Monday, December 31, 2012
I have a request that may seem all too simple for some which have been blogging for quite a while, but I would like to see my viewership increase. I know that I cannot expect a whole lot being that it is a tiny piece of my heart and brooches a subject that not everyone is comfortable with hearing. I first started this little thing as an information train for my family and friends. Finding out you have been diagnosed is horrible then to have to tell people is another. Everyone wants to hear your condition and prognosis and I was just not up for telling the stories over and over again. I thought this would be better.
Then after Chemo started and I found different side affects and I had to look them up, I came across some great sites that help and great information that might just help someone in your list of family and friends. Let me tell you when going through Chemo there is just about nothing you will not try to stop some of the side effects.
I want this to be a place where others want to comment. Please if you blogg, message me suggestions to make it better. I am not saying I won't contact you to ask you to help me figure out especially while I have Chemo brain! I want to be fun, informative, shocking to some extent and a place where I can bear my heart and you can too. I want links of wonderful sites i have found to help me get through this all.
So my proposal. I will be sharing this on FaceBook, Google+1, and email. I have a goal to have 100 viewers join by January 5. I think this could be done. Anyone joining now till midnight of that night is eligible for a homemade gift sent by me to the person coming the longest way away! Just be sure after you join, post at the bottom of this post a note to me. I will message you for your address. Another gift will go out to those who go on an read some of my past posts since October of this year. You will need to leave a message under the post that you had read it. There will be a drawing for several small gifts to those who read the most. This again, the deadline is midnight January 5th.
Happy Reading! And share, share, share!
Chemotherapy Treatment for Breast Cancer (cont.)
Cancer and its treatment will undoubtedly cause many changes in your life. One change you may experience from chemotherapy is alterations in your menstrual cycles - from irregular periods to the symptoms of menopause (the end of menstruation).
Experts don't fully understand all of chemotherapy's effects on the female reproductive system, but this article will begin to answer some of the questions you may have, including:
- How does chemotherapy cause or contribute to the development of menopause?
- Will chemotherapy affect my ability to get pregnant?
- What are the symptoms of menopause and how can I deal with them?
- How will I know if the way I am feeling is associated with menopause and not with my treatment, stress, or another factor?
- What are some other conditions related to menopause?
Menopause is a normal stage in a woman's life. The term menopause is commonly used to describe any of the changes a woman experiences either before or after she stops menstruating. As menopause nears, the ovaries produce less estrogen, causing changes in the menstrual cycle and other physical changes.
Technically, menopause is the end of the reproductive phase of a woman's life, when the ovaries no longer produce eggs and she has her last menstrual cycle. The diagnosis of menopause is not confirmed until a woman has not had her period for six consecutive months.
How Does Chemotherapy Influence The Onset Of Menopause?
During chemotherapy, women may have irregular menstrual cycles or amenorrhea (disappearance of menstrual periods). Some medications used in chemotherapy may also cause damage to the ovaries, resulting in menopausal symptoms or menopause.
Menopause triggered by chemotherapy may be immediate or delayed, permanent or temporary. Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately determine how or when chemotherapy or other cancer treatments will affect your menstrual cycle.
However, menopause is rarely a sudden response to chemotherapy. When treatments begin, you may notice some menopausal symptoms, but usually the symptoms are delayed for several months after treatment is started. This is natural. Menopausal symptoms may last for years after treatment is completed.
The most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, emotional changes, changes in the vagina, sexuality changes, and weight gain.
Will My Menstrual Flow Be Different After Chemotherapy?
Menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman. Some women may experience less frequent cycles than they had prior to chemotherapy. They may skip a period or increase the number of days between periods. Other women may have more frequent periods.
Some women may not experience a change in the length of their menstrual cycles but the flow pattern may be different than it was before treatment (the number of days or amount of flow may diminish or the flow may be heavier). Mixed patterns are also common: some women may have shorter menstrual cycles with heavier bleeding, or infrequent cycles with many days of a very high flow.
Even though periods tend to be irregular around the time of menopause, it is important to be aware of bleeding that is not normal for you. It is very important to call your physician if you ever have very heavy bleeding that is associated with weakness or dizziness.
Will My Periods Return After Chemotherapy?
Many premenopausal women retain or recover ovarian function and their periods return after treatment is completed. Return of ovarian function may depend on the woman's age prior to treatment and the type of medication she received during treatment.
