Tough Reality…

It’s Jaimie again… I am going to be brief here and leave out a lot of details, sorry in advance.

As most of you have probably heard, we are headed down a tough road. On September 28th mom was put on Palliative Care, which means they were coming to the house to assist with medications and evaluate her situation. Wednesday the nurse came because she was in a lot of pain, feeling really nauseous, not eating, sleeping around the clock and filling with fluid again. We took her back to the hospital where they admitted her again.

At this point, all they can do for her is manage her pain and relieve her symptoms. This is called “comfort care”, meaning they are not preventing anything, prolonging anything or hasting anything.

She had a very rough Thursday and Friday and lots of family coming to visit because at this point, we just don’t know how long she has.

Saturday we fought with the hospital to get her pain meds up’d and to have her drained because she was so uncomfortable. They finally managed to put her on a drip of her pain meds for a continuous flow instead of a rush every 2 hours and then it wearing off because they couldn’t stay ahead of the pain. At 9pm she finally went in for the procedure to be drained. Sunday, she and my dad decided, it was time come home (on hospice), but not before making it to Jacob’s First Birthday Party. She surprised me and everyone else at the party by showing up, she lasted just a little over an hour for pictures and socialized with everyone. It was the best day for me in a long long time.

As of Sunday, hospice is now managing her care, they brought all the necessary equipment for her while she is home. She has a nurse who visits 3 times a week or more as needed and a doctor who is her attending physician while on hospice. Today, when the doctor came to see her, he told us that she could have one day, or a few or possibly up to a few weeks. Nobody can be certain.

What I will say, is that anyone who knows my mom knows how hard she fought and knows how hard it is to watch her suffer. I just don’t want her to feel one more ounce of pain for even one more minute.

On behalf of my mom and my dad, I want to say thank you for thinking of our family, and praying for healing and comfort for my mom. For those of you who want to “help”, the only thing we could really use at this time is help with meals. It is difficult to care for my mom and manage day to day tasks and remember to plan meals for the kids.

There is a calendar here if you would like to sign up…

To access Diane Gibson’s personal CareCalendar site,
visit and enter
the following information in the appropriate spaces:
CALENDAR ID : 152720

If you would like to help out in other ways please visit this link:

We love you all!

❤ Jaimie



Hi Everyone! It’s Jaimie! I know it’s been a long while since we posted an update and let me tell you…. A LOT has changed!

Where do I even begin? I will start by saying that there has been so much back and forth and new developments that I can’t get into every lengthy detail. I will try to cover everything in this update though.

Mom started her 3rd type of chemo on July 24th. She had said that some of her pain was subsiding and thought that this chemo may be working finally and she was headed in the right direction.

Over the course of the following month she was beginning to feel more discomfort, bloating and full feeling. Nothing she would eat would sit right with her. She was most comfortable laying down with heat on her tummy. The doctors discovered that there was fluid building up in my moms abdominal cavity but unless it got to be “excessive” there was really nothing they could do for her.

The doctor had cleared her to go on a trip to Georgia with me, Charity and Jacob as a memory making trip. We left on Tuesday August 21st and she was skipping her chemo which was scheduled for Wednesday.

Traveling to Georgia went fairly smoothly. Charity was a big helper and mom had assistance all the way there.


Our trip was so relaxing. We stayed in a town called Lyerly which is on the border of Georgia and Alabama with one of my mom’s best friends Joy and her hubby Jeff. They live on a beautiful ranch style home that sits on 80 acres. A beautiful view, a pool and peaceful place to spend our time.


On my Birthday we went to Chattanooga Tennessee. We spent the day at the Aquarium.




Then went back to town and had dinner at a place called Jefferson’s.


Mom did really well overall on Monday, she got really tired and started to have increased pain in her abdomen after walking through the first half of the Aquarium so we got her a wheelchair and she made it through the rest of the day.

Tuesday we had to pack up and travel back to Atlanta to catch our flight home. We all got off to a late start and mom was having a hard time getting up and going. She was in a tremendous amount of pain and had the full, bloated feeling (which had been building up for well over a month, and progressively getting worse).

Our travels home were not as happy and smooth as they were going to GA. She was practically in tears for 8+ hours. Trying to hold it together until we got home.

