Chrissy had her MRI yesterday. Still no change or improvement with her brain tumor, however the doctors at Children's Memorial as very pleased with how she is learning to overcome her physical disabilities. She is able to walk a little more with the aid of a leg brace. Her range of motion with her right arm has increased. She is now able to bend her arm at the elbow. She still cannot move her fingers or wrist. All the therapy she gets is helping. She goes for physical therapy and occupational therapy twice a week and also speech therapy twice a week, blood work every week. infusions every month, regular doctor appointments, MRI's every 3 months. Tomorrow she starts another round of chemo for 42 days straight. It's a busy schedule.
It was a year ago this time that Chrissy was admitted into the hospital and underwent multiple testing to determine what was happening to her. Her diagnosis remains the same, Gliomatosis Cerebri,, (malignant infiltrating brain tumor) She has not regained use of her right side. However, she has survived past doctors expectations. Her spirits are good and she continues to enjoy every moment of her life and doesn't allow her disabilities to get her down. She has gone through 4 rounds of chemo... each one leaves her a little more tired then the last. The next round is scheduled for June 1st. She will continue getting chemo, 6 weeks on - 4 weeks off, as long as her blood counts allow it. Her next MRI is May 28th. Please continue to pray that she wins this battle with this beast. Thank You for all your prayers and support.
Chrissy Pawlowski 5/22/03
One Year Brain Cancer Survivor
Chrissy had her MRI yesterday. There is still no improvement but has not progressed and that is good. Her next round of chemo that was to be started on June 1st. will have to be delayed due to poor blood counts. She will be getting regular intravenous infusions at the hospital to help protect her from pneumonia. She had her first infusion yesterday and slept for 18 hours afterwards. Hopefully her bloodcount will come up enough to get her back on chemo to prevent progression. Please Pray.... reduce tumor.... increase bloodcounts. Chrissy had some anxiety before her MRI but has always her spirits are great.
Starting round five of chemo today. It was delayed due to bloodcounts. Her plateletes are still low but her doctor said to start the chemo for four weeks instead of six weeks. Her bloodcounts will be monitored and she will still be getting the intravenous infusions . Her next MRI will be in three months.
Today is her last day of chemo for round five. She had her second intravenous infusions last week. Her next MRI is scheduled for August 6th. and she will be seeing the whole team of doctors at Children's Memorial that day. Her bloodcounts will be checked tomorrow. She is admired by so many with how she has endured through this. She is an inspiration to us all.
Chrissy has someone new in her life. His name is Brian, he is a policeman and on the S.W.A.T. Team. They have been dating for almost 8 weeks now. She is incredibly happy. He is very caring and good for her. Brian has taken an active part in Chrissy's rehabilitation.
Chrissy had her 3rd infusion on July 23rd. Brian accompanied her to the hospital for that. Her next MRI is still scheduled for Aug. 6th. The blood counts are continuing to decrease. She still needs your prayers.
Miracles do happen
Chrissy went into Children's Memorial today for her 4th infusion and had a reaction to it that caused her blood pressure to drop drastically. The infusion was immediately stopped and she was given an injection to bring her blood pressure back up which made her very tired and was kept awake by her nurse to keep her from going unconscious. When her blood pressure was stabilized, she had a long nap. Her doctor was out of town during this and we will hear from him when he returns as what to do when her next infusion is due.
Chrissy had her fifth infusion today. Due to the reaction she had with her last infusion, her doctor pre-medicated her to prevent the same thing from happening again. (see 8/27/03)
There has been a noticeable change in Chrissy's speech. She has been having a harder time finding words and speaking. She has been more tired then usual. This concerns her doctor, so he has moved up her next MRI date to Oct. 22.
Her appetite has been poor and she has been having stomach pains, similar to an ulcer. This has been the result of the chemo therapy. She is on an ulcer medication.
More prayers Please!!!
The nausea continues, and now she gets car sick. I spoke with her doctor yesterday and he wants to move up her MRI again to this Monday Oct. 6th. Chrissy is very worried ...as we all are.
Please circulate prayer requests.
Chrissy had her MRI yesterday. The results showed a slight change (new growth) from her last MRI on 08/06/03. Not what we wanted to hear.