Can I Get Pregnant While I'm Receiving Chemotherapy?
Yes. There is always a chance that you can get pregnant as long as you are menstruating. While on chemotherapy, your menstrual cycle may become irregular. As a result, you may never quite be sure where you are in your menstrual cycle and your period may take you by surprise. Some of your menstrual cycles may be non-egg producing, but you cannot rely on this.
Even if your periods seem to have stopped, you should use a safe and effective method of birth control for at least four to eight weeks after your chemotherapy treatment has ended.
What Is The Safest Type Of Birth Control During Chemotherapy?
A safe and effective contraception (birth control) method is necessary during your treatment. Guidelines for young women undergoing chemotherapy may include the use of barrier contraceptives such as a diaphragm or a condom. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may be acceptable for some women, but are generally not recommended for women with breast cancer.
What Happens If I Get Pregnant While Receiving Chemotherapy?
Becoming pregnant while receiving chemotherapy could result in a complicated pregnancy.
Some chemotherapy medicines to treat breast cancer are safely given during pregnancy.
If you think you might be pregnant, it is important to tell your physician right away so that steps can be taken to ensure the health of you and your baby.
After I've Completed Chemotherapy, How Long Must I Wait Before Trying To Get Pregnant?
Pregnancies after chemotherapy are not uncommon, but need to be planned after you complete treatment. Consult your oncology physician about your plans to get pregnant. In many cases, pregnancy will not influence the return of cancer. But there are situations in which pregnancy should be considered with caution.
If infertility is an issue after your treatment is complete, there are alternative therapies. Discuss your options with your gynecologic doctor.
Are There Risks Of Chromosomal Abnormalities Or Cancer In Children Conceived After Chemotherapy?
No. There is no known risk of chromosomal abnormalities in a woman's children after she has had chemotherapy. There is also no evidence that cancer treatment causes cancer in children conceived after the treatment is complete.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to help raise my beautiful granddaughter Phoenix Marie who is 3. Kayleigh and Chris work nights so about 4 nights a week I pick Phoenix up after work and then take her home in the morning before I go to work. Some would think it is a lot of work, but she is so good. She keeps herself occupied with playing with her horses and watching Horseland.
Kayleigh has made other arrangements for her sitter Amy to watch her the nights after my Chemo and Nuelasta injections. I hate it when i can't see her but those few days I am in so much pain, that it would not do her any good to see her Mimi like this,much less there is very little I could do for her at that time. Kayleigh has done very well with helping Phoenix understand that Mimi is sick. She knows that I can no longer pick her up due to the PICC line in my left arm and having biopsies in my right. She knew I would loose my hair, although her concern was more that it would make me a boy and not a girl Mimi.
Kayleigh also fixes me meals during the week which is nice to know my kid does know how to cook!
Madeline being 17 still has to carry on with school. She is an A student and takes 2 college classes along with playing volleyball and basketball. Not to mention all her darling friends who keep in touch with me by Facebook, text, or coming over. And her boyfriend of over 2 years Lance. They cook for me over the weekends. Madeline also cleans the house. Going above and beyond, she came home after my first Neulasta injection and found me laying doubled over the toilet in utter pain. She got a hot bath ready, undressed her mother, and put her in the tub, remember I have about 70 pounds on this little girl! She made me squeeze her hand every time the pain came, asking me to breathe like I was in labor. She dressed me and put me to bed with a heating pad.
As a mother this is not what you want for your children. Its not what you want your children to remember about their childhood. Yes, i agree after taking care of my father it made me stronger, a much stronger person. But still your children should have the parents to take care of them always.
To my beautiful girls, I owe you both so much gratitude of the grace you have given me these last few months. You have encouraged me and pushed me farther than I could see. I have the best children in the world. I don't know what I did do to deserve the best but Thank You God for giving me these girls.
So much has happened and I am still reeling from most of it. Trying to prepare for a wedding that was to have happened, postponed until this dreadfulness leaves me, and the worst words you could possibly hear, You have Cancer. Yes, everything has seen to taken a back seat to this last one. It is as if my life has been put on hold. The doctor told me this week, after the chemo treatments and then radiation and starting the hormone therapy, they would not even test me again, to see if all the cancer is gone until it has been about a year.
