My Cancer Update:

We are so very grateful for ALL your prayers, words of encouragement, and physical help!  Thank you so very much!

For all our family and friend, we will try to update as time and energy allow.  As we do, please note that we will post the newest information at the top with the older information to follow.  Hope this makes sense!

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January 2016

December 2016
No appointments??!!

November 2016
6 month CT scan: stable

October 2016
Medicine side-effects = doctor’s appt = new medicine

September 2016
Post-op follow-up

8/16/16
Scheduled surgery for full hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy

7/13/16 – 7/26/16
Radiation

7/7/17
Radiation preparation

7/6/16
Radiation oncology consultation

7/5/16
Follow-up for MRI results

7/1/16
MRI on spine

6/27/16
Follow-up for CT scan results

6/22/16
CT scan on spine

6/20/16
Medical oncologist appt: 6 month post-cancer follow-up

4/18/16
Post-op surgical appt

3/21/16
Post-op surgical appt: incision care and drain removal
Medical oncologist appt: 3 month post-cancer follow-up

3/10/16
Scheduled right side mastectomy:
(overnight hospital stay)

3/3/16
Surgical consultation for mastectomy:
(right breast)

3/1/16
Insurance-required family doctor physical.

2/29/16 – 3/4/16
Call from doctor’s office cancelling outpatient surgery for right side breast reduction:
(Too many phone calls to reschedule or cancel appointments in order to put the schedule of my life back into some semblance of order after my cancelled surgery.)

2/23/16
Bloodwork and EKG for upcoming outpatient surgery on March 1st

2/19/16
Plastic surgeon consultation
(paperwork for breast reduction, etc…)

1/29/16
Radiation oncologist
(post-cancer follow-up)

12/31/15
Begin new session with lymphatic/physical therapist
(2 days a week till end of February)

12/23/15
Surgical oncologist follow-up
(port removal; mammogram results)

12/14/15
Plastic surgeon consultation

11/30/15
Mammogram

11/23/15
Survivor’s Class

11/4/15
Medi-port removal

11/3/15
Medi-port flush

10/29/15
Radiation is COMPLETE!

10/21/15
Medical oncologist
(follow-up appointment)

10/6/15
Medi-port flush: successful

9/15/15
Radiation begins…
Monday through Friday till 10/29/15

9/14/15
Plastic surgeon post-op appointment: stitches removed

9/8/15
Medi-port flush: unsuccessful

9/2/15
Radiation oncology appointment
(radiation simulation)

8/26/15
Lymphatic therapist appointment

8/25/15
Plastic surgeon post-op appointment

8/24/15
Lymphatic therapist appointment

8/20/15
Outpatient surgery to remove infected expander

8/18/15
Plastic surgeon appointment

8/17/15
Radiation oncologist appointment

8/14/15
Lymphatic therapist appointment

8/12/15
Lymphatic therapist appointment
Medi-port flush

8/10/15
Radiation preparation appointment
(radiation is still on hold until my 2nd surgery incision stops leaking).  

A blog post coming soon!

8/6/15
Lymphatic therapist appointment
Impromptu appointment for memory test

8/5/15
Plastic surgeon appointment: drain removal

7/28/15
Medical oncologist appointment

7/17/15
Begin hormone therapy: Tamoxifen

7/16/15
Outpatient Surgery to remove seroma

7/14/15
Medi-port flush

7/13/15
Plastic surgeon appointment

7/10/15
Rehabilitation lymphatic therapy appointment

7/8/15
Rehabilitation lymphatic therapy appointment

7/7/15
Plastic surgeon appointment: more fluid removal

7/2/15
Plastic surgeon appointment: more fluid removal
UPDATE: radiation is on hold until my fluid-y issue is resolved!

6/30/15
Post-op surgical oncologist appointment
Impromptu plastic surgeon appointment: drain removal; fluid removal

6/26/15
Impromptu plastic surgeon appointment: drainage issues

6/24/15
Rehabilitation lymphatic therapy appointment

6/18/15
Post-op surgical oncologist appointment

6/16/15
Medi-port flush
Post-op medical oncologist appointment
Post-op radiation oncologist appointment

6/10/15
Post-op plastic surgeon appointment

6/2/15
Scheduled left side mastectomy:  Read here!