Wednesday 8/28 mom decided that the pain was too much and she needed to be seen and try to get to the source of the problem. She went to the Emergency room and was admitted, they ran a series of tests, blood work to see where her markers were, and drained several liters of fluid.

Over the course of the next month, she steadily declined having more bad days than good and needing to be drained more frequently than before. Hospital stays lasted several days each time.

And The Fight Continues

Since my last update I have had 3 rounds of chemo and with that they have now added another step in this battle. I now take Neupogen shots everyday for 6 days starting on the Saturday after my week of chemo. These daily shots help to regenerate my White Blood Cells and allows my body to not dip in to the low #’s preventing me from treatment. The draw back is that I am in some pretty significant pain for a couple of the days that I am taking them. The pain I experience is a deep bone pain so I take pain meds to help combat that.

As for the new chemo treatments the side effects seem to be sticking around a lot longer than they did after my first round. I have experienced neuropathy in my fingers, toes and in my mouth. Because of this side effect I am unable to eat or drink anything cold with ice or any of my favorites things. I have experienced a very weird taste and food just isn’t the same for me.

I try to push myself to do things as I can, as I get a little depressed when my mind is motivated and my body is not! Seems though that for everyday I do push and might over do I find that I need to have 2 days to recover!! However I want to live in the now and continue to be with the kids and Geoff doing what I am able so when the body says to stop I have to listen and just rest…

I have such a wonderful husband he has been so great in picking up and taking care of the household and the kids. I know that this has also been difficult for him as he is still working fulltime and handling such a huge load! He handles everything but there are times when I just wished I had the energy to be more of a help. I know he misses my cooking and taking care the meals!! Recently a new calendar was setup my Marla Sheik not sure if you have the link but if anyone that lives close to us is willing to help with meals here and there I know he would really appreciate it as would I. Here is the link and the passcodes.

To access Diane Gibson’s personal CareCalendar site,
visit and enter
the following information in the appropriate spaces:

CALENDAR ID : 152720

I have such a huge support system and you all continue to pray for me and I am so grateful for all that and the love that you show me through the notes, emails and phone calls. It means so much to me!!!!

I continue to have a strong and determined attitude. I will not give into this cancer or into this fight!!!!!

Until next time…

❤ Diane

Update 5.30.13

I again want to apologize to you for not posting anything since the beginning of May!

After my treatment on May 1, the next week I was due to have another round however  I was not able to since my white cell count was really low. Being low means they aren’t able to continue until they come up.  My doctor decided to postpone for one week and see what my counts were then. Unfortunately, that next week it wasn’t the white blood cells but my platelets that were extremely low and if they dropped much lower than I would need to have a transfusion. So again he postponed my treatment.  On May 17th I had a CT scan and anxiously awaited the results.

Geoff and I received the call on Tuesday evening from my Dr. He had been waiting to get all of the data together and reviewed with Dr. Yuan from City of Hope. She was the doctor we saw for our 2 opinion. She still is not convinced that where my cancer started was in the breast. She and her team are still thinking that is has something to do with my GI tract. The news that we were given was not exactly what I was hoping for however it really wasn’t that bad!   The Cancer has not spread,(PRAISE GOD) although there has been some growth of the tumors on the liver but minutely. Doctor didn’t seem to concerned about that he was however concerned with the fact that my blood counts are not bouncing back quickly which is delaying my treatment!  The doctors decided that what course I was on wasn’t really working even with missing 2 different treatments. They have decided to put me on a whole new regiment this consists of going every other week I had my first treatment last Wednesday and was there for approximately 4hrs and received 2 different medications that have to be given together over 2 1/2 hrs. Then I have given a boost of another medication over a 10 minute period, once that was complete then I was sent home with a pump of the same medication to be administered over 46hrs. This treatment plan has a name it is called FOLFOX. This is known to be a treatment used for Colon Cancer.  Doctor said to me that it is a more aggressive treatment and it works on all Cancer’s in that region.

With this new regimen comes new side effects. I am not allowed to have anything cold to eat or drink in the first 5 days after treatment as this can cause my esophagus to close and have breathing issues. Neuropathy is another side effect and its pretty intense! I experienced that the first night! Touching anything that is cold or frozen sends a feeling of tingling or electricity through my hands. I have been told that I really need to wear gloves when reaching into for anything out of the fridge. That’s a hard one to get use too. Then there are the effects that I had before loss of hair, being tired and lack of energy. It literally took from Wed to Monday to finally feel like I was able to get up and around. I pray and hope that this treatment plan works. I noticed that I am still experiencing a few pains here and there and that is different than the last regimen. Once I had treatment that pains would go away. I meet with my Dr again before the 3rd round and will discuss all the questions I am sure to have by then!!!

