Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chemo Days...

This is Day 4 of my first cycle of chemo. I'm weak, fatigued, and nauseous which is nothing new to most chemo patients. I really wonder how people continue to work during chemo; it must be tough.

I don't have much to say except I wish I didn't have go through this, but I do and I am.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Port is In!

The Port is in. The nurse gave the doc a purple one to put in. I love the color purple. The doc cracked bad jokes all the while performing this procedure. A 4th year medical student assisted. They both did a great job.

It didn't hurt going in, but my arm sure hurts now. I guess it's real now. I'm really going to have chemo treatments. I'm suddenly feeling a lot calmer than I've been in a while. But I'm still scared, just don't have as much anxiety.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And Yet Another Test...

So I'm all revved up for chemo. I've talked myself into being ready and I'm totally ready to get started. I'm 2 days away and it may not happen. Breast MRI shows a white spot behind the seroma where I had the lumpectomy. This could be benign, but the radiologist doesn't want to gamble so she's leaving it up to my surgical oncologist. My medical oncologist is out of the office all week - the week I'm having my first chemo cycle.

I had a second opinion at a comprehensive cancer center. The doctor there said he'd do the same thing as my medical oncologist, except he would only give half a dose of Nuelasta because of my lupus (Nuelasta may cause an already overfunctioning immne system to get further out of balance).  Cancer Center doctor will contact my doctor.

I'm still having the port placed in my arm in the morning and my dad is still on the way to spend time with me. I'm scared, scared, scared. I need to utilize guided imagery; I'll have to download on IPod if it's available.  Still constipated and chemo hasn't started. Now I'm just rambling, thank God for Ativan.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Does cancer cause divorce? I'm serious. Let's see: I have breast cancer and I want a divorce. Well, I've wanted a divorce for 8 years, but I've always made an excuses to stay. I don't think it's been worth it though. I feel down trodden and just sad. I don't want to feel sad anymore damn it!

I've spent 18 years in a relationship that I knew was not working, at least not for me. I'm not looking for sympathy nor am I going to accept any smart lipped comments. I'm just venting that's all.

I see freedom ahead...I wonder if I'll go through with it afterall.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tests, Tests, and More Tests

I haven't posted as of late because I've been going to medical appointments - many, many appointments. In addition to all those that are cancer-related, I've seen my rheumatologist, neurologist, dermatologist (who's writing a book about skin care during and after chemo), and I'm scheduled to see my pulmonologist. My dentist was the first health care professional I saw after I got my chemo start date.

Okay, back to this @#%$ cancer. I met with the radiation oncology to discuss treatment after chemo. He then sent me to have a breast MRI to make sure that the tumor wasn't multicentric (more than one originating tumor). The tumor taken from my right breast was multifocal - many tumors originating from one primary one. I had 6 tumors removed during a lumpectomy, the largest was 1.3 cm.

PET/CT scan was clear and my oncologist considers my status "no evidence of disease" (NED). Cool, right? Until she said, "But we need to discuss something." Oh boy just tell me doc. Well, my 2D echocardiogram was normal, at least for my heart. Those test results show "multiple liver masses." So I wanted to know of course if the cancer had spread and why didn't the ct scan done with contrast show abnormal liver or masses on the liver. Since the cancer hadn't spread to my lymph nodes and since I had no "hot spots" on the PET scan, Dr. Oncologist feels okay saying I'm NED, but admits that she is a bit baffled by the 2D echo results (she called the cardiologist to question his reading of the test). If there are masses on my liver, then Dr.Oncologist says that those may be benign. WHAT THE HELL???

My mother, bless her heart, is really stressed about this and I'm sure my dad is too. It just dawned on me that my family (parents and siblings) must really be as stressed as my husband is. By the way, Husband called my oncology surgeon to informed them that my breast pain is increasing (probably due to seroma per PET scan) and that I have another lump in the same breast, which I do. Hopefully, it's just the way that my breast is healing after surgery.

I have a breast MRI and liver MRI scheduled on Sunday the 17th. Upcoming appointments with oncology surgeon and to have a port placed in my arm are scheduled. My second opinion is scheduled with a comprehensive cancer center ranked 20 in the country per US News. much is happening so quickly that my sleep is even worse than before so I've asked and received ant-anxiety medication. I will use the meds.

Until later...keep the faith.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Whirlwind That Is My Life

As all of those who are diagnosed with cancer know that once you've been given the cancer diagnosis everything is just a blur and life starts moving really fast. While driving across the country to visit family, the doctor who did the core biopsy called me the day following the biopsy to tell me that I indeed had invasive ductal carcinoma. I'm in the middle of nowhere with my husband. We had just been singing very loudly and very off key to the sweet sounds of Motown. (I haven't listened to music since 9/9/10. I must change this.) Eight days later I was at a pre-op appointment and 5 days after pre-op I had right breast lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy (2 nodes were removed and both were clean.) 

Now I'm seeing the medical oncologist and getting pre-chemo testing. In 3 weeks chemo starts. Wow! So far I've talked with her everyday. My dad, who's retired, is coming out to be with me when I start chemo. I don't think he had a choice because my mom says he has to be her connection to me since she has to work. Some how I find this hilarious - because she's serious - and very comforting at the same time. I want my parents to make this cancer go away and never come back like they did when they made the monsters under my bed leave me alone - I'm not joking! My parents were out to visit and support me for about a week; now they're 2000 miles away. My mom promised to call me everyday even if only to say good morning or good night.

Once I've formulated a game plan, I WILL slow things down a lot and calm down. Each day is getting better for me emotionally. At least now I know that the doctors are really talking to me and about me. It's my diagnosis. Since it is I will do more than survive, I will conquer.

Photo info: uploaded from here

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Breast Cancer Story

What the hell am I doing with breast cancer? It's the first time I've asked the "why me" question, but still haven't said it aloud. I think if I ask it aloud and in that way, then I'll have to let it sink in - and it hasn't. Hell, I can't cry and I've tried. Lord knows I've tried to cry to release some of the pain, fear, and frustration I feel. 

Each time I hear the oncologist say refer to the lump in my right breast as "your breast cancer" I really think that she's talking to and/or about someone else. It just can't be real.  I'm sure most, if not all, breast cancer (cancer patients in general) patients feel this way. I know I'm not alone, but I sure as hell feel alone. My husband is not very emotionally supportive, but he thinks he is. He says he's scared and I believe him, but I also know that he can be more supportive emotionally. He stresses me. In fact my marriage stresses me. I won't turn this into a blog about my marriage though I'm tempted.

I believe that stress, unhappiness, unhealthful eating, lack of exercise, autoimmune disease, and exposure to cancer causing chemicals while growing up all contributed to my present condition.

I'm going to write my cancer diagnosis story, but I didn't feel up to it just now.