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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow

Well, the surgery is tomorrow. I'm really scared and anxious. I read something last night about the axillary node dissection portion that makes me wonder if it's truly necessary at this point. I'm going to have to question the doctor in the morning and see if the benefits are worth the life time risks. My surgery is at 10am tomorrow at Harris Methodist downtown. Dr. Scot Blumendal will be performing it. I got a good impression of him from our consultation so I'm hoping all goes well. If all goes well, it will be an outpatient surgery. If there are any complications or extensive pain I may have to stay over night. I'm hoping to get out same day. Anyhow, my anxiety is driving me insane, so if you feel like calling to calm me down, feel free!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reward for Completing Chemo

I am still in search of somewhere to get the guitar lessons I promised myself as a reward after finishing chemo. If there is anyone who knows of anyone who might be willing to provide free or low cost lessons for me, I'd appreciate your help. Most places want to charge about $25 for half and hour and we just can't afford it right now with us both being laid off and having to deal with all these medical bills. I really need the distraction.
Monday, January 25, 2010

Radiation Mistakes

Let's just hope the radiation machine I get isn't running Windows... Blue screen during treatment might be a bad thing! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Surgery in February

I got the green light from my oncologist yesterday for surgery. I called and scheduled surgery for February 1st at Harris Methodist Downtown. I've decided to go with Dr. Scott Bloemendal who performed my great aunts mastectomy. He'll be performing a lumpectomy, axillary node dissection, removing some lymph nodes, and most likely my chemo port. The whole thing makes my anxiety levels high. This will be the first real surgery I've had. I wish it was happening sooner so I wouldn't have two weeks to get worked up about it.
Monday, January 18, 2010

Thank You

Saw this little poem and wanted to share it with those of you have been supportive along the way:

For all your good wishes and candy
The balloons and stuffed animals were dandy.
Contributions, beautiful flowers, gourmet meals
and games-- It's hard to keep track of all the names.
Cards, books, visits, calls on the phone
Gave strength to me, I was not alone.
Your hopes and prayers are appreciated more
than I can say-- Hopes and dreams for a brighter day.
Many thanks!
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Potassium Pills Are Dangerous!

I went in Wednesday for my Neupogen shot, and Dr. Krekow's nurse caught me on my way out with my CMP results. She told me I had low potassium and prescribed me some potassium pills to take for 4 days. Jesse got them filled for me... and they are huge! The largest pill I've ever seen. I've never had a problem taking a pill, but when I went to try to swallow this thing it got stuck in my throat. For a few minutes I couldn't breath, talk or cough! I tried drinking more to push it down, but it was stuck. I finally managed to cough it back up. After living through six months of chemo, there was no way I was going to choke to death on a pill. I understand now why my grandmother doesn't want to take hers. These pills, even when broke into thirds seem to stick in your throat. They are the worst!

I spent yesterday in bed due to bone pain and lack of sleep. I had three neupogen shots this time (one more than I've had in the past) and that third one really kicked in the bone pain. I'm really ready to feel normal again. Hopefully, I will feel better, after the neupogen wears off and my counts are back to normal.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Low CBC Numbers

Got a nice "Critically Low" comment on my CBC bloodwork this week. I have to have 3 Neupogen shots + 10 days of Levaquin (antibiotic) to try to fix it. I had my first shot today. What sucks is each Neupogen shot costs $298 and we have to meet this years insurance deductible($2400) before any of it is covered by insurance. At this rate we may have it met before surgery.. grrrr(3 shots at $298 + whatever the surgeon consult costs on Thursday + whatever the Oncologist consolt costs next week + the Levaquin ($85)). The government needs to focus on getting these drug and medical costs down rather than trying to give people insurance. Even those of us who HAVE insurance can't hardly afford healthcare.

WBC was down to .9 (normal range is 4.8-10.8) and Neutrophils#(ANC) was down to .1 (normal range 1.5-6.5). For those unfamiliar, these are the white blood cell counts.. your first defense for fighting infections. I was told to avoid crowds or being out in public too much for a few days. Several other numbers on the CBC are either too high or too low, which is causing me to feel rather ran down any how, so I don't see staying in being that much of a problem.
Monday, January 4, 2010

Recovery From Six Months of Chemo

It is taking a bit longer to bounce back after this final treatment. I think the 6 months worth of chemo has worn me down. I haven't had any extreme symptoms this round, just fatigue, sore throat and a sluggish digestive system. Today is the first day I've tried to do much. I managed to throw dinner together last night (fresh fish the neighbor caught and brought us!) and I threw a load of laundry in for Katie who is dying to wear her new Christmas clothes to school(not an easy task after laying around for a week in bed!). I'm going to try to get to the ornaments off the tree today.

It's really quiet around here today, with Katie back in school and Jesse off trying to earn some cash. Jesse has been doing odd jobs as they come up. He is crawling around an attic somewhere over by TCU installing a speaker/sound system for someone today. I hope he stays warm!

I'd like to thank those who have been supportive during the 6 months of chemo I just completed. A special thanks to my chemo angels Pam and Kim who have sent me cards every week for months. I have an entire shelf full of their cards, gifts and inspiration. It has really brought back my faith in humanity to receive so much support from two wonderful women who were strangers before this started. Thank you for sharing your lives, praying for me and sending me the cards that helped keep me going!

I'd also like to thank Christine for calling to check on me, babysitting during doctors appointments and chemo treatments and just taking Katie out occasionally... I know this is hard on Katie with me being less active!

Thanks Jaclyn for being my backup whenever I needed one. I know you were there and willing whenever I asked(despite your crazy work schedule), and I greatly appreciate you!

Thanks to my Great Aunt Judy for her phone calls and recommendations. Just having someone who has been through this to talk to has been very helpful!

Thanks church and facebook friends for your support, comments and prayers, they have really been a help as well.

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