Sunday, August 5, 2012

Purrs & Prayers Needed

Hello Kitties & Friends!

This is Paula, the mom here are Twinkletoes.  Marg very kindly told you of our troubles, and I wanted to let you know what is happening because its likely we will stop posting soon for a little while, and also because people weren't quite sure who was sick.

Just before last Christmas, my mom was diagnosed with AML, or Acute Myeloid (or Myelogenous) Leukemia.  Early last January my mom, dad and I went up to Johns Hopkins to figure out the best game plan for her.  What we learned was because of her age (79), the very high white blood cell count and a previous diagnosis of MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of pre-leukemia), her prognosis was very poor.  They said she had a very advanced and aggressive cancer that grows extremely rapidly from which there would be no chance of remission.  They also thought she had 2 lines of cancer.

The best chance of beating her type of leukemia is a bone marrow transplant, but because of her age, that wasn't an option.  Not only did the doctors feel she wouldn't be able to handle the usual regiment of chemo, her type of leukemia doesn't respond well to chemo.  She would only have a 20-30% chance of responding.  If she chose to do nothing or if she didn't respond, she would have another 2 or 3 months.  With chemo, her life expectancy would double to 4 to 6 months.

Her best chance, the doctors felt was a new clinical trial drug, Vidaza.  She had a 50% chance of responding, and it could extend her life as long as a couple years.  They had one 81 year old lady who lived until she was 88.  The side effects are minimal compared to regular chemo, too.  It works by killing cancer cells and forcing immature cells to mature.  (In leukemia, the blood system is overwhelmed by immature white blood cells.)  Vidaza seemed like a no brainer.

So she started chemo.  After a rough start and most of February in the hospital, she started to respond and did really well on it until a couple weeks ago.  They even changed her schedule from 5 days every 4 weeks to 4 days every 6 weeks.  Then she caught a cold and the cold turned into pneumonia.  Her white blood cell count went way up.  Thursday they did another bone marrow test and discovered she had developed another leukemic clone (another line of cancer).  The Vidaza had stopped working.  Her white blood cell count went from 28 to over 100 (normal is 4.5-10).

Three oncologists conferred and agreed if she continued with chemo, she had less than a 5% chance of responding and if she did respond, it would buy her only minimal time.  They didn't think changing the chemo would make any difference.  They have given her a couple weeks to live.  So she came home from the hospital Saturday and today, Sunday, the hospice workers set her up on oxygen and started their care.

I called my aunt, my mom's older sister who lives about 5 hours from my parents and asked her if she wanted to visit.  I offered to come get her and take her back home whenever she wanted.  I am so grateful to one of my cousins who drove my aunt down today (I'll be taking her home).  My mom was so happy she cried when she saw my aunt.  I knew the one thing I could do to comfort my mom was to arrange for her to see her sister.

Yesterday my mom could carry on a conversation, but today it was such a effort and we could barely make out what she was saying.  She's very restless, but I hope she will be more comfortable when they set up a hospital bed for her tomorrow.  There wasn't much we could do, rub her legs, talk to her, be there with her.  I did some shopping, baking and cooking, and got my aunt's room ready.

Its been a busy time.  I'll post as I can, but I am going to beg off commenting for tonight.  Its been a tiring weekend.  Please just pray my mom doesn't suffer, that she will slip peacefully away.  Thank you so much for your support.  It means more than I can say.  I didn't mean for this post to be this long!  God bless you all.

69 comments:

Sweet Purrfections said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

Mom Paula

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

I am sending your mom - and you - lots of purrs. This is a very tough time for you. Please do not worry about the blog right now... although it would be nice if you kept us posted just a little so we do not worry about you too much.

Cory said...

We are sending you our most comforting and warm purrs to get you through this difficult time.

brandi said...

I am sending you the old (((hugs))) basket. It contains hugs and purrayers and blessings and good thoughts and courage and a lot of other good stuff to help you all. The best part? It never empties. Take however much you need. Any time.
Seriously, our hearts go out to you, and if we really could give you any strength to make it through this difficult time, we most certainly would. Consider it happening right now. As best we can.
brandi
and Carol

Bellen said...

I'm very sorry that this has happened to your mother. There are no comforting words at such a time, really, but perhaps feelings will help more. I wish you and your family peace and as much ease as possible. God bless you.

Prancer Pie said...

God bless you and your family, too. We'll hold you close to our hearts and send purrs and purrayers to get you through this difficult time. xoxo

Hannah and Lucy said...

We are so sorry to hear about your Mom and are sending our love to all your family. The blog is way down on your list of priorities. Take care.
Luv Hannah, Lucy and Mum Sue xx xx xx

Fuzzy Tales said...

