"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Sunday, February 28, 2010

Be Positive +


I know this can be a very emotional experience for everyone and any emotion that is stirred up comes from your love and concern for our mother.

However, I need to stress again that it is VERY IMPORTANT right now that we remain ONLY POSITIVE in our thoughts and words to Mom during this time. She is in a very fragile state and we would regret upsetting her with any unnecessary ideas, what if's or should have's. Please keep your opinions and comments positive and if anything negative happens to come into mind please keep them to yourself.

Right now our family needs to focus on Mom's healing and recovery so she can finish this fight!
Thank you everyone for all of your love, support and positive thoughts!
Jess

Thanking Dr. Icaza


We want to thank Dr. Icaza for taking such wonderful care of Mom. It was over 1 year ago when he probably saved Mom's life by deciding not to remove the stomach and allow her to fight the cancer through chemotherapy and radiation, having better chances with the stomach intact. Now after a successful surgery, her stomach has been removed and Dr. Icaza does feel that he got everything out and she's in a good place for a cure! Dr. Icaza has always been so upfront, honest and sincere with us. We know he truly cares about our family and wants to do the very best for Mom.

This recent complication of the adhesion is unfortunatly something that can and does often happen with any major surgery. Mom passed all of the tests before leaving the hospital and was doing so wonderful. Dr. Icaza certainly is not to blame and we appreciate all of the support and affection he's continuing to provide!

It's VERY IMPORTANT right now that we remain ONLY POSITIVE in our thoughts and words to Mom during this time. She is in a very fragile state and we would regret upsetting her with any unessesary ideas, what if's or should have's. Please keep your opinions and comments positive and if anything negative happens to come into mind please keep them to yourself.

Right now our family needs to focus on Mom's healing and recovery so she can finish this fight!
Thank you Dr. Icaza and thank you everyone for all of your love, support and positive thoughts!

Jess, Jacie, Jen & Josh

Simple Man

This morning I was home doing laundry and picking up the house when Simple Man by Shinedown came on the stereo. Mom loves this song and it was played at her benefit for her. This song reminds me that the simplest things in life are most important and all of those small problems disappear when I hear it. Wishing she could be with me to sing it, I turned it up almost as loud as it could go and sang my little heart out thinking maybe she would hear me. I think she felt it, we have a way like that. -Jen

My mama told me when I was young
Said sit beside me my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it'll help you some sunny day
Oh, yeah it will

Oh, take your time, don't live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
You'll find a woman and you'll find love
And don't forget that there is a someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
And be something you'll love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can?
Then you can

Don't get your lust from the rich man's gold
All that you need now is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby if you try
All that I want from you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
And be something you'll love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can?
If you can

Oh, don't you worry, you'll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby if you try
All that I want from you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you'll love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can?
So baby be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Post-Surgery - DAY 1

Debby and I stayed at the hospital to make sure that Kerry got to ICU and so we could see her, and we ended up both staying to be with her. Although she was hooked up to lots of tubes and drains and the ventilator, she looked more peaceful than I had seen her in days - She was finally getting the much needed rest and freedom of pain that had been affecting her for two days. She opened her eyes periodically and we let her know where she was and that we were there, but for the most part, she was in a drug induced sleep to help her relax so she did not fight the tubes. As usual, this morning when they started to take her off the med, she was impossible to wake up! I think she was enjoying her sleep too much! They took the vent out this morning, as her breathing was excellent and she was maintaining her breathing status without using the machine. She did get aspiration pneumonia from inhaling some secretions into her lungs so she is on some strong antibiotics. She has two tubes draining the "stuff" from her intestines and esophagus - one being an NG-tube (down through the nose) and another being one in her abdominal wall. They did not remove those drains yet as they want everything to drain out. We got a few smiles out of her, and some whispers once the vent was removed. She is one tough cookie and I told her to fight like a girl!! She was much more comfortable once the vent was out and Dr. Icaza told her that in the next couple of days she will be feeling much better. Jacie and Jen are with her tonight and she is in excellent hands between them and the very competent staff that we encountered in the many hours we were there early AM though the afternoon. She will probably be in ICU for a couple of days and they are very strict on visitors, flowers, etc. Please get in touch with a family member before making a trip to visit. Thanks --- Barb

