Treatments are kicking my butt!

I started radiation today and then came home and slept all afternoon. I got up when my husband got home, had a bowl of cereal, showered, and now I’m back in bed. This will be a short blog tonight. Just wanted to give an update. The chemo from Wednesday has kicked my butt more than I expected. I’ve had nausea, diarrhea, and major fatigue. I’m just waiting to ‘wake up’ already!

On Thursday, my birthday, I was thrown a huge surprise party! My family and friends got me good! I have never been gotten before but this time I had absolutely no clue! They threw me the surprise party at the little restaurant my husband was taking me too. And there they all were! It was so much fun! I forgot about all my tiredness, aches and pains…if only for a few hours. The room that we were in had karaoke going on so people would sing to me. lol It was a blast! I ended up having 2 really weak margaritas, I wasn’t supposed to….but hey, it was my birthday. Then I made sure to drink lots of water to flush it out.

I got a lot of nice gifts too…one if which is a laptop desk that you lay in your lap…using it now and I love it! Got some Holy oil that I have been using everyday…praying for a miracle. I got some money, books, candles, nail polishes, wall art, water bottles for hydration, and a decanter with the cutest little glasses for my port wines. I felt so incredibly loved that night. People came from far away on a week night just to see me. Thanks to everyone…I love you all soooo very much and I appreciate you all!!!

Since then I have been sleeping a lot. I can’t seem to keep awake for very long and when I am awake, I’m very sleepy. My body feels like it has run a marathon…and I won! lol

I sure hope my body adjusts quickly to this new medication and I can get back to living normal, or pretty close to normal. I’m glad I won’t be getting chemo brain again either. Ugh…that is rough.

Well just wanted to give a quick update on how I’m doing since starting treatment. No worries…I’m hanging in there! But I’m going to bed now. Night.

Cancer Muggles

So my first Chemo got moved up to today instead of the 27th. I’ll get it every 3 weeks…indefinitely, or until my body cannot handle it anymore. I start radiation on Monday. I have a radiation dry run tomorrow, on my birthday, where they do X-rays and do a mock radiation treatment to make sure everything is lined up perfectly on the tumor.

I tolerated the infusion just fine today, I feel a little ‘weird’ but nothing too bad. The real side effects start kicking in on days 3, 4, and 5. Symptoms will be some mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and or constipation, mouth sores, fatigue, and neuropathy in my extremities (hands and feet). Hopefully the symptoms will be mild, however I have medications ready to combat all the side effects so that I can still function daily. NO HAIR LOSS IS EXPECTED!!!!!! YAYYYYY!!!! I WAS SOOOOO HAPPY TO HEAR THAT! With this being a long term chemo, I was sooo happy that I would not be bald the rest of my life! And I don’t have to give up alcohol totally! I can have the OCCASIONAL glass of wine or margarita. Just not on Chemo days or for a few days after. I do however have to avoid swimming in lakes, rivers, and the ocean due to the high bacteria count. I won’t have the immune system to fight those nasty little bacteria’s. I can go to a pool cause it’s chlorinated, BUT I cannot be in the sun while doing radiation or for about 6-8 weeks after. UGH…all these little life changes BUT, I’m still ALIVE!!!! And because I don’t need all the Pre-meds that knock you out during chemo, all but Dexamethasone (a steroid that is an anti-inflammatory), I can drive myself to and from chemo this time. Today I was there for 4 hours, but because it was the first day and they have to run everything slow…plus I had labs and the chemo teaching. After today though, everything should only be a couple of hours, with about an hour and a half in the chemo chair.

I have to stop all my good supplements that I take that are high in antioxidants because it interferes with the chemo. I have to stop the Apricot seeds, and the Tumeric, and others that I do. I don’t think they were helping much anyways as the cancer still is spreading. I was doing Frankincense and all these anti cancer supplements before I was diagnosed with cancer. So I’m just not sure if they really work or not, but I still take them.

That brings me to the Cancer Muggles…ugh. Get on my last nerve. I know they mean well, but C’mon. If you don’t know what a cancer muggle is…it is someone who thinks they know anything and everything about cancer and what cures it. Some people who are close to me would much rather me not be doing conventional treatments like chemo and radiation and would rather me be fighting this naturally with fruits, vegetables, teas, supplements, and essential oils. I do certain natural things, but being a nurse, and having seen all sides of the coin and what has worked for people and what hasn’t, I chose to go the conventional route. And in Oct of this year, this conventional method has kept me alive for 3 years. And though my quality of life has changed some, it is still very tolerable. I still enjoy life. I know of some people who have chosen to NOT go the conventional route and go natural or do nothing and have not lived past 2 years. One had breast cancer. There is a Katherine Study on the drug T-DM1 that I am doing that has found that it stops the cancer progression for at least 3 years. Three years may not seem like a long time, but every little bit counts when you have terminal cancer.

