Update 11/29

I took the day off of work, as we were planning on calling Hospice today.  My mom’s pain is out of control and it’s clear she’s taking a turn for the worse.  I spent the day with her, which was nice but really hard…. we talked a lot about the future and what it might hold.  Tomorrow we will meet with her oncologist before making the final decision as to whether or not to call Hospice.  I would love for him to tell us there is still a chance for her to not only to be cured, but to walk again, but we all know there is a very slim chance of that happening.  Even if she can keep the pain under control and keep living like this, her quality of life isn’t very good.  Most likely tomorrow we will hear what we already know – that it’s the cancer spreading and there’s nothing more that can be done.  When I started fundraising to get her to Texas, I had no idea that her health would take such a drastic turn for the worse in just 2 months. I appreciate everything everyone did for her regarding the fundraising and I know everyone did it because they care about her.  A decision will be made soon as to which path we are going down….. if we are unable to seek alternative care (as is most likely) I know everyone will understand if we use the money for any medical bills that might arise (I don’t know anything about Hospice, or what is covered, if anything).  In addition, I still want to form a Non-Profit Organization for cancer patients seeking alternative care and plan on the Wanda Cline 5K for Cancer becoming an annual fall run.  I will continue to keep everyone updated.

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Huge Success!

The race was a huge success. We had 109 runners and walkers participate, plus very helpful volunteers, and many, many people who donated.  I can’t believe that it was just 6 weeks ago that I said to myself, “I’m going to put on a 5K to get my mom the help she needs” and we did it!  Who would have thought it would have turned out so smoothly…we didn’t have ANY glitches!  The city and police approved the route, North Muskegon Schools gave us use of the field, Redi Rental donated anything we needed (tents, restrooms, tables, chairs), Jim from SnapRegistration so graciously timed the event for us for free and did the online registration for us, and we had many businesses support the race by sponsoring the shirts or donating gift certificates.  A huge thank you to Cline Resources, http://www.shopgoldenpony.com, Rothbury Dips-N-Dogs, Choice Schools Associates, Three Oaks Public Schools, Brickley Delong, The Harbor Theater, The Olive Tree Restaurant, the Port City Princess, Main Street, Norton Pines, Sweet Temptations, and Logan’s Roadhouse.  I also want to thank my family and friends who supported me 100% of the time with this huge undertaking, and a huge thank you goes to Emily Schoendorff, who is a great friend and running partner, and I couldn’t have done this without her.

I heard nothing but positive comments about the race, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the event.  I’m hoping everyone loved it enough that we can do it every year!

Here are a few pictures from race day:

Emily and Tanya Before Race

Murry getting ready for MeeMaw's Race

Running partners and GREAT friends!!!!!!

My Dad, Stepdad, and Stepmom

My family! From left to right is my stepbrother Dylan pushing my nephew Capote in the stroller, my sister-in-law Rory, my nephew Quindynn, father-in-law Tom, my son Declan, husband Andy, stepmom Linda pushing my son Murry, and my dad, Gary.

Right before the race starts

Let the race begin!!

Emily and I were so happy to finish the race....this was so important to us!

First Place Female - Haleigh Przybylek

First Place Male - Eric Nash

We had many wonderful volunteers...

And many traveled from far away......

And many of my coworkers came out....

My 5 year old was so excited for the race that would help raise money to get his MeeMaw better...

THANK YOU everyone who helped with this event in some way.  I promise to keep everyone updated.  I am going to get in touch again with the Burzynski Clinic, as I believe we have enough for the initial testing….. unfortunately my mom is so ill right now that she won’t be able to travel quite yet.  She’s been in radiation the last few weeks and it’s taken all of her strength from her.  She is done with radiation now, and hopefully will get stronger again in the coming weeks, and then we can look forward to her being able to travel.  I am going to continue to try to raise funds for her, as the $5,000 is just the beginning.  That won’t cover travel, hotel expenses, or continued treatment if it’s working.  But it’s a start, and it gives me great hope that we can get my mom better soon.  Right now she is in a horrible amount of pain, and is really suffering both physically and mentally.

We appreciate everything everyone is doing….we are on the way to being able to get my mom better.