Post Surgery Update


Her surgery was 3+ hours. The doctor came and spoke to us and drew an illustration of what had happened. They scoped her first and did not see the blockage, so they had to do an open procedure to further investigate what was going on. They found a blockage - her bowel was attached by adhesions to her abdominal wall where they made the initial incision where they had removed the stomach, eventually causing it to totally cut off movement in the intestines. Fluids were building up and they removed 1-1/2 liters of fluid off of her. Because of the blockage, it caused the esophagus and small bowel to dilate which caused the area where they stitched the lower end of her bowel to the esophagus to slightly perforate, leaving a small leak. They repaired that with stitches and reinforced with a fat pad to help reinforce the area. They had to remove the feeding tube and place it on the other side of her abdominal wall and they put in a drain to help keep the pressure and fluid off of her intestines. She will not be able to take anything by mouth for quite a while as everything needs to calm down and heal. She also aspirated a small amount of fluids into her lungs so she had to be put on a ventilator to help her breathe. She will probably be on this for a few days and will be in the ICU. Due to the ventilator, they are limiting visitors to family only for now. She cannot receive flowers while she is there either. This will set her back a bit on starting her chemo until she has recuperated and built her system back up.
- Aunt Barb

Friday, February 26, 2010

Surgery Again

6:30pm
Mom's going back into surgery right now. They took at CT scan and she has a blockage. She's not able to eat, go potty or drink much and having a lot of pain. We'll keep you updated.

3 hours later...
She's out of surgery... update coming

Opse

Mom had to go back to the hospital on Thursday. She's in some pretty serious pain and having some troubles.

Hang in there Mommas! We're gotta get you all fixed up!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life is


"Mama always said life was like a box a chocolates, never know what you're gonna get."

Correction

I have been corrected after freaking out for a few days. The pathology report with the "not so good news" about cancer still being present was actually from the things REMOVED, no pathology reports yet from inside the body.

Of course we know the stomach had cancer cells, that's why we removed it! I don't do so well getting data when I'm not there apparently!

Good news Mom!

{more details coming after approval from Mom}

PS.... She's going HOME TONIGHT!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recovery Day 5

Overall, Mom had a great day today!

She is doing better on getting her liquids down and they took her off her IV and oxygen! She's getting closer to freedom! They moved her room down the hall to a private room... finally. She is more herself now that she is off of the morphine so anyone can come visit her. Her room is on the second floor in G237. Please do not come if you feel sick or are sick.

The bad news is that her feeding tube is still not working. Dr. Icaza is going to look at it tomorrow, so hopefully we can get that working so she can have extra nutrients. She is still on her liquid diet, which is stage 3. Hopefully she can have soft foods soon to get better nutrients.

Thank you for all of your help!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Recovery Day 4

4:00pm
They say the 4th day of recovery is supposed to be the worst. So far mom's holding up extremely well.
She's off morphine - didn't like the way it was making her feel so she's more like herself now. She also started a new diet today, and walking more. Yesterday she had some feeding tube issues so they haven't been using it and will hopefully be fixing it soon.

As of now she's on a liquid diet and can only have tea, jello, broth, ensure and popsicles.
Jen's going to the store to pick some organic items within this category and hopefully avoid items with aspartame. Right now it's very important that get protein and calories. However it's also important that her body focuses on healing and not trying to digest a bunch of junk.

Hang in there Momma! We'll get you all fixed up!

8:25pm
Feeding tube is still clogged or having issues so they won't be able to fix it until the doctor returns from out of town on Monday.
Frustrating! She's up to 4oz an hour right now.


{We'll update you later on the pathology results, per Mom's request}

Friday, February 19, 2010

Recovery Day 3

The swallow test results show no leakage!

They hooked up her feeding tube and she gets a whole 2 teaspoons per hour of Jevity. They also took out her catheter and now she is going to have to walk to bathroom - unfortunately she is going to have to walk the whole room to get there.  

She had Jello last night (just 30 mL) and had 30 mL of tea this morning and finished a sugar-free popsicle, about one-third of it, said it tasted good.

- Auntie Barbie

Thursday, February 18, 2010

{Roy the Beagle}


I just got off the phone with one of my best friends who just found out her beagle Roy has stomach cancer.
Her heart is hurting and they love Roy so much. I can relate having 2 beagles myself, they are such amazing dogs. It's so sad and I can not imagine.
Please think of my friend Ronni and Roy who are also dealing with this horrible cancer.

