Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Hello there folks! I know, I have not been very diligent in keeping everyone "in the loop" with my life. And how I know this, is I am beginning to receive emails from people asking me which treatment I am on, or how many more do I have to do, or asking how I am doing with them this time. Here is the scoop. I have done 3 treatments of the weekly doses of Taxol and Herceptin so far. I have 9 more to go. I will finish with my last treatment June 10th. After that, my oncologist says we will do the mastectomy. He says, regardless of what they find with the mammograms or biopsy between now and then. "Even if we find nothing, we will still do the surgery. Because without the surgery, we can not be completely sure of what is left or whether it is in the lymph nodes or not." Until the surgery, we cannot be 100% sure if lymph nodes are involved or not. And cancer cells are microscopic, so we could biopsy you and go in right past a cancer cell, and totally miss it, and bring out a clean sample. So we MUST do the surgery. And they had told me they wanted to do the surgery in June. But because of different factors going on in my life, I have asked them if they could move it to July. They have not given me an answer yet. I have an appointment with my surgeon in May, and from there we will determine an exact date for surgery. This routine of weekly treatments have not been as hard on me as the first 12 weeks. The first 12 weeks consisted of one treatment every 21 days, and because they were spaced out like that, the dose was larger, and therefore, yes, harder on my system and body. But because I am now on a weekly routine, the dose is not as large, and therefore, easier for my system to handle. I still fight the fatigue, but I have no nausea, or at least it is not as bad. If I let myself get overly tired, and have to deal with something yuk, then yes, I feel a bit nauseous. But if I am careful with my energy bank, and don't let myself get overly tired, then I don't have to deal with the nausea!! I do have a couple of other minor side effects that are mostly just an annoyance. I have nose bleeds on a fairly regular basis. They are not bad, just annoying. They generally stop within a few minutes of starting. I also have minor bone pain, that feels more like little jabs of pain in my ovaries or my hips, and sometimes my shins. Again, it doesn't stop me, just annoys me. Now, you have all been brought up to speed in my cancer walk! Let's move on to the rest of my life. My mom is doing great! Last week she walked over to her neighbor's house and that neighbor was nice enough to drop me an email to let me know that she thought mom seemed perky and upbeat, and "as normal as the next guy". I always love to get that kind of validation from other people in mom's life. I know she has her bad days. But she still has enough good days to make the bad days bearable. She is having a hard time with this silly Missouri weather of late. It goes from a couple of beautiful sunny days, 70's outside, sitting in her swing, to a "hard freeze" and back into the 30's and 40's that forces her back into the house, sitting inside in her recliner. Her moods are directly affected by the sunshine, and her ability to get outside!! As most of you know, the holidays always give me a little bit of a problem with trying to work out the logistics of trying to get mom to my house. I don't live around the corner from her. I actually live 45 miles south of her. I go to church 20 miles south of my house. In the past, daddy and momma would drive down to my house for holiday celebrations. Now, momma doesn't like to drive on the interstate, and especially not when it is raining. She still drives back and forth to church, or to her local things like bible study at FBC Festus-Crystal City or the bank. Every day, all week long, I kept reminding her that this Sunday was Easter, trying to get a feel for whether or not she wanted to drive down herself, or have someone come get her and bring her down. She never really would comment like she had a preference one way or another. So, I began to try and put some plans together, like plan A, plan B, etc. You know me, I like to have a plan, LOL. Plan A seemed to be working, then ended up not working. Plan B then came into play. Plan B was what we ended up going with. So, Saturday night, I call mom and remind her about the plan in the morning, the plan for Easter Sunday. Sunday morning, I called her at 8 o'clock and again, remind her that today is Easter Sunday, and that Jenna will be there at 9 o'clock to pick her up and bring her down to our church, then to my house for Easter dinner. She sounded like she "got it". But when Jenna got there at 9, mom was sitting out in her swing, in her jeans. Jenna, not wanting to confront Grandma, let her get in her car with her, and they started down the highway. When Jenna turned down 67 highway, towards Fredericktown and my church, instead of down 55 South towards my house, Grandma began to question her where she was going. When Jen said, "to church Grandma, it's Easter Sunday", well, mom got more than a little upset. She began to give Jen a lot of static about taking her to church in jeans. Mom was seriously upset. Jen ended up calling me, asking how to handle Grandma, what she should do. I said, if mom doesn't want to go to church, then take her to the house, we'll be on home after church. I didn't think it was something my daughter should have to deal with, so I was trying to make it easier on Jen, and make mom happy. Well, Jen was able to deal with mom, and they both showed up at church on time. Mom was fussing as she came through the door. I tried to reassure her that what she was wearing was fine. It was the drama anyway, so the lights were dimmed, and people were running around in costume anyway. We got settled in, and mom began to relax a bit. The service was wonderful, and the drama was really really good. Afterwards, we all divided up into separate vehicles and made our way to my home for the feast! We had a wonderful day, of good food and lots of family time. The crisis feeling that the morning started out with slowly began to subside, and we all relaxed and had a good time. Around 7:30 or so, Kelly loaded up mom and they left. Kell got her settled into her recliner, and then left to head back up to her apartment in the city. Monday, mom spent the day with the seniors from FBC-Festus Crystal City, at FBC-Arnold, at a senior luncheon and singing. She was gone most of the day, and had a good time being with lots of old friends and actually getting out and about again. The weather has not been good for that lately. Today, I took the tax returns up there, and we sat at the table and got the needed checks filled out and attached and all buttoned up to be mailed. We then worked on getting all her bills written out and in envelopes. After we got everything prepared, we went to the post office and put everything in the mail. Yippee! Everything is done, and taken care of, at least for the month of April, teehee. After we got all our "chores" done for the day, we went and had lunch together at Captain D's. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Mom was good, and seemed to be upbeat. Thanks for all the prayers, folks, I am still standing in the need of prayer. Tomorrow, is Wednesday. Tomorrow, I will spend my day, all day, at Barnes hospital. Labs, doctor's appointment, and chemo. My husband will be taking me, and even though I will be sleeping through most of the chemo treatment, Keith will be faithfully there beside me, playing Freecell.