When you are faced with looking at days a head and have decisions to make, make them wisely. Use the days wisely. I can tell you living day by day for a year, is not what I would have planned for my life at 43 nor would I for anyone. Yes, I was known to plan maybe a little to much, maybe more organized in some areas than others, but I would trade that all today instead of waiting. Waiting just to know that I am cancer free.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I decided to take inventory of my bag tonight. First of all, my beautiful sister Regina got me this incredible bag. It's the must have of all chemo patients. (ps I had to be the envy of all the others at my first session while covered in my black and white patterned throw while they took their cocktails under sterilized white hospital blankets!)
The items listed are not at all what I had originally intended to fill my bag. I read my "chemo bible" and stocked up on individual servings of peanut butter, crackers, apple sauces, and bottled water along with the great blank book and glittery pen my sister got me to jot down notes to my doctor when I think of them. Instead I keep adding to this bag (thank God it's big!) as the days progress. Now I am trying to fight off the flu, thanks to some freak. So i have to take ibuprofen and monitor my temperature. 100.5 is considered urgent to chemo patients. So without further adue, see my packing list!
Hydrocodone 325 mg every 1-2 hours
Potassium CL 10 meq 1 a day
Dexamethadone 4 mg on days 2 and 3 of chemo each session
Ondansetron HCL 8 mg every 8 hours for nausea
Prochlosperazine 10 mg every 6 hours for nausea
Ibuprofen 200 mg as needed
Ranitidine 75mg after meals for heartburn
Blistix deep renewal - for extremely dry lips
salt water/ baking soda rinse for sores in mouth
Purell sanitizing gel
Benadryl creme for the numerous rashes rashes all over my body
Vaseline for dry lips
ayr saline for sores in my nose
Ginger, Honey, Lemon chews for nausea
Dulcolax 5 mg (no explanation needed)
Vitamin C 500 mg 2 a day to get rid of this flu crap
Walzan 150 mg to help me keep from itching
One a Day Vita Craves 2 a day vitamins
Lubriderm Daily SPF 15 applied daily because I live in Amarillo
Rose oil & baby oil spray (I made myself) skin very dry due to chemo
Monday, December 10, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Not sure where I should start, at the chemo or the pain I am in now and why I am writing from my bed. Guess I will back up, but spare you all gory and boring details.
The meeting with my surgeon was good. No more surgery! He said he took enough (5 cm by 4 cm! ). Where they are to take out a centimeter around the tumor, mine was cancerous. So he had to go a centimeter beyond that. Within that margin there was a trace a cancer. They can only hope that chemo will kill it. That is where HOPE comes into play in all your cancer lingo and slogans. I asked why we would not do a PET or CAT scan if they feel that cancer cells are floating throughout my body and they said that they are so microscopic they would have to first attach themselves to something and multiply to be seen. There again it is only HOPE it doesn't happen. They can only apply a chemo/ radiation regime that has worked for others in the past, and again HOPE.
Chemo lasted from 11 am until about 5 before all was said and done. After they checked my blood count, etc, they gave me nausea meds through the PICC line then started the first bag of chemo. I am weakling, I got sick. They had to give me Adovan so basically I slept through the 2nd bag. A big thank you to Amy who sat there and watched me sleep in phase 2. But she did her job and made me laugh and tried to make me forget why I was there in phase I. (loves Amy!)
They warned me I really will not feel the effects unitl days 3 or 4 all the way through days 11 or so. The day you receive chemo is day zero. I am now day 3. No nausea, but I have developed a rash on my thigh, normal, but Benedryl is not cutting it. However so far the toughest part is the drug they give you the day after. It is a drug that makes your bone marrow produce platelets. They warned it would hurt, and they are not kidding. It worse than day I have suffered with my fibromyalgia. Dr. Reddy said not to be a hero and take my Hydrocodone, do I have taken 3 doses today, that's how bad it is. I cannot sit still. You can literally feel it moving in your bones and you feel them twinge. It is freakish, it makes me want to punch the area when I feel a twinge. One lady told me to take a long hot soak my whole body. That would be nice but I have this great PICC line that I can't get wet, so I put minimal water in the tub (believe me I will not be the cause of the PICC line if it fails!)