After this first round and seeing it take me down for almost 5 days Geoff and I would like to ask for help again with meals if anyone would like to help us again. This is just one area that is such a HUGE help to our family as I was the primary cook.

I will do my best to try an update this more regularly!!

With love,

Until next time…


Update 5.3.13

I know it’s been a while since we updated here, I apologize as I have had a busy couple of weeks with out-of-town guests, the fundraiser and treatment or lack there of.

Since we last met here, I was so blessed to be honored in such a wonderful way, at such a beautiful place with so many amazing friends! Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy lives to come enjoy the evening with me and to those who donated and participated in every way. It was beyond my wildest dreams that so many people would come to support me and lift my spirits and you all did just that!!

Following the fundraiser I should have had a chemo treatment on April 17th but at my blood workup on Tuesday my counts were so incredibly low that I was not able to have my session and I was quarantined to my house. They call this Neutropenia. Neutropenia is a granulocyte disorder characterized by an abnormally low number of neutrophils. Neutrophils usually make up 50-70% of circulating white blood cells and serve as the primary defense against infections by destroying bacteria in the blood. My blood counts need to be above 1500 in order to receive treatment and at this lab, my counts were below 300.

The following week on April 24th (my scheduled “off” week from chemo), I had an appointment at City of Hope with a doctor for a second opinion. Unfortunately the doctor was not prepared to discuss my case because Kaiser had not sent all my test results, labs and records in a timely manner in order for City of Hope to run their own pathology reports and make an educated second opinion.  After leaving there with not much more information that we already knew, I continued to wait for Kaiser to complete the records request and City of Hope to complete their pathology.

Having not had chemo for nearly two weeks, I began to experience the same pain and discomfort in my lower abdomen (my liver region) that I was feeling when I was diagnosed in early March, which I can attribute to lack of drugs attacking and killing the cancer. At the same time I was experiencing pains, I was also a little less fatigued and had an increased appetite since the chemo was basically out of my system. Needless to say and quite surprising, I was looking forward to my next chemo (which was this past Wednesday May 1st) so that the pain would subside.

Yesterday, the City of Hope doctor called with her second opinion conclusion… she informed me that the tumor board met on Wednesday to discuss my case. Their pathologist discussed with the doctor that they feel their findings indicate that the cancer started in my GI track or pancreatic biliary. They feel that they would need to request the biopsy block from Kaiser to continue further evaluations. At this point she indicated that their diagnosis is conclusive with Kaiser (Carcinoma of the unknown primary) which is ultimately not breast cancer. They believe that Kaiser may not have enough tissue left from their original biopsy to continue testing without going back in for additional tissue (another biopsy) and this may not even give a definitive answer as to where the cancer originated. That being said, the consultation has ended for the time being. The treatment plan remains the same, they agree with Kaisers protocol and indicated this chemo covers whatever type of cancer this is, in those areas.

I have still not experienced too many side effects, I am physically exhausted which has been the norm for quite some time. I am not violently ill, just a little nauseous throughout the day, usually when I have an empty stomach. I continue to shed hair more than usual which is expected but I haven’t gone bald yet, obviously 🙂

My spirits are high and I’m taking things day by day. Love each and every one of you!

Thank you for your continued prayers, love and support.

Until next time…

❤ Diane




Chemotherapy Port Surgery & 3rd Chemo Appointment

Tuesday mom had her port surgery. It was a long day.

It was rough, she went from not being hungry because of this disease and chemotherapy making everything sound gross or taste disgusting  to starving because she had to fast for her surgery.

Surgery was scheduled at 3:30pm and she was home by 7:00pm. Had a hard time sleeping after the meds wore off and she has to get used to having the port and finding a comfortable way to sleep.

This is what her port looks like… Swelling should go down hopefully soon!! Her neck is tense and She’s sore but Dr says it went well!!



She had Chemo on Wednesday. This was her 1st round of her 2nd cycle. She did well, rested most of the day and then went to Aaron’s baseball game for a little bit. Overall she’s feeling pretty good, all things considered.