Oh, Paula, we're sorry. We're sending purrs and prayers, love and universal Light. We ask the Universe for a gentle and merciful passing for your mom, and ask for whatever it is that you and your family needs right now too: strength, peace....

We'll light a candle at Gratefulness.org for your mom and for you all.

Peace and Blessings.

(((Hugs))) and kitty kisses.

-Kim, Nicki and Derry

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock, Violette said...

We are so very sorry to read this. These are the most difficult times most of us have to face and our thoughts are with you.

Hugs, Purrs, Woofs and Neighs,
The Poupounette Gang

Daisy said...

Harley and I are keeping you and your mom in our thoughts and purrs.

Brian said...

Please know we are all thinking of you and your family. We send you all our very best purrs and hugs...and lots of love.

Everycat said...

We are thinking of you all at this sad time. We send you love and rumbly purrs

Oliver,Gerry, Mungo & The Apes xx

Eric and Flynn said...

We are sorry to hear your sad news and send you our purrs love and hugs. We pray that your mom will have a gentle passing and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
Love Jackie, Eric and Flynn.

Poppy Q said...

Sending you and your mom hugs from across the ocean.

Julie and Poppy Q

Ginger Jasper said...

You have are prayers and our thoughts are with you at this very sad time. I hope it helps a little to know that we are all here to offer support. Hugs and purs GJ and Carol xxx

Au and Target said...

The Zoolatry girls sent us. We're hoping it's quick and peaceful and please know that we are purring for you and your family in this difficult time.

Madi and Mom said...

Dear Paula and family
Mom and I send you all lots of prayers and hugs and you comfort and care for your dear Mother.
Madi and Mom

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
~ Mom Bobbie and The Bunch

Laila and Minchie said...

We are keeping you and your family in our prayers as you care for your wonderful Mom. (((hugs)))

Simba said...

We came from Fuzzy Tales to offer emotional support and purrs for your family. May your Mom have a peaceful end to this earthly life and a a glorious crossing to the next.

FURKIDSMOM said...

You and your Mom will be in our prayers.

The Florida Furkids and Lexi

Mr. Pip said...

Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

The Island Cats said...

We are so sorry. We will pray and purr for your mom and your family.

Wally, Ernie, Zoey and mom Sue

Angel MoMo's mom said...

The Zoolatry mom told me about your plight. I am so very sorry to hear this. I am not good with words, but please know that you and your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing your mother a peaceful and gentle passing. <<>>

Marg said...

Hi there Paula, I am so glad you wrote this. As you know, we are sending many purrs and a giant about of prayers for your Mom and for you. We sure will be thinking about you and your Mom in these tough times. Take care.

Zoolatry said...

May God watch over each and every one of you now and in the days ahead. As your Mother moves on, may her path be soft and easy and may those who remain behind remember her from healthy and loving days.

TK and Squashies said...

I am so sorry for your family. You are in our thoughts and our prayers.

meowmeowmans said...

Hi Paula,

We're so incredibly sorry to hear about your mom. Know that we will keep you, your mom, and your entire family in our purrs and prayers. Please let us know if there's anything we can do, okay?

Much love, care and concern,

Kevin, Tracey, Sammy and Moosey

Lovable Lily said...

Sending you and your Mom BIG Doxie prayers and a ton of love during this difficult time.

Hugs,
Lily Belle & Muffin

Team Tabby said...

We are keeping you and your mom in our thoughts and prayers and hope this helps at this sad time.

The Meezers or Billy said...

Paula, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Just being there is a great comfort to your mom. We are here for you should you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend.

Mary

Father Tom said...

Paula, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. You were so thoughtful to get your aunt to see your mom and be by her side, also.
There's such comfort in family!

We hope and pray your time with her is special for every minute she still has with you all. There is much love and constant prayers coming from us, Paula.

Hugs,
Julie, Tom, Mitty, Tinker & Anastasia xx

Gracie=^o.o^= said...

Good thoughts and lots of purrs are being sent from me to you. I know this is a hard time and know that we all are thinking of you and your family as you go through this difficult time.

The Furries of Whisppy said...

We're sending our prayers for your Mom to stay comfortable. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family as you deal with this very difficult time.

<<<<>>>>

Carolina Cats said...

Thinking of you all, sending our strongest purrs and prayers to comfort you and especially your mom.

love & hugs & purrs,
Finnegan, Buddy & Jazzy

Kjelle Bus said...

Sending (((purrs))) and huggies

Agnes B Bullock said...

Our prayers are with you!

Mariodacat said...

Oh dear friend, I am so sorry to hear all of this. Please don't worry about posting, commenting etc.. We'll all be here waiting for you however long it takes. That is the least we can do for you., Your first priority should be to spend time with your mom and family, take care of your self, and if time - do something to relax that you thoroughly enjoy. Hugs, and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary

Jan's Funny Farm said...