Today I had my class with Texas Tech. They have a group they are studying of women surviving Breast Cancer. They were able to get me in and I am so happy to be apart of something so huge. They are teaching women the 6 stages of change when faced with a diagnoses of Breast Cancer. Our group is the first study of its kind to launch the start of national and international seminars funded by Texas Tech. It was so worth my time with the women I met today. Each were in a different phase of treatment from someone who had her second surgery two weeks ago with 32 lymph nodes removed up to a 19 year survivor. I learned a lot about myself and why I feeling the way I was feeling and trying to cope with this all. Just like the various stages of love and various stages of grief there are various stages of change and to understand this helps us deal better in all situations.
I have an appointment on Wednesday, it is just for Dr. Reddy to see how I have adjusted to chemo, check for rashes, and then schedule my next round which should be just before or just after Christmas. Oh yea! Lucky me! Guess I will be eating lots of mashed potatoes for Christmas!
Love to you all. Miss all my family and friends, please stay well. Send emails and pics to keep in your loop please, I miss you all so much!
Saturday, December 1, 2012
This is me and Nebo*, I'm sporting my new Cabela's cap. This is not just any cap, it's a special cap. It is lined with fleece to keep my soon to be (micro-mini haircut tomorrow) bald head warm.
Also what makes it so special is because it was given to me by my sister Regina, brother-in-law Steve, and the worlds best two nephews Hayden and Jaxon. I requested a Cabela's cap when I first found out I was going to have chemo for two reasons. One because I love the Cabela brand (unpaid endorsement!). Second it reminds me of my time in Lockhart with my family.
After my divorce my sister said "you need to move home". Home? Lockhart was not my home, and I did not want to move back to Brownwood and bad memories from Abilene still linger. She explained I needed to come home to family. She was right. What little family I had there, she, Steve and the boys and my cousin Tim and his beautiful family, turned into a bigger family when we attended church at Lockhart Church of Christ (miss you all so much!) and I worked at Southpark Village apartments.
Our Sunday ritual after getting out of church was to eat some bbq from Chisholm Trail then we would drive to Buda to Cabelas. They have everything sporting! They have an aquarium. This was Hayden's favorite place to go. We used to joke that when Hayden goes on his very first date (many, many, many, many years from now!) that would be where he would take the girl. I do not know how many hours we could spend walking through there, or how many hours Steve and Gina still do! Those are very special memories for me. Watching the fish with Hayden, shopping the Bargain Cave with Gina, and practicing at the indoor shooting range next to Steve.
Gina, I have another request.... a Cabela's slumber party!!!! Do you think they would let us have a slumber party in the store??? I could get my girls here and we could have a road trip to Buda to meet everyone. We could dress in Cabela's jammies, cook Cabela's food on a Coleman (maybe not!), sleep in the tents setup upstairs! We could play hide n seek! ( I already have a list of hiding places started!).
Ok, this post ran a lot longer than I expected. As you see it is ode to family!
Gina, Steve, Hayden, and Jaxon, I love you each. Gina you are my rock. Steve thank you for building us a wonderful family. Hayden and Jaxon you are Aunt Kimmie's boys, your smiles warm my heart and every story I can get about you from Mom and Dad makes me love you even more.
Love you all.
*Nebo is my rescue cat I have had for a while now. He was rescued first by the Pampa Fire Department in an abandoned house fire, then rescued by PAWS of Pampa from the Pampa Humane Society the day he was to be put down. When I got him he was 5.8 pounds. He now weighs over 14 lbs! He is my guardian, watching over me when I sleep and guards the house while I am at work.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Jennifer my advocate called me after work today. She said that they had been reviewing my pathology report and my margins were not all clear. What this means is they did not get all the cancer. On Wednesday when I meet with Dr. Holloway he will make the decision to go back in again or to see if chemo will do the job.
On a positive note I was accepted into a group study at Texas Tech on women and Breast cancer Cancer. It should do me some good.
Love to all.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
I am so tired. I have a burst of energy in the morning, so I cleaned and this morning I fixed about 10 lbs of potatoes! I fixed papas and onions for breakfast and a huge pot of potato and cheese soup.
Tim's mom said it is like we rest 3 hours to be able to work 30 minutes. And it is true. I am just so drained. And then I have the most terrible attitude. I cry instantly and I have been so rude. So I apologize to everyone!
I am keeping up with my medication, eating schedule, sleeping, and everything else the doctor has required. I just never would have imagined it would be so difficult to wrap my mind around all of this.
Thank you for letting me vent today.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Today was a visit with Dr. Reddy my oncologist. Let me give you a run down. If you have questions, please post them. I will try to answer what I know. If I don't know what the answer is, maybe it is something I need to bring up to Dr. Reddy.
