Special Prayer Request...
20 Sep 2006
Wednesday 3:53pm -
As it stands now,
a Memorial for Mavis will be on Sabbath, September 30 at 3:00
P.M. on the grounds of Walt Gerald on Coyote Hill Rd, Weimar.
Lots of things to think about
these days. If I did not know about the "Blessed
Hope"-- I would be as confused and uncertain about the future
as anyone else. Love all you wonderful people.
15 Sep 2006 Friday 8:36am - Our beautiful daughter-in-law, Herb's wife (Mavis Joy Dearing, b. 29 Jun 1954), died this morning a few hours ago. This is the quickest way to tell our close family. Herb would rather not have any phone calls today, maybe tomorrow or so. Mavis surely fought this to the end with every conceivable tool at her disposal. Herb and Mavis and girls are a very close family unit. Please pray for peace and a sense of the Big Picture to flood this grieving family. Life is very transient but really only a bump on the road to forever. Bless you all. Cheers in the Lord, Dad, Brother, Friend.
16 Sep 2005 - Hi Everyone - just wanted to let you know that I got the preliminary report (haven't seen the actual pictures yet) back from my PET Scan on Friday and it says that there is no sign of cancer - the spot that was there in June is gone! I got all set up for radiation today and had the weekly Herceptin IV so it was a long, but good day. We are going to celebrate the good news tonight with something like chocolate maybe?! I've been trying to keep up with my school responsibilities so haven't been online to answer you each individually, but will later this week when I am have time. Thanks so much for all your positive thoughts and e-mails - I can hear you all cheering for me out there and I appreciate it! Love, Mavis
3 Sep 2005 - Mavis begins her next round of chemo this week. She looks as energetic as ever although she must have some down days. After this round, she will begin radiation which lasts for some time. In other words, all right so far.
10 Aug 2005 - She is taking treatment in Auburn. Stanford fully concurs with protocol. Will start next round of chemo next week. She looks great.
16 July 2005 - Hi - I just got in from having chemo - it was a 5 hour IV - all went well - my white count is on the low end of normal range and the red count is just barely below normal. So that is all good and I'm feeling good - it was great to be able to get out of town for the trip - this is the first time the Dr.s have said I could be gone since December - so that was a real treat to see family and friends and eat good food and rest and relax. Only 2 more of the "Big" chemo treatments (once every 3 weeks) - I still have to go in every week for the Herceptin IV also (which is supposed to be a half hour, but took over an hour last time) and am also having to take the oral chemo drug along with it too, but it looks like my last of the big IVs is going to be August 15! I am REALLY looking forward to that! I hope all is well with all of you! I will e-mail more soon, but just wanted you to know that all is well here. I'm tired and going to go to bed early tonight. - Cheers! Mavis
1 July 2005 - Mavis is in Canada with the girls visiting her parents and should be back in a few days. This latest round of chemo is not affecting her adversely. They are including Hep ?? which is a new addition to the menu. After the chemo they will begin the radiation.
17 June 2005 - Hi everyone - I have been meaning to update you for more than a week now. We had a great time having everyone here for Kelli's graduation which was June 4 - Then I started onto the new chemo regimen June 7. The IV was administered in the hospital so they could do test doses, checks, etc... in case of an adverse reaction - I was there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and had no problems. It has been a lot better so far during the days after also- the first week was much better than the previous chemo drugs they had been giving me before surgery. I did not get nauseated - no flu like symptoms and actually kept eating the whole time. There is also a chemo drug that I have to take by pill that is giving me some irritating side affects - sore soles of the feet and palms of the hands. I have to be careful because I guess some people get it so bad that they get blisters and big open sores - no clipping of the roses or anything that could be a source of infection - also I haven't been able to walk much because my feet are so sore. I just may gain weight with this program.... I have to have one of the drugs by IV every week, another one by IV every 3 weeks and the other one by pill (twice a day) - two weeks on and one week off..... I'm counting the days until I'm done with this whole mess! My hair will probably fall out again - it is about 1/2 inch long now so at least I know it will grow back. I'll let you know on that. I went and had a PET scan done - we don't have the actual photos from that yet but the report says that there still is no distant metastases which is good - but there is "faint uptake seen in the axilla" and "a low grade ring-like lesion at the site of the lumpectomy" which is just what the Doctors expected, which is why I am on chemo and why they want me to do radiation. I did have an appointment with the Radiation Oncologist and am set up for starting there when chemo is finished after the end of August. The Doctor says I can be gone for the last week of June so the girls and I have tickets to fly to Portland on the 25th so we can go to Jill's wedding shower. We will then drive to Grandpa & Grandma Dearings where Bruce and his family will be arriving from Saudi. We return on July 4th and then I am back at chemo the next day and on through the third week of August (I'm hoping my last treatment will be the week before Jill's wedding) when we will be going back up to Portland for that! I'm more than half way through this thing and really looking forward to it all being over. I am almost finished with my paperwork for school and will have some time during the summer with no work to do for school at all. I will be doing the radiation for about 7 weeks....... that sounds like it will be pretty easy to manage during the school year compared to chemo and surgery etc.... So it looks like it is downhill from here - getting easier all the time! I am getting lots of help and support from family and friends so all is well. Have a great weekend! - Love, Mavis