Although I have changed what I put into body drastically (for me), I still enjoy foods. Everything in moderation right? But when you see me eating sugar, or having a glass of wine, or skipping my supplements, or oils, please don’t think that I don’t care, or worse, that I don’t want to live…cause it’s just the opposite…I DO want to LIVE..AND THAT’S JUST IT….I WANT TO LIVE AND ENJOY IT WHILE I AM DOING IT!

I hate when people tell me…”you just don’t care”, “you must not want to live”…ugh…give me F&*^$## Break! Let me see YOU get diagnosed with terminal cancer and then eat, drink, and have nothing but fruits and vegetables for the rest of your life, everyday, alllll dayyyy longggg! That would mean…no more sweets…AT ALL, including most high content sugary fruits, NO alcohol, No meats, No dairy, No fats, NOTHING! It is a lot harder than you think! So please… leave me alone…and have a little compassion…I don’t care how close you are to me… you can say some things to me…but know that some things you say may be hurtful to me and those of us that are struggling with cancer. The struggle with cancer is hard enough. Let me enjoy the things I love. Which in all reality is even a struggle anymore because of the taste changes in my mouth due to the neuropathy in my mouth, and the nausea. It’s a struggle to even eat or smell food. So let me still enjoy my burrito from Chuys, (when I can eat it), or my brothers delicious BBQ (his is the only brisket that I can tolerate), or the popcorn at the movies, (when the smell doesn’t make me nauseas). Let me enjoy what I can when I can, cause it’s not very often that I enjoy food and drink anymore.

Enough about that. My 54th birthday is tomorrow. I was born at 1:03 AM on June 20th in Austin TX. I am a 4th generation Texan and damn well proud of if it. I don’t have any plans other than going to dinner with my husband. I have a Dr appt like I said earlier. But other than that, I’m just going to be taking it easy at home seeing how this chemo is affecting me. Did I mention how much I love LIFE??

Getting Mentally Ready

I saw the radiation doctor today and discussed the radiation and it’s side effects. Got the ‘mapping’ done…that is where they do a CT scan of the area they are going to radiate so they can do the accurate calculations of where the radiation beam is going to go. They make a mold that I lay on that keeps me in place. I’ll start radiation sometime next week for 10 daily treatments. Then I’ll start the new targeted Chemo on June 27th…one week after my 54th birthday. It’s on my cousins 54th birthday. We used to celebrate our birthdays together when we were little cause we were only 1 week apart.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. But I’m afraid of both. The radiation to my spine comes with many risks, and the strong targeted chemo…again. I always get scared when I’m going to start chemo cause you never know how your body is going to react. But I tolerated the other two, hopefully I’ll be fine with this one. I know I’ll have side effects, I just hope my body can tolerate them. T-DM1 is the new chemo medication I’ll be getting every three weeks. Not sure how many cycles I’ll be getting yet, but from what I’ve read they give it you until it stops working and you have another progression. I have read many success stories about this medication so hopefully it will work well for me too. I still have too much to live for. And I hope I have a good tolerable quality of life while on this med.

I am finally over the shock and have accepted my circumstance. Now I’m ready to FIGHT!

This past Sunday several churches in our town got together at the Convention Center for worship and prayer. It was awesome. I was prayed over by a Pastor who’s wife had had breast cancer and was healed from his prayer. He prayed over me and I was ‘slain in the spirit’ (that is where the holy spirit knocks you out) I laid on the floor frozen. God showed me heaven. There were two Angels that looked like two huge colorful doves that hovered over me. I couldn’t get my eyes off of them. They were luminescent. I felt no pain and so much peace. It was such a beautiful experience. I believe he showed me heaven and where I would be going to ease my fears. And to show me how beautiful it is going to be and the feeling that I would have as I transitioned. I’m not afraid anymore. I know I will be fine. But I am hoping that is still some time away, because I’m just not ready to leave this earth quite yet. I was hoping for a miracle and that I would be healed of these tumors. But that didn’t happen as the CT scan showed today. But I did feel better afterwards. I believe these next treatments will be successful though…maybe that is where the miracle is going to be. An extended life for many years….time will tell. Wait and see…

Still in shock.

I’m still in shock over the latest news. I’m having a hard time processing that the cancer is now in my spine and all the tumors are growing and active again. Just writing it seems so unreal. I’ve been waking up every morning and realizing that this is real, my reality, not a dream. I’ve been in a fog. Unable to focus. Today has been a little better. I had to go see my therapist 2 days in a row. I started seeing a therapist for cancer during the second round of chemo, I was starting to get depressed. Now I see her on a regular basis and she is a Godsend! Today we did a meditation on healing cancer. I felt so much better (mentally) after leaving her office today. The fog seemed to start dissipating.

I spent the day with one of my daughters. We both had doctor appointments in Austin so we rode together. I went with her to hers and got to hear my new granddaughters heartbeat. My daughter is having a baby due Aug 1st. See why I gotta stay alive????

Then we went to my appointment to check a black spot on my face that appeared during my first round of chemo. The dermatologist said it was benign and not cancer…THANK GOD!