Update

Things are coming along beautifully.   We have everything in place… just waiting for the 20th now!  It can’t get here soon enough, as my mom is in really rough shape.  She is so miserable and in so much pain that she’s worried about even being able to travel to Texas.  But we just have to remember to take it one day at a time (thanks Emily for constantly reminding me of that).   We have 62 runners and walkers registered, and 27 volunteers.  The course is mapped out, jobs are assigned, and every little detail is worked out (or so we hope)!!! In addition to more runners/walkers, I’m hoping to get more donations…. we’re not quite halfway to what is needed to get the initial testing done at the Burzynski Clinic.

It’s coming together (and just in time)!

WOW, I CANNOT believe the support we’re getting.  I am just amazed.  So far everyone I’ve spoken with is so willing to help my mom…. it’s just wonderful and it brings tears to my eyes.  The city of North Muskegon approved the race – it’s on!!! November 20, 2010 – mark your calendars.  We will not only need runners and walkers but plenty of volunteers to help the race run smoothly.

I need to thank Jim at http://www.snapregistration.com for donating his time and services to get the race page up and running for me, and for timing the race.  A big thank you to North Muskegon High School for loaning us the use of their athletic field and race timing equipment.  And I’ve had so many family members and friend making phone calls for donations and helping get the word out.  And I’m so excited for our t-shirts to be printed (thanks Steve and Andy at Trophy House).  They are awesome!

I am so thankful for everyone coming together for this with the goal of getting my mom to Texas.  It is just in time, as my mom is getting much worse.  As the tumor on her spine grows, her legs get weaker and weaker.  I will be taking next Monday and Tuesday off of work to spend time with her and to take her to radiation.  I am looking forward to spending two days with her and able to just focus on “us” again. 

This entry was posted on October 20, 2010. 4 Comments

Monday, October 11

Today felt like a very successful day.  My friend Emily and I got together and started the planning process for the 5K.  I am so excited and finally feel like something just might go right.  I haven’t had that feeling lately, with the condition my mom is in.  I am hoping to get some positive news from all the right people so that we an have a successful fundraiser for my mom.

On my way home from Starbucks (yummy, pumpkin spice latte) I called my mom to update her.  As soon as she answered the phone I could tell she was having a rough day.  I could tell she’d been in tears.  The pain is just too much for her to handle.  I quickly forgot that I was excited about something as I listened to her in pain while I drove home in the dark.  She will be starting radiation again on Wednesday, and started chemotherapy up again today.  They don’t normally do radiation more than once in the same spot, but it sounds as if her doctor doesn’t even know what else to do.  Over the weekend my mind kept going to a very dark place….I’m trying very hard not to go there anymore, as hard as it is.  At least organizing this 5K gives me something to focus on and makes me feel like we might actually have some control over this horrible, sad, situation.

Here are a few pictures from this weekend.  My mom made it out to Declan’s soccer game (quite a task since she’s unable to walk) and then we had a campfire with the family that night.  She does a great job of putting on a brave face for her grandkids…isn’t she beautiful?

Declan scored his first goal with his MeeMaw there, and then scored 3 more!!!

Rough Day….

Wow, what a hard day today was.  My mom met with her oncologist yesterday and it isn’t good.  The cancer is “exploding” and her tumor markers went up 20 points in two weeks.  It might be a matter of months, depending on if he can find a way to slow it down with a different chemo.   I spent much of the day in tears…it’s just so hard to deal with.

We need to get on this quick.  My friend and I would like to organize a 5K run/walk to raise money.  What a great way to get outside with our family and friends and try to make enough money to send my mom to Texas…

I’m not really sure where to start.  Does anyone have any experience?

And if anyone would like to make a donation, here is the link:  http://www.wandacline.com/donate.html

This entry was posted on October 7, 2010. 2 Comments

It’s time to help my mom fight.

My mom has been battling breast cancer for over 8 years, and I can’t sit and watch it destroy her any longer.  I’m starting a blog in hopes of somehow getting it to the right person, and getting her the help she so desperately wants and needs.  She really wants to go to the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas, and I’m determined to find a way to get her there.  It seems nearly impossible as insurance won’t cover it and I’m sure it’s extremely expensive.  I don’t know what I can do, but getting her story out there is a start.