She is going into the hospital tomorrow for a spinal tap to make sure cancer cells haven't traveled anywhere else in her body. Her tumor may have stopped responding to her current chemo therapy. Her team of doctors will be meeting on Thursday to study these new MRI findings and discuss new treatment for her. Her doctor wants her to consider radiation therapy. She continues to be weak, tired & nauseous. The picture below was taken yesterday at the doctors. Her Aunt and several cousins also came with for support. She is amazing how she can be going through all of this and still have a smile.
Cousins Sarah, Tania, Chrissy (center), Kathleen & Aunt Kathy
All of Chrissy's doctors had a meeting to discuss her MRI's & neurological exam. They all agree that the tumor has progressed. She is no longer responding to the chemo and she should proceed with radiation. We are taking her to the hospital on Monday for her meeting with the radiologist and set everything up. She will be getting full brain radiation five days a week (Monday to Friday) for five weeks. Her doctors want to keep a close eye on her treatments so she won't be able to get these treatments locally. It's about four to five hours of driving each day, depending on traffic.
We are not giving up hope.... Miracles do happen!!!
Thank You for all of your prayers.
Chrissy had her first radiation treatment yesterday. 24 more treatments to go. She experienced a mild headache in the evening and slept longer then usual. Her appetite is still poor. With the steroids she's taking to prevent brain swelling due to radiation we are hoping that will also increase her appetite.
It is getting more difficult for her to speak. Hopefully that will return soon.
Keeping the faith !!!
Chrissy has completed a very difficult week of radiation treatments. Four more weeks to go. She was hospitalized Friday at Children's Memorial in ICU after she was taken to ER. She has had some confusion & I was afraid she wasn't getting enough nutrition and fluids. She had become dehydrated and needed to be fed intravenously. She is continuing to loose weight. Her appetite has been so poor, she has been fighting us on eating and will take only enough water to get her pills down. All she wants to do is sleep. She also had a CT scan of her brain and we were worried what they saw was a hemorrhage. They kept her hospitalized for observation until it was determined to have been calcification. She came home today after she was stabilized. She was told if she doesn't start eating & drinking, she will get a port. Her boyfriend, Brian calls her and stops in to check on her to make sure she's eating & drinking. She will do it for him and he stays until she's done. She cheers up every time she sees or talks to him.
Week two of radiation is over with. Three more weeks to go. I thought the first week was rough. This is going to be hell for her. She is eating a little better but liquids still need to be pushed. She doesn't speak much any more. She has a difficult time communicating with us. She has Expressive aphasia: (difficulty in conveying thoughts) and Receptive aphasia: (difficulty understanding spoken or written language) and Apraxia: (unable to perform common expressive gestures on request, such as waving good-bye) She sleeps most of the day. It takes a lot of effort for her to go to her radiation treatments. We were told that she will loose her hair in week three, which is coming up. Her hair wrap that she has had fell out today. Her boyfriend, Brian has been here with her whenever possible. She is always so happy to see him. These next few weeks of radiation and the weeks to follow of recuperation will be very hard on her. She is going to need lots of love & care & prayers.
Her doctor has added three more radiation treatments for a total of 28. She just had her 14th treatment. This past week has so far been the most drastic. We are praying that this will be the plateau. I can't imagine her getting any worse than she is now.
She no longer speaks except for saying no & yeah. She can't walk anymore. She is not able to feed herself and she is having difficulty with swallowing. It takes a lot of effort to sit up and needs to be propped up. She is constantly tired and incoherent. Her hair has fallen out in this past week. She still looks beautiful.
Her doctor feels that it would be a good time to involve Hospice part time so that I can start being just Mom and not always nurse.
We are bringing her into the hospital later today so that she can be admitted for a spinal MRI and severe constipation.
Family and friends drop in frequently to give support. Chrissy's cousin Margaret flew in from New York to spend some time with her and to help out. She is not too aware of what's going on. I am trying to keep a journal and take photos for her of what's going on around her so we can show it all to her when she is done with radiation and she starts to recover. I want her to see how loved she is by everyone.
Chrissy is in the hospital. I only have a moment here at home until I want to run back there to be with her.
Thursday, Chrissy has suffered multiple grand mall seizures that has left her in a coma. She has had over 200 mini seizures to follow.