6 May 2005 - Hi everyone - Just wanted to let you know that my appointment at Stanford went well yesterday. The flowers were beautiful there - lots of wildflowers, roses, and foxgloves. At home here the Dogwood trees and the Spanish Lavender (which is swarming with bees) are still blooming and the roses are really popping out now. There is also a lot of Jasmine flowers opening on the arbor over the back door to the garage and the house - it really smells wonderful! O.K. now back to the appointment at Stanford..... The Doctors I spoke with there were saying pretty much the same thing that the Doctors here are saying. Having a mastectomy would not help or be of any advantage at all - the chemo I had before the surgery was a good combination and the length of time was also what they would recommend - the amount, type and length of time for after the surgery now is a judgment call by the Doctor - they are going to send their recommendations to the Oncologist here, which will be interesting to see - They did say that 4 - 3 week sessions would probably be what they would recommend, but there were a couple of other options that would also be possible. The Herceptin (drug to help with the HER2 positive indicator) should be added and should also be taken for a year after chemo which is what the Doctor here was also saying. They also say that radiation is necessary. I asked them a number of questions about nutrition and the immune system - they didn't feel that that had anything to do with the cancer or would help it in any way (which I don't agree with). I am continuing to do what I can with nutrition and am taking my nutritional supplements which they say are fine to take, but the doctors say that they aren't sure if the supplements will help. They also say that it is an aggressive cancer and I need to be aggressive in the treatment - I asked how I can monitor myself so I can catch it early if it tries to rear it's ugly head again and they didn't have a good answer for that. The Doctors here say that we will do very regular physicals (every 3 months), blood tests, and scans to watch for anything unusual...etc.... I think they'll be watching me like a hawk for quite awhile and I will learn what I can watch for on my own too. I feel good - I also feel that I can fight this with alternative medicine - nutrition and supplements - after the doctors are finished with me. That will definitely make a difference - the chemo, surgery, and radiation will give me more time to get healthy with the nutrition and supplements and then keeping my body in a state that is not conducive to allowing cancer to live and grow will be what keeps the cancer away. The Doctors at Stanford did confirm that we are on the right track - there are no experimental or unusual protocols that they could recommend for my case and none that they know of in the U.S. I feel good about knowing that the Doctors here seem to be right on with everything that the Doctors at Stanford are saying. They did say that my files and treatment history was very thorough. I will let you know what I find out when I get their report. Have a great weekend! - Love, Mavis
2 May 2005 - HI Everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I saw the surgeon today - he says that I am "healing beautifully". He says it will still be 1 to 2 more weeks until he will release me to start chemo again or radiation. He wants to be sure we continue to move forward and not have the wound opening up or an infection caused by starting chemo too soon - that would put us way back and he says it can be a real mess. (My dad told me about a lady that is dealing with starting treatment too soon after surgery and the trouble she is having.) Thursday I have an appointment at 1:30 at the Stanford Cancer Center with a Dr. Stockdale who is a Breast Cancer Specialist. Herb is going to go with me and we'll make a day of it. (they said the appointment would take about 3 hours) I'm sure we'll be home late and I am not sure how much information I will be coming back with and how much I will have to wait to hear about after. They have asked me to hand carry all the info to them that day. I have to take all my films from ultra sound and mammograms. I also have to take the actual slides from the Pathology Department, the pathology report, a surgical report and a report from the oncologist on everything they have given me so far. I have a couple more things to pick up tomorrow and will have everything they asked me to bring all ready to go. Next Monday he will present my case to the Tumor Board here again and with that info and the info we get from Stanford hopefully we will have everything we need to keep moving ahead with this whole lousy thing. I'm feeling better every day; eating, sleeping, exercising and going to work part time every day now too..... I can't complain! Things are getting better and I'm determined to kick this thing and keep it away! I'm doing everything I can to build my immune system so I can fight it myself once the doctors are finished with me..... Take care! - Love, Mavis
