Let’s begin with ‘how I am’ because my friends and relatives always check my blog for ‘medical details’ so here tis…
I’m grateful to be having a 3 week break between chemo drugs. I finished the 4 months of Paclitaxel and on July 29th I begin the AC chemo. The Paclitaxel drug has 2 pages of ‘possible side effects’ which mostly I’ve escaped unscathed. I’m more tired than usual but my blood counts are all normal and I have no numbness or tingling in arms or legs which is common on this drug.
So goodbye to Paclitaxel and hello to AC.
The name AC comes from the initials of the drugs used:
In comparison, AC only has half a page of ‘possible side effects’ but they are more likely to bump the blood counts down. So it’s more likely to compromise my immunity and energy levels and give me nausea. I have my fingers in my ears saying ‘la la la’ to that. Praying for it to fly by effortlessly and to keep my energy and sharp wit going!
I’m still running 5km 3 times a week and trying to do ‘Body Balance’ twice weekly but I have had a very nasty stabbing pain in my upper abdomen for 4 days of this week (and a bit the previous weekend too). I’ve been off my food and not sleeping well because of it. I see my GP tomorrow about it as it’s most likely tied up with the drugs I take for my arthritis. Ho hum. Nanna naps are becoming a little common now but most of the time I don’t actually sleep. I just rest for 30 minutes or so.
I saw the surgeon at the breast clinic today and she is booking me in to get the breast lump (if they can find it!!!!) ‘tagged’ next week. A bit annoying given that we have been asking them about it for 3 months now. The tumour can no longer be felt, so in a way I hope there is something found in the ultrasound so that when they do surgery that don’t have to guess where it was. If they find something they will ‘tag’ it so that they can remove the area during surgery. Surgey will be in October sometime.
You can read more about tumour tagging here.
Perhaps they are really microchipping me so I can’t run away from surgery. They know how fast I can run:) Anyhow… that is going to rudely interrupt my ‘Arty’ week away where I was going to eat apples and paint pictures in my pjs next week. Luckily we can drive back for the surgery and return to Rosebud the same day and it won’t interfere too much!
Here’s a little story from todays visit to the doctors. The MALE surgeon said to me ‘We need to pop up on the bed so we can look at your breast’. I almost got the giggles but stopped myself. WE???? Really. That would be kind of odd. So glad he didn’t pop up on the bed with me as it’s only 50cm wide.
Here is the truth about my sharp wit. My brain is so scarily foggy that I spend my time worrying I’ve forgotten things. I’ve always had a ridiculously good memory. This week I forgot a lunch date with a friend. ARGHH! If you have any dates with me please remind me the day before. It’s not that I don’t love you dearly, it’s just that I’m so lacking in grey matter right now. That’s why I can’t work. I don’t even remember what my job used to be let alone how to do it ha ha. Just call me Dream Boat.
Gratitude amongst the hard times
I’m grateful for many things.
- The bonding of relationships with my husband, my family and my friends
- My artistic gifting
- The strengthening of my faith
- My dog
- Eyebrow pencils
- Bra stuffing (for the future)
Most of all I’m grateful for having the following story to share with you.
As you know, a friend named Josie died from Breast Cancer a week ago. Her husband, Kevin, popped in to pick up some artwork from me and stopped for a coffee. Kevin watched his wife struggle for 13 years with secondary breast cancer and shared with us many stories (mostly funny ones). This one really got me thinking though…
13 years ago, Kevin was seriously stressed about his job. He had both medical and emotional conditions which were stress related. He worried continually and had difficulty sleeping etc. When Josie was diagnosed with cancer the stress stopped instantly. He said that almost overnight it completely went away as he focused on what was important to him and prioritised his life. He spent the next 13 years enjoying his marriage and focussing on each other. They focussed on the things in life and what really mattered.
Imagine if we all lived our lives that way. If relationships were the most important things in life and not money. Why do we need these nasty reality checks to know what is important? Divorce rates, work related stress, estranged families and suicides would all decrease. People would take better care of their health. If we stopped prioritising the material things.
Simplistic I know, but it did get me thinking and thinking is pretty hard for me right now so that’s a miracle!