5/26/15
Final Oncologist Surgical Consultation:  A modified radical mastectomy with axillary node dissection.  This procedure/surgery should begin about 11:30 am on June 2 and according to the surgeon, lasting approximately 3 1/2 hours.  I am neither overwhelmed or underwhelmed by all this, just WHELMED!  😉

4/23/15 – 5/25/15
Read here for what has and is going onA Month of Living

4/22/15
Chemo is officially over.  Due to neuropathy issues the doctor has decided to cancel my remaining 5 treatments.  I move slowly as I adjust to numbness in my feet and burning pain up and down my legs.  My arms do not like certain positions so if I never bend my wrist again… I’m good!  I have an appointment with the surgical oncologist next week to discuss the surgery.  Read here to know how thrilled I am about the surgery…

4/15/15
I restarted chemo this week.  Standard operating procedure: anti-nausea meds, steroids, Benadryl, chemo, forced nap, wake-up, go home.  Normal.  Typical.  Then came Saturday night and Sunday and Sunday night and so on…  The neuropathy has returned with a vengeance.  An appointment on the following Monday with the doctor to discuss how I’m doing.

4/8/15
Honestly?  I am ready to be done with this stuff…  No treatment for this week due to the neuropathy issues in my feet.  I feel like I am walking on feet-size waterbeds, or marshmallows as the doctor described it.  I am tired of being tired…  Wait, it’s actually more like I’m tired of being tired that I’m tired.  Yep!  That’s more like it.  Good news though:  my white blood count is back up into normal range and the neutropenia level is acceptable too!  Yeah for me!  Now if only I could re-inflate my wet noodle and want to do something of consequence…  Six more treatments to go?

4/1/15
11th chemo treatment…  Five more to go!  NOT.  Back to 10th chemo treatment…   They have notified me that my treatment is cancelled for this week…  My white blood count is borderline low as well as my neutropenia level.  This could explain feeling like a deflated wet noodle…  The fatigue is overwhelming right now.  Add all the other side effects and life is interesting here for my blessed little family!  The doctor has decreased my chemo dosage by 25% because of the peripheral neuropathy issues.  As he stated the purpose is not to create more problems, just fight the cancer.   Six more to go… unless they determine that the ‘more problems’ are more significant than desired!

3/25/15
10th chemo treatment…  Had a friend take me today because our schedule here is hectic.  Typical infusion: anti-nausea meds, steroids, Benadryl, forced nap for the chemo drug, wake-up, go home go back to sleep.  Ahhhh…  The life of luxury!  Neuropathy seems to continue to progress as well as all the other joyful side effects.  Six more to go!

3/18/15
9th chemo treatment…  Neuropathy is settling in to my hands?  My fine motors skills, in regards to with my fingers and hands, are interesting to observe and experience.  Not.  Give me a screw to screw in but make sure you double the time that it would normally take…  Talk about being all thumbs!  Seven more treatments to go…

3/11/15
8th chemo treatment…  Steroids are not my friend.  However, food loves me VERY much right now and apparently, I love it more than life itself.  Where’s the beef… and the chicken and the potatoes and the chocolate doughnuts and the candy and the soda and the cake and the cookies and the salsa and chips and the banana splits?  Seriously.  I would eat wall paste right now if I didn’t have that one normal-functioning brain cell, right now!  Eight more chemo treatments to go…

3/4/15
7th chemo treatment… I may be going cRAzY!  Night sweats do not promote well-rested night(s), at all.  Nine more chemo treatments to go!

2/25/15
6th chemo treatment…  This is the 2nd chemo treatment in the once-a-week 12 week cycle.  Football Fan reminds me that we are now officially halfway through the prescribed 20 weeks of chemo.  This 2nd treatment course doesn’t seem so bad compared to the 1st treatment course.  I am sleeping better and eating better.  The fatigue is still present, but the steroids make me hungry all the time and that is throwing my brain and waistline for a loop-d-loooooooooooo!  Between being pumped up from the steroids, having the cumulative affect of fatigue because of the chemo, eating whatever is with grasp, and having the muscle tone of a slug, I, my dear friends, am a sight to behold!  Enjoy that mental picture for a moment or two…  Ten more chemo treatments to go.