Today she has been down most of the day, trying to rest and keep her pain and discomfort at a minimum.

We love you all! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and support in every way possible!

Until next time…

❤ Jaimie


One Round Down… Six more to go….

Although I couldn’t attend the fundraiser at Flamingo’s I want to personally thank each and every person who dined there in support of me. I can feel the love and prayers from all of you. I also want to extend a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to Lynette Brinkis for organizing these events and to Flamingo’s for coming together as part of this amazing community!! I will do my best to attend the benefit on April 13th and I hope all of you can too!!

As for my treatment…July seems so far away….

I feel very blessed to not have had any real side effects yet. The only thing I can attribute to chemo so far would be lack of energy and fatigue. I try everyday to get up and at least shower and stay out of bed for as long as possible.

This week, on Monday I met with my oncologist. He went over my PET scan results and discussed what we basically already knew. I have stage 4 breast cancer which has metastasized into my liver. His goal is to put me into remission so that I can continue to lead a full and normal life, while maintaining chemotherapy.

My chemotherapy happens for two consecutive weeks and then I have an off week. This happens to be my off week and I can definitely feel that my counts have dropped.

Next week I will be having my port placed on my left shoulder on Tuesday and then my next round starts Wednesday. I have heard that as I continue I may begin to feel more side effects. I am praying they aren’t too bad.

I also want everyone to know how incredible it feels to be part of a community that comes together when a family is in need. Thank you to everyone who has signed up on the calendar to bring meals and assist wherever needed and have been here since this all began.

I love you all!!

Until next time…

❤ Diane



The road begins… After Chemo & finally a PET Scan

I’m sure you’ve all been very anxious to hear what’s been going on the past few days.

The MRI results showed that I do in fact have breast cancer! There is no mass in either side, the cancer was thought to be there at one time and has moved to a right lymph node under my breast about 2 inches away from my liver.

Wednesday I began chemotherapy. Which didn’t seem to be too bad. I have not had any side effects until yesterday.

Yesterday I had to fast because I had my PET scan. Lack of substance in my system and only being able to drink water, may have contributed to my nausea. It was an incredibly long day waiting to get the scan. My appointment wasn’t until 12:45pm and I wasn’t seen until 2:15pm because I had to drink the contrast and wait.

The oncologist originally told me that my PET scan results wouldn’t be back until Monday or Tuesday. Around 6pm I received a phone call from him, informing me that he already had the results!

I am happy to report that my cancer has not spread anywhere except one lymph node and throughout my liver. I have officially been diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer of the Liver. My chemo will run for 6 rounds (2 weeks on 1 week off is one round).

With this news, even though I have a treatment plan in place, Im still going to get a second opinion.

Although no cancer is a good cancer, breast cancer is more commonly treated and has a higher rate of response to chemotherapy. I am very optimistic about the future and I plan to kick cancers ass!

Thank you all for your continued support, love and prayers!!

Until next time…

❤ Diane

Preparing for the battle..

What a surprise it was for Mom and Dad to have breakfast made for them today. Thank you Shari and Russ for the delicious start to the day and your amazing friendship! They really enjoyed spending time with you this morning.

Saturday was a good day for Mom, she was able to eat well and consumed a lot of protein which made her feel more energetic and she enjoyed the day with Dad and Charity, overall her spirits are high as she prepares for this next week.

We’re still trying to diagnose the primary source of this cancer. Mom had her MRI Saturday and is scheduled for her PET scan this coming Friday (unless we are lucky enough to get it moved to a sooner date), these tests should confirm the primary source and we are still hopeful it is primary breast cancer as the treatment for this type of cancer has the highest success rate.

Monday Mom and Dad go in for Chemo orientation which will tell them what to expect, side effects, protocol etc. Mom starts Chemo this Wednesday.

We don’t know exactly what to expect, but we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Everyone has been so generous and offering to help in whatever way they could and we are so gracious and appreciative. I knew my mom was superwoman but until she physically couldn’t do it all anymore, I don’t think anyone realized how much she really did and carried on her shoulders. She reads every post and is so completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support that she is receiving from everyone!

Anticipating that mom will be very sick, we have come up with a few things that we could really use some help with.