She has strength and love all around her. All of the family have been here for her. The hospital here has set up a room for visiting family. We have family coming in from Japan, San Antonio, Arizona, New York & Alaska to be by her side.
Chrissy is in hospice care at the hospital.
Please continue the prayers so that she remains peaceful and painfree.
She will soon be our ANGEL.
Chrissy received her wings today at about 12:22 PM
She fought her 18 month battle with courage. She never complained or asked why this happened to her. She has touched the hearts of so many people.
11/06/2002 POSTED BY FRIEND
Chrissy is on day 14 of chemo. this is her 2nd round of 6 weeks. It's a bit tougher then before because she never fully recovered from her first round of chemo. Her white count is decreasing, so we are watching that carefully. If she feels well enough and we have the doctors OK. Chrissy will be accompanied by family and cousins to Florida in time to celebrate Chrissy's 22nd. birthday. Please keep her in your prayers.
10/26/2002 POSTED BY FRIEND
Since the last update, Chrissy has finished her 6 weeks of chemo on Sept. 17th. She and has been on an alternative therapy program to detoxify her since. Her MRI on Sept 23rd. showed her tumor to be less infiltrating which is what the chemo was supposed to do, so that is good !!! She will have another MRI on Oct. 23rd. Providing her blood work comes back OK, she will start round 2 of another 6 weeks of chemo, Her white count is down & she has a nasty cold right now. If she feels strong enough Chrissy & her family will be traveling to Florida on DEC 1st. Chrissy will be celebrating her 22nd. birthday in Disneyworld on DEC. 2nd. If anyone would like to send Chrissy a birthday wish, her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and I will print them out for her and give them to her on her birthday. For birthday cards please send an e-mail to request address.
9/01/2002 POSTD BY FRIEND
Chrissy is continuing to have more energy. Her appetite is good and she has a little movement in her hand. She is getting home therapy (physical and occupational) three times a week. The family went to their summer cottage this weekend and at a nearby fair, Brad Paisley was appearing. Chrissy acquired a meet and greet pass and her mom accompanied her. She got to meet not only Brad but his fiancee/girlfriend Kimberly. She didn't stay for the concert. Chrissy is on day 28 of her chemo treatments. At the end of her 42 day treatments, Chrissy is going to try alternative therapy until her next round of chemo.
August 25, 2002 POSTED BY FRIEND
Chrissy has been feeling a little stronger. She has been on the steroids along with chemo. Her appetite has improved. They have stopped her radiation treatments because of the fatigue and reaction. She will continue her chemo treatments. She's on day 18 of 42 days of chemo. Last night she stayed overnight with friends for the first time since the onset of her illness. The family was disappointed that the Terry Fox Run/Walk was cancelled this past week due to inclement weather. They had prepared specially imprinted t-shirts for the team who were going to accompany Chrissy. When word came the walk was cancelled, the family all donned their t-shirts and took Chrissy out for the evening to help her forget about her illness.
August 11, 2002 POSTED BY FRIEND
The benefit was very successful. It began at 12 noon and was over at 2 a.m. Over 700 people attended including Chrissy and her family. Chrissy had a great time, staying until the end at 2 am. She is very tired today. Today was day 5 of 42 consecutive days of chemo treatments. Radiation starts tomorrow. If Chrissy feels okay, the family will drive up to their old campground next weekend for the day to see old friends.
August 5, 2002: POSTED BY FRIEND
Chrissy's results from her recent biopsy at Children's Memorial (CM) came back today and the doctors at CM agree with the first diagnosis. However, the Mayo clincic is going to look at the results to see if they concur with Children's Memorial. Chrissy starts up chemo again on Wednesday for 42 more days, and she will start radiation either later this week or next Monday. Chrissy is excited about her benefit on the 10th and plans to attend. Chris reports a local radio station interviewed Chrissy's doctor who discussed her rare disease.
August 2, 2002: POSTED BY FRIEND
Chrissy is home from the hospital today after having her biopsy. She is tired and lethargic. The pathology report won't be available until Monday. Chrissy's chemo was stopped prior to the biopsy after 14 days and won't resume until Monday. Numerous family members are visiting Chrissy today to lift her spirits.