Mannnn….I’m just tired of the word CANCER. And I’m tired of having it. I’m ready to be rid of this Monster. I’m praying these next treatments of radiation and targeted chemo get rid of it. Or at least make it stop growing for a long long time.

I’m hoping I don’t lose all my hair…eyelashes, eyebrows, etc…again. And I hope I don’t get neuropathy in my fingers, mouth and feet. I think those are the two worst things….and of course the mouth sores, cracked bleeding skin, black nails, bone pain, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Not to mention all the medications you have to take when you get chemo that have their own side effects. Like the Steroids, and anti-allergy medications. They all knock you out while getting chemo. Oh JOY! JOY! JOY!

I bought some meditation MP3’s to download on my phone on cancer, chemo, and some others, to listen to while I do these next treatments. They were recommended by my therapist, and after listening to the cancer one today, I had to order it after it made me feel so much better. It’s recommended that you listen to it twice a day, so that is what I am going to do first thing every morning and last thing every night. I also got one to listen to while doing chemotherapy.

I’m also going to really stop eating sugar. That means alcohol too…no more top shelf margarita’s.. well….everything in moderation…right??? But sweets…like donuts, candy, and ice cream…all getting cut out of my diet. I have to really get serious if I’m going to beat this thing. I’ll probably start doing fasts and drinking more juices and smoothies. That is one good way to get fruits and veggies down. I’m learning to eat more vegetables. I have always loved fruit, so no problem there…but veggies… ugh.

Well time for bed…tomorrows another day…

Scanxiety…it’s a real thang!

Well….I got scans on Monday, saw the Doctor on Tuesday, and wept on Wednesday.

Scanxiety is for real…weeks, then days leading up to the every 3 month scans, I get real anxious. Anxious because I don’t want to hear that the cancer is spreading. And on Tuesday that is exactly what happened.

The tumors in the lungs have started growing again, the tumor on my sternum that has already been radiated last year is active again, and the tumor on my scapula shows ‘hot’. Not sure if that is from just finishing radiation or if the radiation didn’t kill it. And now… another new spot..on my spine at T 11.

So now time for a treatment change. Going back to the Radiation doctor for more radiation, and starting chemo….again, for the 3rd time. If this treatment doesn’t work then I’ll be getting biopsies of the tumors to see if the cancer has changed. I’ve been told and have also heard about breast cancer changing and going from a double positive to a triple negative and others. Thus needing a different kind of treatment. I have ER and Her2 positive. So we will see. I need lots of prayer. Please.

I can’t say that I’m not scared….scared of heading faster and faster to the end of my rope. But I’m not throwing in the towel just yet. I still have a lot of fight in me. Of all the tumors that I’ve had though, the one on my spine does cause me pain.

I wish marijuana didn’t affect me like it does or I would do edibles all day long!

They help with the pain, nausea, sleep, and my appetite! But I still have to work everyday, so needless to say I have to have a clear mind.

After the news I got drunk last night. Not like me, but last night I didn’t care. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Just crawl in my hole and have a one person pity party. So I did. I posted a Cheers of my drink and the news on Instagram and that was the way my kids all found out. I’m sorry children, but I just couldn’t deal with it last night. Please forgive me. I know this is just as hard, if not harder for you all. I’m sorry.

But enough of the wallowing and time to get to some serious fighting. I started up Frankincense oil, supplements, and apricot seeds again. I got complacent there for a while and probably shouldn’t have. I was doing so good…then Bam, BAM! The Biotch keeps coming back…back in BLACK! (cancer is black by the way under the microscope)

I ended up working half a day today, it was all I could muster. My sister and her husband came over to cheer me up. Don’t know what I would do without my little sister. She actually took off from work to come be by my side. I love you my Sista! Muah!

Talked and told my boss…that is always a hard thing to do cause you never know how exactly to tell them whats going on with you without fear of losing your job, but I have a very understanding boss who has worked with me through all of this and is actually someone I can call a friend. She is so easy to talk to. And she is a Christian woman so she prays for me and puts me on prayer lists at her church.

I have slowly been talking to my family and hearing their concerns….and of course telling me what I should do, what I should and shouldn’t eat, what I need to do with my body, etc… they all mean well. And I listen.

Now I’m just waiting to be called by doctors to schedule my appts for the next steps. The waiting is hard, cause you want everything to start..yesterday! But you have to wait for Pre Auths from the insurance company. They are hoping to start the chemo next week.

My hair didn’t even make it to 3 inches long this time. I may or may not lose it again. I’m hoping not. The doctor says this chemo will be a more targeted chemo and will not go throughout my body and kill all my cells. It is a very strong chemo and they will put a drop into the Herceptin bag, (the Herceptin is an anti-body drug that kills or slows down the type of cancer that I have) the chemo will ride piggy back on the Herceptin protein to the cancer cell and kill the tumor. That is what is hoped anyway.

Hopefully symptoms will be mild and I won’t get very sick. We will see…I can always say no or stop all this whenever I want. But right now I am open to anything and everything.