The Sentinel Node biopsy showed no cancer in the nodes. However there were traces of cancer going to the nodes. Because of this they can not say that I do not have cancer in my bloodstream. This is not good news, but it is not the worst. All means is that I do have to have chemo. They said with that and because of all the other circumstances like my being young and no reason for cancer, I need the chemo. Without any treatment and just the surgery the cancer would definitely come back. With radiation and hormone therapy only I would have a 70% success rate. If I have chemo, radiation and hormone therapy I have a 90% success rate.
He did remove all the tumor. There was a complication other than the brackets being broken inside of me. The tumor had started to wrap itself around a nerve in my breast. They had to remove that nerve. Who needs feeling in their breast right? No, he said it was one little nerve, not going to make a difference. With what was removed it was not considered a lumpectomy, it is listed as a partial mastectomy.
They want me to rest a bit, so chemo starts December 4th. It will take the longest due to them wanting to do it slow as an introduction. They fully described how each visit will be with blood work to make sure my white cell count is ok (or no treatment until it is) then the process will be 2-3 hours at a time. The next day I return for steroids and injections to keep my white cell count up. This will go on, a treatment every three weeks for 12 weeks. So I am very lucky only 4 rounds of chemo so far. We will countdown!
After that we will rest for a couple of weeks then it will be radiation every day for 7 weeks. After that hormone therapy for five years.
Here is a good thought! I will keep my PICC line and that is how I will get chemo. He said that is how Chemo was originally given before a port was introduced. So every week I will go to Texas Oncology and they will clean my PICC line and change my bandage until we are through. So keep your fingers crossed that this holds.
They gave me tons of reading material on what will happen like between the first and second round I will loose my hair. I am going to go soon and get a super short cut so I will not be so traumatized with it falling out. I keep hearing stories of women driving down the road or cleaning house and having to clean their hair up along the way. I don't think I could handle another meltdown. However I am sure there are more to come.
My advocate Jennifer is trying to get me into a study group through Texas Tech. They are studying the effects of women with Breast Cancer. She thought it would help because I would speak with them and other women and it might help me sort through something personally in dealing with the big C. So lets hope the grant they have been given will be able to provide for me too.
Well that is all for now. I want you all to know how much I love you and you mean so much to me. I apologize if I have exploded at you (TIM) and will try harder to get better as it goes down the road.
I must apologize for not posting sooner but this all taken such an emotional toll on me.
Friday morning 8:30 i had brackets put in to guide Dr. Holloway in the surgery. The fiirst was too close to the tumor so she had to insert a second. This was all done by local llidicane injections. The wires stick outside of your body about 5 -6 inches. Waiting in the day surgery waitingroom the lidicane wore off. They did get me into a very small room, or shall i say closet until noon. Finally they gave me a little pain medicine. My blood pressure was 161 over 110.
About 1pm the nurse came in to inject the Sential Node Biopsy dye. It is injected under the nipple. It didnt hurt as bad as everyone said it would, but maybe i had ben punctured by so many at this point and some pain meds that it didnt matter.
Later i will blog my thoughts as i had wait in pre-op alone. I did have to a wonderful anethisiologiist who gave me meds to help with my blood pressure.
A 30 minute procedure turned into 2 hours when the brackets broke when he was remooving the tumor. He had to fish out the hooks before closing me up.
After that the norm of monitoring your pee, juice, and walk the hall once. Believe me they dont want you there any longer than you want to be!
I got out about 7 and was welcomed hhome by family and friends.
All i wanted was food and sleep, in that order.
Stay tuned, i will write my feelings, as harsh as they are (be prepared) and let you know about my oncologist visit on Tuesday.
Love to you all.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Last night when I went to Maddy's game, I got to see Quinlin. He gave me big hug. I told him I swear he was walking much taller!
You can read the article on his success here.
Please keep my children and Tim in your prayers as they wait patiently for me. This has been just as hard on them as it has been on me.
A pastor by the name of Barry Loving contacted me for an apartment. He had a young man whom he was trying to get on his feet. He brought me the application and fee and I started the process. He explained to me the young man was basically homeless and had told him all he wanted was a job and place to live. He got job and was doing well but still did not have a place to call home.