My Mom’s Story

My mom, Wanda Cline, has been battling a serious form of breast cancer since May 2002, using both traditional and alternative methods.  She was diagnosed at the age of 48 and had 6 months of chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy, and then radiation.  Her cancer is HER2 positive and hormone negative, meaning that it is much more aggressive than the more common hormone-fueled breast cancer.  Cancer was found in two of the lymph nodes that were removed during surgery, but not evident anywhere else in her body.

The cancer returned with a vengeance in January 2006.  It was in her lungs, bones, and in the brachial plexus nerves that control her left hand and arm.  She lost use of her left hand and arm (which was difficult as she was a church organist and pianist).  The nerve damage to her hand, arm, shoulder, and pectoral muscles were indescribably and relentlessly painful.  Then, when she began chemotherapy again, the pain and nerve damage increased because chemotherapy drugs are neurotoxins.  During her first chemo treatment after the cancer returned she was sobbing with pain as the drugs traveled through her veins, killing off what was left of her already damaged nerves.  There were many days ahead of her with endless pain and progressive paralysis of her hand as chemo went on.  She had to resort to narcotic painkillers for about six months, and then it took two months to get off of the drugs because her body had become addicted to them.

After being on chemotherapy for 18 months chemo began to lose its effectiveness.  The tumors were spreading and growing, and becoming resistant to different chemos.  She then went to the University of Michigan for a couple consultations with their specialists in radiation and oncology.  They didn’t recommend radiation for her tumors, and they felt her oncologist was doing the appropriate trials of chemotherapies on her.  They had nothing new to offer her.

Her oncologist then told her, “I know what you want, and I can’t do it for you.”  He knew she wanted a long, long remission with a good quality of life, and he knew it wasn’t possible with current chemotherapies. The next combination of chemo drugs she was scheduled to try had side effects she wasn’t happy about, and supposedly only gave the patients a few months of progression-free time.

It was clear to her what the future held for her by staying on chemotherapy, so she decided to take a break from chemotherapy in Jun 2007 and try a natural approach.  She wanted to try natural methods before chemo completely destroyed her immune system.  She began to follow Dr. Johanna Budwig’s Protocol.  She is one of the most respected and recommended of the “alternative” cancer doctors.  Flaxseed oil is at the core of the diet.  The remainder of the lifestyle is a vegetarian diet, plenty of sunshine and exercise, rest, and no stress.  My mom followed Budwig’s protocol strictly for years, adding to it a sauna she used every night, coffee enemas, growing her own wheatgrass for juicing and sprouts to eat.

In May 2009 my mom’s pain came back tremendously. I remember taking her to the ER and they gave her a muscle relaxer and sent her on her way.  Her Family Doctor didn’t even do any tests to see if the cancer came back.  By August 2009 she ended up in the ER, paralyzed, and had immediate radiation because there was a large tumor on her spine which was causing her paralysis and pain.  She was in the hospital for 6 weeks.  When released from the hospital she had to go live with my grandma (next door to my mom’s house) because it’s all one level, and she is in a motorized wheelchair.  In March 2010 she went back on chemo (pills this time) but it’s not looking that good. For awhile this summer she had some hope, as she was walking with a walker and took 150 steps with a cane at physical therapy.  She even rode her bike once with adult training wheels a short distance. As of September 2010 she has new tumors in her pelvis, femur, lung, many tumors on her ribs, and three new tumors on her liver. The original tumor on her spine is showing new activity, and another tumor next to it has is growing.  She also has constant nerve damage from the bra line down and is in tremendous pain. She is in constant pain and can’t sleep.  Her quality of life is poor, and it’s to the point where she doesn’t want to go on.  She’s spent the last few weeks thinking about killing herself just to be away from all of the pain.

I don’t know what I can do, but I want to do something.  I want to find a way to get her to Texas where she might have some hope.  It’s not just a matter of the clinic being expensive, but she’s in a motorized wheelchair…how do we get her down there?  I’m going to look into it and see exactly what all of the costs will be, and I’m determined to try to find a way to get her there.

This entry was posted on October 3, 2010. 4 Comments