Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pain Today Gone Tomorrow

After a month of agony, today is day two of NO PAIN!  or very little.  I'm still stiff with low energy.

Took a bath tonight; a nice long, hot, relaxing soak.  Whatever energy I had was sucked down the drain with the bath water.  I had to have a 20 min lay down.  I wasn't strong enough to feed myself - Paul made me dinner.  So now I'm fed, medicated, bathed, shaved, moisturized and resting.  If only I could sit up, life would be good.  I'm kidding (almost).  I'll be able to sit up in a few minutes.

While yesterday was my first day of feeling normal in forever, there was still a brand new phantom pain - in the muscle above my left breast pushing against my ribs, it feels like I got poked hard with a blunt stick (which didn't happen).  It got worse and worse through out the day until evening when the slightest wrong move felt like a punch/stab/jolt.  I wok this morning with the pain subsiding, feeling like a it was a healing bruise.

It's the perfect example of how my random, for no good reason pain works.  It just shows up, hurts for as long as it wants and then goes away.  It could be my hip, my ribs, my joints, my arm, my jaw... just pain - then not pain. And almost always on the left.  Knock wood the next radiation fixes a lot of that.

There we go... energy returning.  Sigh.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Start Blogging Again

I stopped using this blog when I was all done the chemo and radiation the first time around, but it might be time to start utilizing it again.  A place to vent, a place to express, a place just to get the words out.

Words like pain, hurts, ache...

Yep, last year I think, time just keeps passing... No wait, 2015?  Was that when I was re-diagnosed?  I was working on a mural downtown Toronto when I bent, lifted, twisted and totally messed up my back.  It was late summer.  I had my 4 year all-clean check up coming up but kept postponing the appointment because my back hurt so much for so long.  I had spent weeks laying on the floor trying to rock my spine back into alignment to no avail.  Screw it... back pain or not, I wanted my all clean.

Well guess what.  Back pain is a serious symptom of stage 4 breast cancer.  Who knew?!

Turns out the little buggers came back and made themselves at home all along my spine, in my hips, and apparently in my jaw (although I don't notice any ache there).

We tried a different hormone... the hormone did no good.

Next step - total infertility and chemo for the rest of my life.  As long as they were radiating the masses that were causing so much pressure in my back, they zapped off my ovaries which put me instantly into menopause and qualified me for the oral chemo.

That stuff works.  But it's hard on your body.  I especially suffer from chemo poisoning of the feet - red, dry, cracked, peeling... walking on Legos made of lava.  Not fun.

Life expectancy.  Hell if I know.  Could be 3-4 years, could be 10-20.  I keep exaggerating the deadline because you never know, there could be improvements in medicine.  Could be that I'm just a tough old broad who refuses to die.

OK, so let's say it was Sept 15 that I was re-diagnosed... And it's Feb 17... That's 15 months I've been living like this.  Dammit!  I was supposed to be a success story!!!!  (Or maybe I am and just don't know it.)

I think I will start using this blog a lot more.  Several people have said I should write a book because of my positive outlook.  My thoughts on that?  Geesh, if every one who ever got cancer and wanted to share there experience in a book wrote one, man, that's a lot of downer reading.  Who am I to say what it's like and what to expect.  I've done my utmost best just to keep it on a need to know basis.

Like last fall when I'm doing a check up and my hospital sherpa mentions, "you have stage 4 cancer" and I was like, "WHAAAAAAT?!"  I just thought it was a recurring cancer.  Deny, deny, deny...
(PS: Stage 5 is you're dead, so that kind of through me for a loop.)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So how's ur health now ?

Better I suppose. Had my first bone density treatment on Monday... that stuff knocks you on your ass. It's supposed to be flu like symptoms...I basically slept for 48 hours.

I have a head ache today. Too much beer and up too late last night. I'm thinking the too much is related to the medicine on Monday because it wasn't excessive.

Re-diagnosed... I've been celebrating being post breast cancer going on 4 years. Not no more. It's back. But it's moved to my back. Apparently breast cancer cells like bone tissue and the spine is a lovely warm place with lots of blood flow to make the little buggers feel safe an cozy.