22 Apr 2005 - Hi everyone! I just wanted to say Thanks to all of you - you have all helped me so much with support, encouragement, ideas, suggestions, food, flowers, cards, e-mails, phone calls, helping with my workload, .... SO MUCH! Thank-you! I will never be able to repay you. I got one more piece of info today - the HER2 test (by FISH) is positive - it was 4.9%. (It is only present in 20 - 25% of breast cancers) This gives us another option - that's a first! What I understand about it is minimal, but it is a growth factor receptor protein and can encourage the cancer cells to multiply quickly, so they can give you a drug (Trastuzumab or Herceptin - which can have similar side effects to other chemo drugs) that actually is like a flag on the cancer cells to help the chemo drugs or the immune system find and destroy it. This does give us something more to go on that should help make treatments more effective. (Don't quote me on any of this because I may not have explained it accurately, but I will research it more and let you know what else I find out.) I asked my Dr. here to set up referrals for the cancer centers at UC Davis and Stanford, (He is going to call me back on Monday and let me know what he was able to get set up - he said they are usually good about getting a referral in quickly) - I have been trying to compare the research being done at Stanford and MD Anderson to see if it would be worth a trip out there or if Stanford is doing the same kind of work, so am not sure on that yet. My Dr.says they are very similar..... I also asked if my case could be reviewed by a Dr. at MD Anderson without my having to travel there for the second opinion.... I also talked to a good friend of Herb's family who works at Loma Linda Medical Center (she's head of the children's hospital) and also had breast cancer - she personally knows the head of the oncology and radiation departments there and is going to talk to them about my case and find out if there is anything they are doing there that would be helpful to me and about the proton therapy that is offered there. I am scheduled for starting chemo again as soon as the surgeon says I am healed enough, but I have at least another week and a half or so before he'll let me go, my next appointment with the surgeon is May 2 - he doesn't want me to get an infection and starting chemo too soon can really set the whole thing back if that happens. During this time between we are going to continue to try and find any more info that could be added to what we are already planning on doing to make the treatment stronger or better in any way if that is possible, so the HER2 results definitely give us one more thing to go on. I'm feeling better every day - still sore in the area of the surgery and my upper arm, but so much better than it was! When they say that you will have some discomfort...... ha! I wouldn't call it discomfort....now 2 weeks after the surgery, maybe you could call it discomfort.... Thanks again for everything! Have a great weekend! - Mavis
19 Apr 2005 - Hi everyone - today the Dr. took the drain out!!! Yahoo - it feels better already - some more of the test results are back - Both Estrogen and Progesterone receptors are negative, which is considered unfavorable - they did a Ki-67 and DNA S-Phase also which were both listed as unfavorable - he explained them to me, but I have to read more in order to be able to explain them myself. The HER2 test was not back yet, which will be helpful info. He (the surgeon) and the oncologist both suggested that I consider going to either Stanford Cancer Center in S.F. or M D Anderson Cancer Center in Texas for another look at it for deciding what the best course would be for further treatment. The tests so far don't give us any new info that would be helpful for anything other than just the standard protocol. The Drs want to do everything we can to prevent spread and reoccurrence, so what the best next step is????? I'm still healing and can't start anything yet, but they want me to go and talk to the radiation oncologist to get things started there.... I don't have much news, but I'm feeling better every day and still fighting! - Love, Mavis
11 Apr 2005 - This is what Mavis/Herb told me tonight. Our hearts are bursting. We figured something like this but it is devastating to hear it finally. Mavis is such a brave, positive young woman. God will give her and the rest of us the endurance to beat this evil deed. I can't say much more right now: Pathology report not complete - more to come. Surgeon removed a mass 8.0 x 5.3 x 2.0 cm, weighing 43.8 g from the right breast which actually contained 4 separate lumps, although all tests prior to this showed only one lump - possibly they were so close together they just looked like one??? Surgeon took all the tissue back to the muscle but on one of those lumps there was less than a 0.1 cm margin. Not as much margin as we would want. The axillary nodes were removed in a 48 g. fat pad that was 8 x 6 x 2 cm. This contained 46 lymph nodes of which 31 were positive. Not a number we had hoped to see --says that this is a very aggressive cancer. More tests which take more time to complete---drain is not ready to come out yet - go back in next Monday and hopefully it will be ready to come out then. In the mean time the surgeon will take all this to the tumor board again and meet with the oncologist again, etc. Should know more next week. All I can say is that Mavis is a very courageous girl and needs our prayers and arms for support. O, Lord, help us!