July 31, 2002: POSTED BY FRIEND
Chris called to say Chrissy was having an open biopsy today under full anesthesia at Children's Memorial Hospital. She hasn't started her radiation yet. Instead the doctor at the Mayo Clinic who is also analyzing her results (to see if he concurs with Children's Memorial's course of treatment) wanted to see another tissue sample. Chris is asking everybody to say prayers for Chrissy.
July 28, 2002: POSTED BY FRIEND
Chrissy has finished her twelfth day of chemo. She has been fitted with a mask to use with her radiation treatments which start tomorrow (Monday). The mask will help doctors pinpoint the radiation doses. She will have full head radiation. Doctors are treating her aggressively in hopes of shrinking the tumor. Chrissy isn't very hungry today and has a metallic taste in her mouth from the chemo.
Chrissy is on day 34 of chemo. 8 more days to go. She will be seeing her oncologist tomorrow for his approval for going to Florida. We will be leaving this Sunday. She feels pretty good except for the lose of appetite due to the chemo. I'm pretty sure she will get to go. When we get back from Florida, she will have another MRI.
Chrissy finished her chemo on Dec 4th and had another MRI on Dec. 18th. There was no improvement after this last round. The doctor said that was OK because that also means that the cancer hasn't progressed. She will start another 6 weeks of chemo after the new year. First we have to fatten her up a bit.
Chrissy is on round three of her six week chemo that she started on Jan. 8th. She is tolerating it pretty good. She takes Reliv nutrition drinks with vitamins that help replenish what the chemo destroys. She sleeps a lot during the day. She still goes for therapy which I think helps her get around on her own. She uses the wheel chair less than before, unless she goes out where there will be more walking than she can handle. I will be taking her to the George Strait Concert on Jan.31st. if she feels up to it.
Today was day 42, and the last day of round three for Chrissy's chemo. She seemed to have handled it well, except for being so tired and lack of an appetite. Her next MRI will be Monday, Feb 24th. We are praying for those results to be positive news. Because of her tumor being so diffused it is difficult to determine it's progress. Please continue to pray for that miracle!!
Chrissy has been able to get out a little more and went to a couple concerts with family to see George Strait. She also had the oppourtunity to meet with him. She went with her life long friend, Dana to one of the concerts. They had a great time and for the night, she forgot about her illness. Look at the photo album under Country Music for pictures.
We received the results from the MRI that Chrissy had on Monday 2/24/03
Still no improvement. This was the 2nd. MRI that showed no change. The doctor said to look at this optimistically. He wants her back on chemo starting March 18th. for another six weeks. Her blood counts are low so those will have to be watched carefully. We will keep you updated on her progress. We know that there are so many people who care for Chrissy and are praying for her. THANK YOU,.... GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!
Chrissy had her oncology appointment last week to make sure everything was OK to get started on her 4th round of chemo therapy. Although her last two MRI'S showed no improvement, the doctor gave her the go ahead to start. He doesn't want to change protocol. He believes that it could be the Temodar (chemo) that is holding the tumor at bay. I also believe that all of your prayers for Chrissy are helping. Please keep them coming!!!
Her spirits are very good. She never complains about what she is going through. She tries very hard to adapt to her physical disabilities. She has taught herself how to tie her shoes with one hand. Her therapist was amazed, because she said she doesn't even know how to do that. They just recommend Velcro.
We are waiting for results from a biopsy taken from a lump that was found under her arm by her physical therapist. It most likely is benign but it is painful so may need to be removed. Today is one month since she has started her 4th round of chemo. She is a little more tired then usual. Her doctor would like to see Chrissy be more active, so she is a volunteer at Blackberry Farms, doing critter visits with children. Please keep up the prayers.
Chrissy's biopsy taken from under her arm is benign. Thank You to all who are praying for Chrissy. May 18th will mark one year from the time we first took Chrissy into urgent care and our lives were changed forever. She is a fighter for sure. She is adjusting to her disabilities and learns to do things for herself. She has three more days of chemo before she takes a break for a month and then she starts round five as long as her blood counts are within acceptable levels. They are low right now.
We are leaving for Florida tomorrow to spend some time with Chrissy & Brittany's Grandparents, Aunt & Uncle & Cousins. I will include some photos when we return.