2/18/15
5th chemo treatment…  The 4th chemo treatment was the last of the ‘Red Devil‘.  Now I will begin a new course of treatment that will be once a week for 12 weeks (whereas the 1st 4 treatments were once every 2 weeks because it was the ‘harder stuff’).  

On my mark, get set, and here we go…

1/28/15
The 4th chemotherapy treatment is over and I have come out of it.  BUT, it was hard, very hard…  It took me almost 10 days compared to the usual 5 or 6 days and then my fibromyalgia set in…  I’m still in the midst of that as I prepare to start my next and new course of chemo for the next 12 weeks.  I have mixed emotions on top off a body, a soul, and a heart that are unsettled.  It’s hard  I won’t lie, but that I recognize the struggle is always the first step in working through the trial or the battle or the journey or whatever you want to call it.

1/14/15
What can I say?  Fatigue has a front door, a back door, and has complete control of all side entrances!  But I have survived this 3rd chemotherapy treatment…  It wasn’t always pretty and because of the graciousness and unending mental capacity of our friends, Brother-From-Another-Mother and his wife, Beautiful, who so blessedly allowed Camo Kid and Princess Pink to ‘hang’ with them for a couple or three days, I rested… ALOT!  The pattern for the chemo effects is emerging and knowing what to expect is… a blessing and a curse… in the words of our most favorite neurotic detective, Adrian Monk.  My friend, Beautiful, accompanied me to this 3rd treatment and she is still my friend.  But of course, she will always have to remain so because… she knows too much about me for me to relinquish that control!  Off for blood work tomorrow to see if I hit neutropenia yet…  Fun times, friends, fun times!

12/31/14
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.  And then they gave me steroids…  Actually, it has gone a bit better.  I find if I watch what I eat instead of what I may want then life is A LOT better for me and the world around me!  Although the garlic last night may have pushed my taste bud limits…  Seriously.  Yuck.  I’ve been sleeping more.  I feel lazy but I am being productive, I guess.  I still have to close my eyes on certain roads and take the regular anti-nausea meds when necessary, but I am learning to manage.  I have a serious hankering for my friend’s bacon wrapped water chestnuts with peach bbq glaze, but I guess I will have to wait a few more days for that!  I will officially go on medical leave from my job because driving the Big Yellow School Bus while having the immune system of whatever doesn’t have an immune system just doesn’t seem to be practical or wise.  My hair is shedding not-so-slowly anymore.  I had to get a much shorter style.  At this rate, I will be like one of those hairless dogs in a couple of weeks!  That will be another post for another day…

12/18/14
The first few days were rough: feeling nauseous like motion sickness and morning sickness together…  There are certain roads we avoid now!  My mouth has a love / hate relationship with me right now: it wants to revolt and I want to taste.  The Neulasta injection makes me achy, no achy breaky heart, just an achy breaky body…  The fatigue is like a brick wall that WILL NOT MOVE.  My hair is shedding slowly and the texture seems to be changing? and so I am ready for a new look (so watch out Jamie Lee Curtis, I’m copying your style, until… I don’t have anymore hair to copy your style!  😉 )

12/17/14
My 1st chemotherapy treatment was scheduled for the day after my medi-port surgery.  I told the nurse that I might cry when she used my medi-port…  I was sore.  We both grinned at each other and proceeded.  Honest really is the best policy!  The anti-nausea meds and the steroids were first, followed by the red juice (chemo drug #1) and the IV bag juice (chemo drug #2).  Three hours of sitting will make a person’s backside conform in ways that a person’s backside does not want to conform!  Trust me.

11/17/14 – 12/16/14
After a month and a half of health issues that I thought were Fibromyalgia related and the presence of 2 lumps, I went to the doctor for an examination… This immediately lead to a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.  Immediately, from the scan, they knew that it was ‘worrisome’.  Within days, I had a core biopsy of each lump knowing what the results would be…  The next 2 weeks were a world wind of scans, blood work, oncologist appointments for chemotherapy, surgical, and radiation, and the surgical implantation of a medi-port.

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