1)      Germ Free Environment- With my mom’s already suppressed immune system and the effects from the Chemo; we want to ensure the house stays as clean as possible. We are looking for referrals for a housekeeper to come once a week and thoroughly clean the house.

This person should be:

  • Trustworthy
  • Kind
  • Understanding of the situation, able to “work around” Diane
  • Inexpensive (we don’t really have “extra” funds for this)

If anyone has a referral for us, please email me directly at

2)      This also means we are asking that all visits are scheduled, no drop by visits please. All visitors must be in good health, we don’t want to risk any exposure during this time to the flu etc.  Thanks for understanding.

3)      Dinners- Thank you so much to those of you who have brought or are bringing dinner!!  If you are signed up for a dinner, or plan to sign up for a dinner, there will be an ice chest in the front of the house to drop off dinner in case Diane isn’t feeling up to visitors.

4)      Sheets- We are anticipating a need to change sheets often, we would like to collect some extra sheets, these can be new or gently used twin size (84″ long x 36″ wide x12” deep) fitted sheets. If you can donate these, that would be incredibly helpful.

Thank you so much for everyone’s thoughts, prayers and kind words. You have no idea what it means to us as a family to know that we have so much support and love!

Until next time…

❤ Jaimie

the emotional roller-coaster continues…

Wow! What a whirlwind we have been through in the last 36 hours!

After a 2 hour appointment yesterday, I was still left with uncertainty. The pathology reports had still not been interpreted. (The top regional pathologist was out of town this week and just returned yesterday to review my medical records) We were told we should have a definitive answer back by the end of the day.

The oncologist was 95% sure this was Cholangio carcinoma- Bile Duct Cancer, which had spread to my liver. There was still a 5% CHANCE this could be an infection but I would be violently ill if it were.

Cholangio carcinoma is a rare type of cancer found in the liver bile ducts and could be caused by my underlying medical condition (Ulcerative colitis, which I have had for almost 10 years.) Typical cases of this cancer are found in older people, in other countries and other ethnicities so I was not a prime candidate. I was devastated to hear that this cancer is not curable, only 2 in 100,000 people get it, radiation was not an option, it is a fast progressing and aggressive cancer and chemotherapy only had a 25% chance of slowing this cancer down.

Because this cancer had already spread to my liver, there wasn’t really talk of a liver transplant because the bile ducts cannot be removed or replaced and the cancer would just infect a new liver, along with the possibility of my body rejecting it.

The next step is a PET scan (Positron emission tomography is a nuclear medical imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body.) and next week to start chemotherapy (no matter what kind of cancer this is)!

I came home with a number to call to coordinate all the following appointments. Kaiser, being the lovely medical group they are, cannot get me in for a PET scan until March 22nd within 100 mile radius. That may not seem like a long time to someone who wasn’t just diagnosed with incurable cancer. So we called around to try to seek out other medical facilities for a PET scan and a second opinion. We hit a few road blocks with insurance and money being an issue and time against us.

Around 5pm last night, the oncologist called me to tell me that the pathology reports were back!  The results showed that I have “Carcinoma of the unknown primary”. Which means I do not have PRIMARY liver cancer (as we thought from my hospital stay last week) He was still unsure if it was Cholangio carcinoma. What he did know is that I have some type of SECONDARY liver cancer that originated from somewhere else in my body and my elevated breast cancer markers indicated the oncologist to believe that despite my clear mammograms and physical breast exams, this is likely breast cancer.

Yesterday was beyond exhausting…

This morning started with a phone call back to the coordinator to find out if she had found any sooner appointments for the PET scan. By 2pm she still hadn’t called me back.

I finally received a call telling me that she had exhausted all her options for locations within 100 mile radius for anything sooner than the 22nd.

I then received a phone call from my GI doctor, who has been following me since I was in the hospital and working with the oncologist. She indicated to me that after reviews some more results that she feels I am truly dealing with breast cancer. I am awaiting two more tests that will give us a final confirmation as well as getting an MRI. They have together decided, with my agreement, to proceed with chemotherapy next week to treat me.

I am anxious to get a final, official diagnosis and to start my road to wellness. I am not going down without a fight!

Bottom line:  Kaiser thinks that I have BREAST CANCER that has metastasized into my liver. Which is way better news than I received yesterday.

Until next time…

❤ Diane