After his approval, Pastor Loving and his beautiful daughter went to pick up Jason from his job and bring him by to sign his lease. He didn't even ask to see the apartment first. He signed every page, exclaiming, "yes, ma'am". Jason is about 28 years old. A withered face from the sun, in need of a warm shower, and a little on the skinny side. All this will change in a little matter of time.
Once the paperwork was done, I took him to see his new home. He led the way with his new keys in hand, Pastor Loving, his daughter and I followed. He opened the door and he rushed in. He couldn't stop grinning! He ran through the apartment like a kid would run through the candy store. He ran his hands over the cabinet doors (ones I thought needed to be replaced due to years of wear and tear), he opened the closet doors, shut them, and opened them again. He said he could have never imagined anything nicer. You have to remember my property was built in 1968 and it has seen it's day. We have started to refurbish some of the units but this one had not yet been done.
As Jason hugged the Loving family and thanked them, it was hard for me to keep the tears away. I felt so honored to be able to watch something so beautiful unfold before me.
God bless the LOVING family as they continue to help others in need in our community. God bless those that the LOVING family has led to God through their work.
The pre-admit went ok but I learned really quick that I had to defend myself. I came to the conclusion that the people working in the pre-admit office are either very unhappy in their life or with their job. They do not smile, they basically treated me like a number and were not happy with treating me at all. At least when it came time to draw blood they took me to the 6th floor. Liz is on the 6th floor. This wonderfully robust woman in her late 50s. The lady from pre-admit said she would wait on me to be done. Liz quickly put her in her place and told her I was an adult and was quite capable to walking to an elevator and going down by myself. I could not help but giggle and snicker.
We were worried at first because blood would not come out of my PICC line. That was the whole point of getting right? They had me stand up and even tried to "milk" my arm. No telling what the people walking down the hall looking in thought. Finally after about 20 minutes they asked me to sit in the chair and they would recline it. When they did, my arm gushed! Never in all my life has so much blood come out of my arm! And never has it done so without hurting.
So now, after the blood, urine, chest x-ray and the EKG, I am all set for surgery on Friday.
Maddy's game was tonight. They won 19-18! She had 10 points of that winning score! I am so proud of my girl! What surprises me most is that she surprises herself! I proud of you baby.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Well finally a little good news today. My MRI came back and the cancer has not spread to the other breast. This makes thing a lot easier. And a lot of stress lifted off me. I had started having anxiety fits over the weekend.
So far everything is on schedule, with pre-admit being in the morning.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
One of my favorites has always been Quinlin. He has been hanging around for a couple of years now. He is one of those boys you don't mind hanging around. When I go to the kids games, there has been occasions if he is not participating, he has sat by me. I find that an honor.
This young man is wise beyond his years. He has parents who have taught him well. He is smart, funny, good-looking boy who doesn't have to try. He puts you at ease because you can tell how genuine he is. One thing that does not suprise me is that he is a devoted Christian. I have watched him pray, I have heard him speak, and seen his actions. God will always have favor with Quinlin.
Quinlin is an exceptional athlete. He not only runs track but lives it. He is a Junior Olympian! My description of his talents would not do him justices, please see his stats here.
Today Quinlin left for Austin to compete at State. Before leaving he gave Madeline a gift for me. It was his UIL track medal. Yes, of course I cried. This past Sunday the Amarillo Globe-News did a story on Quinlin and his vye for State. In his interview he dedicated his run to me. (yes, I cried at that too!) You can see his interview here.
Quinlin, if you are reading this, know I love you very much and so proud of you. I will be thinking of you on Saturday. Knock em dead son!
1 PICC Line
ease of administering items by PICC line
The picture in this post is a plaque made by Maddy for me at school today.
11-2-12 Was to have my MRI today after having the last opportunity missed due to needing blood test first. They could not do the MRI because they could not find a vein. Every time they made an entrance, it would blow. After the first 4 times, they decided to start using lydicane on both arms and performing sonograms to them each. Still they found veins but they would blow as soon as entered. After seven tries, they stopped. Dr. Clark said he had never seen anything like it. So they rescheduled my appointment for the 8th. I knew Dr. Holloway my surgeon would not want to see me without the MRI so I countacted my advocate Jennifer.
11-5-12 Today Jennifer and I met with Dr. Holloway. He is very nice. He makes things very clear as to how it will be done. He said he would not do the surgery without having an MRI. He stated that at my age I should not have cancer and have no other precursors to having it, so he needed the MRI to make sure of what we are looking at. It would show the true size (it is measuring 2.5 cm to 3 cm).
