Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving takes on a new meaning this year

If you were to commit to writing all you were thankful for, where would you begin? (Photo by Valerie Kamikubo/Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons )

If you were to commit to writing all you were thankful for, where would you begin? (Photo by Valerie Kamikubo/Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license. )

Well here it is again, the day before treatment. The timing is unfortunate but if it means getting past it, then I will joyfully walk in tomorrow for the third in what we  hope will be my final series of four chemotherapy sessions. Just one more remaining: Scheduled for Dec 11.

I feel great and last week I worked a normal week. It feels good to almost be myself again, and in a routine.

The only side effects to report from recent days would be the rash raising its ugly head again. It really never left but remained at bay until Friday. I had a mouth sore and was itching all over.

When you have irritations like this occur, you tend to get down to business in finding a solution. I have a special mouth wash that I started using three times a day. Then I began taking steroids to beat back the itching.  At night, it was Benadryl to help with sleep and  itching. Oh, and oatmeal baths.

So here it is Tuesday night and I think  I can report  the mouth sore is gone and the itching has diminished to a minimum.

My goal for Thursday, “turkey day” and the day after treatment, is to lay low until late afternoon. My aunt and uncle will be here to visit and we will go over to my sister’s house.

With Zofran  and steroids on board I should be OK if  a little weak. Friday is always better and in fact, I go to work on Fridays and work most of day. This Friday I will simply be with my family.

I feel truly blessed and thankful! This Thanksgiving takes on a new meaning.

A typical work day with my friend Betty

Preparing to leave the house with my friend Betty.

Preparing to leave the house one morning with my friend Betty.

Greetings from the midpoint in my treatment cycle for the Adriamycin and Cytoxen cocktail chemotherapy. That means two down, two to go.

The treatment occurs on Wednesday afternoons, you might recall. By last night I did not feel well so I went to bed early and with the assistance of a sleeping aid, I had a good night. I finally got out of bed at 8:45 this morning, which set a new record for me. I haven’t slept that late since I was a kid.

This morning was spent on the couch, answering emails and taking it easy. My biggest complaint is indigestion and Nexium is helping, along with my friend Zofran, which beats down the nausea. Knock on wood, I haven’t really suffered from nausea.

Mostly I just feel weak.

Following my last treatment, I felt like a new person by Friday. So I am hoping for the same outcome this time.

My train of thought is somewhat hampered today, so I will keep this short but it does appear I will have some sort of surgery (either lumpectomy or mastectomy) at around the end of year or early January. My physicians say I also may need some radiation because my tumor was so close to chest wall.

The good news of course is that I can use the past tense in reference to my tumor. As I mentioned in an earlier post here, my physicians say the chemo has resulted in 100 percent resolution of my mass; meaning the last MRI did not pick up anything! I further understand that at time of surgery if this is still the case, then I would have a 98 percent
likelihood that I should not expect a recurrence, and I would be “cured!” It is amazing how far treatment has come.

Enjoying breakfast out on Veterans Day.

Enjoying breakfast out on Veterans Day.

And while I might be a bit hampered today, know that not all days are like this.  Much of the last week I felt just fine. For example, Saturday morning I jogged for 2.5 miles and felt great. Veterans Day was a long and busy Monday for me. On Tuesday, I worked from 7:30 to 6 and briefly stopped by a jewelry party afterward.

Most days, I think I’ve also been able to hold onto my sense of humor. In that vein, I’ll share with you that I’ve nicknamed my wig “Betty.” Some days she joins me, some days she stays home.

As always,  thank you – each and every one – for your concern, support and prayers.