9 Apr 2005 - Hi Everyone! Sunny and 60 degrees with very little wind......I went for a slow walk with Candi, Kelli, and the dogs outside on the road..... I am trying to walk at least 1/2 a mile every day, but split it up and also do it at a much slower pace than usual. The lilacs, tulips, and dogwood are blooming and looking great! I am feeling a bit better every day. The Surgeon was pleased with how the surgery went - the tumor was smaller than he expected it to be and he ended up only having to make two incisions (about 2 1/2 inches each) instead of three. He took out the tissue behind the lump all the way back to the muscle to be sure he got everything he could. He also took out that whole level of lymph nodes where the infected nodes were. They do send a frozen section out to pathology during surgery to get a report back, but the final report should be there on Monday when I go to see the surgeon for my follow up appointment. I have a drain coming out of my side about 2 inches below the armpit. It's connected to a little thing that looks like a hand grenade that needs to be emptied morning and night. It can come put when there is less than 30 cc's a day draining. There are bruises on my shoulder, back, side, and chest and quite a bit of swelling in the armpit area. It hurts all around that whole area. The numbness on the back of my upper arm is very annoying, but the sharp, electric shock-like pains are miserable, they come and go and some are very painful! - I'm hoping that will go away soon. I lay down during the day to try to have a nap, but can't sleep - I have been sleeping good at night and have been eating - no more weight loss.....I'm trying to rest so I will heal better and faster. It's good to have the surgery over with - next is to have the pain over with...... Not sure how next week is going to be, I'll probably need to get the O.K. from the Dr. before I start trying to carry on a normal work schedule again. I'll let you know what I find out on Monday. Take care! Love, Mavis
11 Mar 2005 - Hi Everyone - I had my 4th chemo treatment yesterday - went well - only one try to get the IV in this time - better than last time with the 3 stabs... my white count is in normal range 4.4 (normal 4.1 - 11.3). I went in today for the Neulasta shot (that great time-released one so I don't have to have a shot every day) to keep the white cells up where they are supposed to be. My red counts are in normal range too 4.14 (normal is 3.9 - 5.10), so all is well. I haven't started feeling too nauseated yet - just a bit of it so far - each time it has gotten a bit better so maybe my body is adjusting to the chemo drugs. The Dr. is pleased with the change in the tumor, etc... they have scheduled my lumpectomy surgery for April 5 and he tells me that I can write this one on my calendar for sure - it will not change! (It's been up in the air from week to week - with the chemo first they just watch the progress and make a decision when they think it's the right time!) I will then have 4 more chemo treatments after the surgery - after the surgeon says I have healed and can start back in again. Then they want me to do radiation also (probably 6 weeks of it) which will come last. The best news today is that I am half way through the chemo at least! I have all the help I need from Herb, Candi and Kelli, friends, and teachers I work with. I'm getting used to the bald head too. I will send a picture from Kelli's computer which has the photo program on it. Thanks for your support! Love, Mavis
14 Feb 2005 - I go to see the surgeon tomorrow to find out the results of the ultra sound I had last week - they will make a determination of when surgery should be..... and I will let everybody know what I find out. Thanks, Mavis
11 Feb 2005 - All is well here with me - I had my second chemo treatment and it went much better - no hospital stay, kept the white cell count up and am doing much better this time. Take care - Thanks! Mavis
4 Feb 2005 - Mavis had another visit with her physician yesterday: 1) White count and red count just where they want it; 2) Tumors in breast and lymph nodes seem smaller; 3) Surgery will be around March 10 or 11 unless the surgeon wants to speed it up; 4) Oncologist wants to do 6 to 8 of these 3-week sessions total with 2 now done; 5) Feeling so much better than the first week. We all admire her pluck and staying closely with physician's program. She still is keeping up with her school duties but gets as much rest as possible throughout.
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