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One Very Opinionated Doctor

21 Apr

Since this blog is now 3 years old and I’ve been off treatment now for 2+ years I thought I should provide an update.  That is code for: I just really want to share my experience with a particularly opinionated gynecologist.  lol!

Hair

My hair is so long! I’m loving the length. Also, my oncologist was right. He said it would take 3 years for my hair to grow back to the length it was before chemo. It is now that length and it has been almost 3 years. I’ve attached a pic below. I was having it highlighted, but it was such a pain because it is so dark now that I just hated going in so often. So, I had my friend, Tracy, dye it back to the natural color and it is DARK. It has been this color for 7 months and I’m ready to go back to blonde. I still don’t know who the person is in the mirror when I see her. Ha! Also, I told a few people (who I won’t name here, but they know who they are) that I was going back to blonde and they told me how happy they were that I finally came to that conclusion. Um…..so you have hated this long, eh? Lol! Continue reading

Menopause Update

16 Sep

I’ve been avoiding my blog. Mostly because I didn’t have any real updates and also because I didn’t want to sit down at my computer once I finished working. I was working way too many hours, but things are a bit calmer now (thankfully).

I have a huge praise regarding one of my previous posts. I can’t remember if wrote about this before, but when I saw my Oncologist in February I told him I had a suspicion that my periods had stopped due to my thyroid medication (Synthroid). It seemed to coincide with the thyroid med change since my cycles had come back after chemo finished. He confirmed that he didn’t think it was chemo, but that he was stumped by it. He couldn’t change me back because the thyroid meds I was taking were no longer available (Levoxyl). Anyway, in June I did some research and found that Levoxyl was now available again. I called the pharmacy to make sure they were filling it. The pharmacist confirmed that they were, but that it was VERY expensive and that insurance was not paying for it due to a study that had been done that proved that the results were the same for patients on Levoxyl as were those on Synthroid. Synthroid is cheaper to make.  He said to make sure my doctor added that it was medically necessary to see if insurance might pay for some of it, but that it would still be expensive. That was unfortunate. When I saw my doctor a couple days later he went ahead and prescribed it and wrote that it was medically necessary.  I was worried about how much it was going to cost, but when it was filled at the pharmacy it was only $12. I couldn’t believe it. Very thankful.  🙂

I am taking my thyroid medication a lot better than I used to. I have hardly missed it. After starting the Levoxyl my period returned within 1 week. It was a huge blessing and again have hope that God will hear our prayers. I have had 3 cycles now – 21 day cycles instead of 28. 21 is a blessing too because that is about 4 more cycles per year – which means more opportunity to pray that God blesses us with a child. 🙂 Although, that is also 4 more times to be brokenhearted if God doesn’t answer with a yes, but still….I have hope again.

There are two things I am dealing with lately that are causing me some grief. First, for about 2 months now I’ve been having migraines that mess up my vision. It may be related to the thyroid medication – I’m not sure and all my blood work is coming back fine. 3 weeks ago I stopped eating sugar (to see if I lose some weight) and I think the migraines have improved. I only had one last week. So, maybe it is a diet thing….not sure.  I’ve been extremely tired since quitting sugar.  All I want to do is sleep.  lol!

Second, my tailbone. It is so much worse than it used to be. I can hardly sit without pain. It is all day every day. If I stand it doesn’t hurt, but any sitting causes pain. I am trying the chiropractor again, but it doesn’t seem to be helping at all. Last time I went to the orthopedist he told me there was nothing they could do, but remove my tailbone. That doesn’t sound fun at all. Since I didn’t have pain until after I completed chemo I worry that it is cancer. The pain is that bad and is progressing. Kevan reminds me that my pet scan in December came back fine, but I still worry. I can’t imagine dealing with this the rest of my life.  It is so hard to sit and work all day.  The doctor gave me prescription pain medication, but it doesn’t do anything for the pain – just makes me even more tired.  Even Aleve doesn’t help it anymore.  I will just continue to pray that God removes the pain.

Well, I don’t want to end on a sad note so I will say that I am very blessed that God has allowed me to no longer be in menopause. I feel a lot better and no longer have hot flashes! Say a prayer that God gives us a child. Please!

Oncology Appointment – Good News/Bad News

30 Apr

Kevan and I went to my Oncology check-up appointment today.  I tried to talk my doctor into letting me get hair extensions through my insurance so I wouldn’t have to pay for them.  I mean, really….it is causing emotional distress having this short curly hair.  lol!  He wouldn’t go for it.  But, he joked and said that he had a hair extension side business.  Ha!  Being an oncologist….he would make a bundle!  🙂

The GREAT news is that all things cancer related came back great.  I talked to him a little about how I am eating better than I was before cancer and about the same amount and still not losing weight.  Kevan and I are taking 1.5-3 mile walks several times a week as well.  I just cannot get this weight off.  He told me that once my metabolism ramps back up (now that I’m no longer in menopause) that I should start losing the weight I’ve gained.  So, we left with all great news.  Then….

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I’ve Been Waiting For Today!

27 Apr

Since the day after my last chemo (8/28/2012) I’ve been waiting very trying to wait patiently until the day I could have my hair highlighted.  I have a friend (Hi Tracy!) that has her own hair salon.  She has given me my up-to-date “hair status” every Wednesday when I see her at bible study.  Well, the day finally came for her to tell me that it was finally long enough to pull through a cap….so I could get it highlighted.  I did put her off a few weeks because we were in California or I was too busy, but today was the day I had it done.  YAY!