He said that I would go to the hospital and have a PICC line inserted before the MRI. We decided that I would keep the PICC line until after surgery so that I would not have to go through all of this again. Once again, I was explained to about the surgery, further testing of the tumor and lymph nodes, and the plan for after. So far nothing has changed. with the exception that my surgery has been scheduled for the 16th.
11-7-12 Went to BSA hospital, by the way of my dear friend Rayne. The darned hospital said I could not leave unless I had someone to drive me, so I picked her up at 6:30. She reminded me several times she does not do mornings! But I couldn't think of anything better than having a friend who makes me laugh and had been a nurse for 20 years be beside me.
After two hours, 2 doctors and 5 tries they finally got the PICC line inserted in my left arm. I have included two pictures*, one showing all the bruises I have aquired in the past two weeks and the second is of the PICC line hanging from my arm. I goes in the underside of my forearm and extends all the way to my heart.
Confession: I had to take tramadol to sleep!
* please excuse my messy bathroom and my messy self!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
HER2 is negative - thats a good thing, easier to treat.
Everything right now depends on BRCA test, MRI and meeting with Surgeon.
Could choose surgery first or maybe chemo first depending on size of tumor.
The tumor is now 3 cm from 2 cm. They are not sure if it is from swelling and blood from biopsy two weeks ago. We will not know until MRI.
MRI will show if it has spread or if cancer cells are anywhere else in my body. If anywhere else, then they will have to biopsy those areas before surgery.
They will have to rid the cancer in the breast. Once a breast has been sterilized with radiation, you can no longer receive radiation in that area. If cancer comes back to that area they can only treat it, not cure it.
My KI-67U is 25%. Ideal is under 10%. They are not real happy with 25%. This how fast the cancer cells multiply.
Today I did get good news. The BRCA is back and it is negative. I do not have the cancer gene. This would have given me a 50-60% chance of cancer coming back in the other breast or having ovarian cancer.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This morning was to be my MRI. But instead they send me to the hospital for blood work. They said with high blood pressure they have to have a creatine panel. Now the MRI is rescheduled for Friday. If these people knew how hard of a stick i am they would not do this to me, i still have a bruise from two weeks ago.
I must say i have enjoyed seeing these nice people all dressed up in their Halloween finest. At the Harrington Breast Center they were dressed as the 101 dalmations. At BSA Hospital lab they are all LAB MICE!
The title of this post came from the plaque at the registration desk of BSA Lab.
I didn't know you no longer had to wait for results of mammograms but let me tell you when they think they find something, they speed the process up! Immediate sonogram and she whipped out the measuring stick. Then came the words "biopsy"! If you know me well you know I have had a horrid fear of needles since I was 14 and had those awful cordizone shots in my hip. I just could not imagine a needle going into my beloved boob! I asked for professional opinion at this point. She could not even look me in the eye. Her words were, "I am very concerned". My immediate response was, "This is not a good time!" she asked why and I told her I was getting married in 60 days. All she could do was pat me on the back. All that could think of was where were the positive attitude? where was the lets wait and see? where was the these things are usually benign?
Four days later they had me arrive half an hour early for the biopsy. This is pityful and please do laugh. They gave me valium and they covered my face so I would not see the needle! The worst part was, they would not allow Tim to be with me. But they kept me talking about my love of all kids (nephews included).
Here is the hardest part, waiting. I read that the stress a woman goes through waiting for biopsy results creates the SAME amount of cortisol as woman actually having breast cancer! Go figure! Six days is way too long to wait. This time they allowed Tim to be with me, but you could only imagine what was going on in my mind when they left us alone in the room to wait for the doctor. She immediately said, you have breast cancer. Wow. I looked at Tim, he went white (he doesn't think so). I sat straight up on the edge of my seat and said what do we do? They assigned Jennifer as my advocate that will handle everything for me. The doctor hugged me and I gave her a piece of advice. I told her to work on her game face. Come on, yall know me, I just had too!
This has all been so overwhelming. From here I hope to blog often to keep everytone informed of what is going on and how I am feeling. I apologize up front if I am too honest for you but this is me. I am raw and vulnerable right now. If you don't like, please don't read it and just pray for me instead.
I love each of you with my entire heart. Please email me, text me keep sending me pictures of your beautiful families. I need all the positives I can get!