  Still, I'm so tired. Just have nothing
in the tank.  Today I even did a load of laundry!  Major accomplishment for me.  But I need to
rest inbetween each "event", which includes making something quick to eat that I can handle
with the continuing stomach issues. I guess that will be permanent until chemo is finished
and my gut can stablize.  I'd love a Pautler's custard or even just a grilled cheese and tomato
soup...but can't do it yet.  I'm sticking with plain, easy to digest foods with little or no seasoning.
No dairy or acidic foods at all.  No salad (my usual mainstay) or fresh greens and beans with
lots of garlic.  Yummm....That would be a bad mistake at this point!  So, you Buffalonians who
will be attending the Italian Festival on Hertel this week, have a nice sausage loaded with
peppers and onions and a cannoli for me!!  I'll be on the couch dreaming of them, and there's
always next year! regular  

Love, Shelley

7/14/2015
We went for the genetic testing yesterday. It took over an hour to answer questions and
have the NP explain the whole thing.  Very interesting and informative.  She was very
thorough and asked for more info than was on the form (other illnesses, not just cancer).
After looking over my file (with as much family history as I was able to provide) she said
she wants a "medium high" profile done with over 20 components of DNA to look at.  
Not just the usual BRACA breast cancer genes.  And she feels confident that with my family
history, it will not be a problem getting it approved by insurance! (Not sure if that is really a
good thing, but I'm rolling with it!). So, if any of you are my blood relatives, stay tuned and
I will pass along any info (if found) that would be helpful to your or your children's health
maintenance, if you would like to have it.  It takes about a month for the results to come back.
I was not able to have the blood drawn, too close to the last chemo. But we go back on Friday
for that, giving my body a few more days to build up some good red and white cells for a sample.
That brings me to remind everyone that it IS really important to have all your health maintenance
tests done in a timely fashion.  Don't put off your mammograms, colonoscopies, skin checks,
yearly physical exams, blood pressure checks...whatever your doctor has recommended that
you have done to maintain good health.  What you don't know CAN hurt you, so please don't
bury your head in the sand.  Knowledge is power!  Eat well, think happy thoughts, count your
blessings and stay healthy!

Love, Shelley

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