We Love You Roy!
Jess

Recovery Day 2

11:00am
Jen had to get back to school so Aunt Barb is with Mom today in the hospital. Last night they had some problems with Mom's veins and the IV and she wasn't getting fluids or pain meds for 2 hours. After approval from her doctor they decided to use the port.

1:18pm
Today Mom's running a little fever so Dr. Icaza wanted her to do the swallow study today instead of tomorrow. That way she can start taking some liquids and then be able to try some liquid tylenol.

3:43pm
She is back from the swallow test and we don't know the results.  She was not feeling the best when she came back. Still not able to walk around yet. She tried some ice, but decided she was not ready for it.

SWALLOW TEST RESULTS = NO LEAKS!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recovery Day 1

10:58am
Sleeping beauty over here is doing just fine. She still has some pain, but the morphine seems to be helping for the most part. Doctors and nurses have been in and out and are taking good care of her. Her temperature is where it should be and her blood pressure is normal (for her). They gave her a drug called Protonix, to help with acid reflex and keep her insides settled so she doesn't get sick, it's like a "super tums". They also took a blood test and hopefully her levels are perfect! She sleeps most of the time are we still aren't in a private room, so only family should visit now. We will let you know when she want to see more people. She said "Thank you for all the prayers and that the support is unbelievable."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hospital Updates



Hospital Update 10:11am
Hey everyone! First of all we want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers today. We definitely don't feel alone today and it is very comforting. We just got the call that they just started the surgery and we will keep you updated from now until the rest of the week!

Hospital Update 2:11pm
We just got a call from the nurse in surgery that she is doing wonderful! Dr. Icaza is now putting in the feeding tube. She will be finished in about 1/2 hr or so. This is good news!! We will keep you all updated once we speak to the Doctor.

Hospital Update 3:28pm
We feel light as a feather after talking to Mom's surgeon. He said that the surgery went great! The margins around the areas that they disconnected the stomach were free of cancer! They also took biopsies of some questionable areas and sent them to the lap and they were also clear : ) It is a huge relief knowing that the surgery is over. Mom will be in recovery for quite a while probably and we can't wait to see her! Now it's time to keep Mom full of smiles, strength, confidence, and love. Keep the support going! You guys are so wonderful!

Hospital Update 9:38pm
Mom is finally in a room for the night. She is very tired and in a lot of pain, but is able to push her "pain button" to receive some morphine every 10 min or so. Right now she is sound asleep and looks so pretty. A baby was just born here. I love when I hear that music. It reminds me that people are here for the miracle of life and that it probably seems like yesterday when mom heard that music play when I was born. I'm so lucky to have my Mom.
Keep checking back!

Love, the Franke Family

Monday, February 15, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the big day, Mom's Gastrectomy surgery! I think I can spell it now without looking it up.
We were almost there Dec 10 2008. Now that Mom's cancer is no longer Stage 4 and taking up her entire stomach (which is the most amazing thing!) she'll be able to get it all removed! Let's hope tomorrow goes much better than the last attempt!
She's a fighter and no matter what does happen I know Mom will pull through and hang tough!
Thank you so much for all of your support! I know you'll all be thinking of Mom, and us tomorrow!
Love Love Love, Franke Family

Friday, February 12, 2010

Prints for Sale



"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell."
- Lance Armstrong

With faith, strength and courage anything is possible. I've been thinking of ways I can help Mom's medical expenses after her surgery and treatments.

If you would like to purchase a print or know of someone that may please visit the facebook pages "The Fight Against Cancer" or "Photography By Jenelle." The album is titled "Prints For Sale" with numbered pictures, details on pricing are located in the album's description.

Photography by Jenelle

View Prints Here

Send me a message with your order or email me at jenellefranke@gmail.com

We can't thank you enough for your love, help and support!

Love,
The Franke Family


Prints for Sale
5x7 - $10
8x10 - $20
11x14 - $30
16x20 - $40

A $5 shipping fee will be added if I have to ship the print.
Please send me a message to tell me the number of the photo you would like.
Thank you all so much. It is greatly appreciated!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Surgery Date Scheduled

Mom's Gastrectomy Surgery is scheduled for
Tuesday, February 16th in Springfield

Monday, February 1, 2010

Helping Others



If you're reading this blog please know that Mom is so happy you are! She wants to help others answer any questions or ease their fears. So if you're dealing with Cancer, or Stomach Cancer welcome to the blog! We're happy to have you here and welcome any questions you may have. Keep up the fight!