The bitch of the mater is, now that it's back it's never going to be eradicated. It can be managed... but for how long is anyone's guess. I start radiation on the 24 to help shrink some of the masses, there by giving me better mobility and less daily ... it's not really pain. But it is an ever present discomfort.

I'm just peachy.

I know... It's a boat load to ingest. There just is no nice way to sneak the Cword into a conversation. So if I come across as prickly sometimes... well, it's because I am. And I have a right to be. The last time I went through this it was with the intention of never having to deal with it again. A year of chemo and d radiation and shots and what not... That was tough stuff and I sailed through it with a smile on my face like nothing was the matter. It was more important that everyone else feel ok because it wasn't the end of the world. This time it's a bit tougher. I could have a few years left or many. We just don't know. But I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not going to ever know what it's like to be an 80 year old woman.

I'm still processing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hormone Replacement Therapy

This is a small tablet that I'm supposed to take every day for 5 years.

It sweeps away my "egg-laying" estrogen in favour of "stable testosterone".

At first it was all about the roles coaster ride of up-down/hot-cold... The hot flashes were..
OMG!!!! hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot! Seriously! I hope you never experience the sensation of having the sweat glands on you knee caps open wide and start sprinkling in an effort to cool you down! It is gross!

Waking every night, every 1.5 -2 hours like clock work to find yourself swimming in a pool of sweat... not good for you or your partner! Mind you, once I cooled down and found that I had my own space for a change... :-)) It's all good.

Hot flashes only lasted 8 months or so... I still get flushed now and then but it doesn't compare. "oh no, my neck is hot and sweaty."
"Freakin' Front Doors! It's flaming hot... I could throw up it's so sickly hot!"

That's past. But now the upside of hormone replacement therapy. ;-))

OMG I feel 24 again. And it's hard because I keep looking in the mirror and that is clearly NOT a 24 yr old hotty! My hormones are off the charts! I like it, I hate it. I like it, it's so very, very frustrating. I like it... I'm such a cougar! A very, very caged and dangerous big cat.

On the bright side, I when from looking 34 (pre chemo) to looking 48 (ravaged by chemo) to looking my age. I'm a fabulous 40 (ish).

I stand by this request: I deserve a mulligan! did 40 twice!

Post Post Post Recovery

Wow... I had no idea how long it has been since I last blogged here.
ONce cancer treatments were over it was like... done now. I don't need to keep bringing folk down. I'm sorry that I haven't shared how easy recovery was.

I stopped being treated. My hair started to come in. Thank GOD for eyelashes!!!!!! Man! That was brutal! You have no idea how important those little dust flick-away hairs are! Seriously!

After some time my mouth's chemistry stabilized and things started t taste normal. I still get an exciting blast of chill that radiates across my chest when I drink anything chilled. But that's kind of nice (rush)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hot Flashes Are NOT Fun

I was rather hoping they'd be long gone by now, it's been 5 months since radiation was done.

What's a hot flash like? Well let me tell you...

It's this huge wave of heat that crashes over you. At first you don't feel hot. In fact your limbs can be little blocks of ice, so cold that the feet feel like they are burning with frost bite. Then suddenly the body begins to go into "too hot" panic mode and all your cells start vibrating at once and sweat burst from every available pore on your body. You don't know hot n' sweaty until you've felt your shins gush (so weird).

All you can do at this point is pant, make yourself as big as possible (maximizing your surface area for evaporation) and fan. It only last for about 5 minutes, but that's 5 minutes of gasping, choking heat that could just about make you throw up!

Hot flashes are always followed by a ridiculous chill. Now that you're covered from head to toe in a sheen of sweat there's no way of putting a halt to the bodies cooling system. It can take up to 1/2 an hour to regain a normal balanced temperature. But be ware, the moment you realized that you are comfortable, that's when the next hot flash will kick in! I spend all day either wrapped in a blanket or pulling on a sweater... or visa versa.

And it's not just by day - nights are crazy too. For the past couple of nights I've been waking every 2 hours tangled in my soaked night shirt and burning up. I'll just be drifting off again when I realized I'm shivering cold and can't get bundled tight enough.

I sure hope this ends soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

6 Month Check-Up

Yay! All clear!

The Dr said he liked my hair style... I'll bet he says that to all the girls.