You and your family are in my prayers.

Random Felines said...

we are so very sorry. there is just nothing to make this easier. our family has had WONDERFUL experiences with hospice - they make a terrible situation better and will be able to help your mom be comfortable. please take comfort in the fact that she had a long wonderful life and you are making her last days comfortable. we are so sorry and are sending peaceful purrs.

Katie Isabella said...

Paula, we will always be here for you no matter the time. Thank you for letting us know so we can be here for you from this moment on. Sending love and purrs and prayers that your mom will have peace and comfort. XXXOOO

~*Connie*~ said...

My prayers for peace and unexpected blessings at this trying time. Remember to take care of yourself as well. When my father was near death my mother didn't take care of her self as well as she should have and ended up needing surgery before my father was even fully recovered.

The Royals and Gentleman Beau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Royals and Gentleman Beau said...

Dear Paula,

Thank you for sharing what is a deeply personal time with us.

My heart goes out to you, your Mom and your loved ones. I pray Mom will know when it's okay to go into the light. She should know you all wish her a peaceful crossing...

Remember to be kind to yourself, allow yourself the "creature comforts" to be well, too.

Hugs and Gentle Purrs
QM Rose
& the Royals

Katnip Lounge said...

Paula, you and your family are in my thoughts. Be good to yourself, and I pray for your Mom to find peace easily.
Great BIG {{hugs}}, Trish

Avalons Garden and Mewsings of Garden Cottage Cats said...

Awwwww we are All so Sorry to hear this sad news. Our thoughts & prayers are with you and your family thru this most difficult time.God Bless you & be with you All ~
*Hugs* & *Soft Purrz* from All of us

The Musings Of A Crazy Cat Lady said...

Oh, Paula, we're so sorry to hear such bad news. Your family is in our thoughts. Don't worry about posting, we all understand. We send you kind thoughts and purrs.

Cat said...

Dear Paula, I know how difficult this situation is, you and your mum and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending love and peace and strength to all of you.

Cherry City Kitties said...

Sending our purrs and love,
Carolyn and the boys

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

Hugs to all of you! Our thoughts and prayers and purrs will be with you, hoping for peace and comfort at this time.

Alasandra, The Cats and A Dog said...

We are so very sorry. Comforting purrs for your family at this sad time.

Old Kitty said...

Me and my cat Charlie came over from Fuzzy Tales. We are sending you all many hugs and are keeping you all in our thoughts at this most difficult of times. Take care
x

Reposit├│rio said...

We´re sending our best vibrations to your Mom!!!!!

The Lee County Clowder said...

Sending comforting purrrrayers and gentle headbuttss to your Mom.

www.shelter-cats.com said...

Thinking of you during this difficult time and sending sympathy and love.

clowiescorner said...

I'm sorry to hear your sad news, my thoughts are with you.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

Our best purrs to your Mom, to you, and all of you. Tend to your hearts, and return when you are ready.

Tillie and Georgia said...

We are sending you,your MOm and all of your family many purrs and virtual hugs.
We hope your Mom does not suffer and passes quietly into the Light when the time comes.

Purrs Tillie and Georgia,
Tiger,Treasure,JJ and Julie
and mom Nancy

JC said...

Thinking of you and hoping she goes peacefully.

XO,

JC and The Purr and Fur Gang

ABBY said...

Paula
I am so sorry to hear that your family is going through this with your Mom. My heartfelt prayers and blessings to all of you. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us, and know that we are all here for you when you feel ready. Take all the time you can with your Mom and we will all keep her and you in our prayers.

::::::
What we have once enjoyed
we can never lose;
All that we love deeply,
becomes a part of us.
-Helen Keller

~Debra (Abby's Mom)

dieschonheit said...

Warmest and kindest greetings from Ambassador Schonheit, and his family in New Zealand. We are friends of Katie Isabella.

May the peace that passes all understanding be upon all of your family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Ambassador Schonheit and Family

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

We are so deeply sorry. Sadly we know first hand how incredibly difficult this is.
You all are in our hearts and our prayers...praying for gentleness and no pain
(((((hugs)))))

Terri said...

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Samantha, Clementine and Maverick said...

Lots of purrs and grrrs for you all!! We will keep you in our thoughts
and prayers!!
Hugs from your TX furiends,

Keisha said...

I sending u some Luv. {{{Luv}}}

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Sending you and your Mom and all your family purrs and purrayers. It was so wonderful your mom got to see her sister. XOXOXO

Debra Taylor said...

I will pray your mom doesn't suffer, that she will slip away in peace. I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Me and my family will be holding you in our thoughts and prayers.

rumpydog.com said...

Your family is in my prayers. I'm so sad for you.

Layla ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

We are sending you peace, love and purrs at this difficult time of transition.