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Chemo Care Package Update

26 Apr

Several months ago I wrote a post about chemo care packages.  I wanted those who know someone undergoing chemo to have an idea of what some of their needs may be.  Also, I wanted to remember so I could do the same for those I know going through the same thing.  Well, an opportunity to bless two ladies who were going through chemo presented itself to our ladies group at church.  We didn’t know these ladies personally, but they were family to the ladies in our group.  I was VERY excited to be able to bless them with their very own chemo care baskets.  🙂

Here is what we did.

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Answered Prayer (Men, you won’t want to read it…)

15 Apr

Well….I’m a little behind on my 1 year diagnosis anniversary post.  I’m still working on a video/slideshow that I want to post.  So…I will skip that for now.  But, I have some great news.  If you are a guy though….you may want to stop reading….as I’m about to talk about “female stuff”.  lol!!!

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Really….if your a guy…..you don’t want to read any further.  You really won’t appreciate what I’m about to say.

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6 Month’s Post Chemo

10 Mar

I finally found a little time to sit down and type up a post.  It has been quite awhile since I’ve posted.  I am a little over 6 months post-chemo.  Can you believe it has already been over 6 months??  Wow.  August 28th was my last day of chemo and time has flown by!  I am 3 months post-reconstruction and I’m less than a month away from my 1-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.  God willing I will be writing about my 1-year anniversary in a few weeks.  🙂  I am so thankful that my Lord healed me and that I am doing so well.  God is good!

I’m so happy to be this far out from chemo.  At night, when I flip over to my stomach to go to sleep I still get teary-eyed thinking back to all of those MONTHS where I couldn’t sleep on my stomach and how much I struggled with being comfortable.  I tear up because I’m so thankful that I can do it now.  Such a small thing…but it is a huge blessing.  I love that I’m feeling so much better (although I did have a cold all week).  I even met a woman today that had breast cancer last year too and finished chemo around the same time I did.  She had Stage 4, but she is doing really well now and I thought she looked great.  She is about 20 years older than I am.  Her hair is actually a little shorter than mine even though she finished chemo a month before me.  But, hers was STRAIGHT……mine isn’t.  I won’t go into the hair thing again…..that is why I’ve tried to stay off my blog lately.  lol!  I have been doing a lot of praying about it.  Anyway…..I need to change the subject. Continue reading

Chemo Care Packages

21 Sep

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about chemo care packages.  So, over the last few weeks I’ve been pulling a list together.  When this journey is over I want to be able to provide those that I know going through chemo with their own chemo care package.  I won’t purchase everything, of course, but a small gift basket with a few items would be helpful.  Here are some things that I’ve come up with.  I thought some of you might also be interested.  Also, I will update this post if I think of any others.

basket

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Chemo #4 Day 14: Started back to work

11 Sep

Today was a great day.  I started back to work!  Yay!  I’ve really missed my team.  I was a little scared that it was going to be hard after so many weeks off of work, but it was really great to feel like my old self again.   I am still a little slow brain-wise, but I’m sure it will all come back to me little by little.  I hope!  I didn’t sleep well last night (about 4-5 hours) because I was so anxious about today.  Hopefully, I will sleep better tonight.  Today was the first day in 2 weeks I haven’t taken a nap…so I should sleep well tonight (between the hot flashes).

Kevan and I went for a walk after work today.  I was able to walk about 1.5 miles and I had to go up a hill which was a little hard for me, but it felt great to do it.  I’m going to try to start walking everyday.  I also started a little mini-diet to see if I can get back in shape and lose a few pounds.  I didn’t want to go on a full fledged diet since my body is still healing…so it is just a “mini” one.  lol!  I REALLY want to get back to my pre-surgery weight…maybe a little less.  I’m really praying for God’s help.

Below is a picture of my arm.  It actually looks a little better today.   You can’t see in the picture, but the skin is red too and it burns and hurts.   A couple days after my chemo my arm started to burn like it does when I’m having my chemo IV.  Then, a few days after that little red blotches were appearing.  Now, it just looks like I have acne on my arm and little parts of skin are peeling.  I called the doctor last week and the nurse told me that this can happen with Taxotere.  It has “leaked” from my veins and caused the skin to burn.  If I take a bath or shower it hurts pretty bad when it hits the water.  They told me to put hydro-cortisone cream on it.  I guess it will go away eventually.  I tried to research it online, but haven’t found anything on it.  If you’ve had Taxotere and went through this as well will you please comment your experience?  I’m hoping it is done spreading and will now be going away.  REMEMBER – if you have to have chemo….GET A PORT!

I know it’s a bad pic, but it is hard to take a pic one handed.

Well….I’m feeling a bit normal today.  If I didn’t look in the mirror and see my round face and bald head….I might actually forget that I just had chemo.  It’s been a blessed day! 

White Blood Cells (Chemo 4: Day 8)

4 Sep

White Blood Cells (WBC)…something one doesn’t think about often, but they are sooooo nice to have.  They are keeping me out of the hospital during these last few treatments.  I had my Neulasta shot last Thursday and haven’t thought twice about it until last night.  Yes, I’ve been taking my 24 hour Claritin everyday to help with the bone pain, but other than that I forgot about the possibility of the “bone pain experience”.  The Claritin helps, but doesn’t take it away.  

I couldn’t keep my eyes open last night…still feeling bad yesterday and being short of breath if I just walk across the house.  So, I went to bed early.  I had my normal night of hot flashes and didn’t sleep well.  Then, woke up at about 4am with the bone pain.  Ugh!  It is so bad.  Don’t get me wrong….I’m happy that my body is creating WBC’s….but, boy, is it PAINFUL!  

Be thankful for your WBC’s and that you aren’t feeling them being created.  I’m trying to find a position where I’m not in pain and try to lay like that for as long as I can.  The slightest move and it feels like my spine and hips are being torn out of my body.

This was my last chemo!!!  I won’t have to go through this again.  PTL!