Thursday, June 30, 2011

Catch up

Someone suggested in the previous comments that perhaps I was taking a hiatus at the beach. I wish it were so. As I'm typing, my raincoat is nearby, as we're still waiting for the sun to make an appearance this 'summer' in our neck of the woods. So, no, sadly I have not been spending my time at the beach. I will try to recap my last 2 weeks for you. Let's start with the fun parts:

I'm having some severe night sweats, hot flashes and (obviously) insomnia (who could sleep through the night sweats and hot flashes?) that are leaving me tired, soaked, grumpy in the morning, and just generally pissy that I have to go through them. This is because of course chemo has shut down my ovaries and now I am experiencing the joys of menopause. There are many more side effects to menopause, and I'm experiencing those too, and I am not liking them. For those of you that have gone through it, you know what I'm talking about, for those of you who haven't - I don't want to scare you. 'Nuff said.

I've had a bladder infection 3 times this month. Yup, THREE times. Each time I finish one round of antibiotics, it comes back, and I go on another antibiotic. I am currently half way through my third antibiotic, and the lab called me (they finally cultured my sample) and they say that that can't find any micro-organisms in the sample. Which leaves me puzzled, but I wonder if that's because I've been on constant antibiotics and they can't see it because of it? Or, perhaps it's not a bladder infection at all and I need a referral to a urologist now? Hmmm... either way, doctor apt is at 1:30pm today.

I found a lump on my chest wall - it's been there a few weeks, but it's getting bigger. I went to my doctor, my surgeon and my oncologist. At first nobody was concerned, they said it could be 'fatty tissue' so we should watch it. Now it's grown, it's getting more painful and I'm half way crazy with worry. So now we're doing a CT scan on it - it looks like they're trying to get one for July 11, which happens to be my birthday. It's ok, I'm having another procedure done at the hospital that day so I guess it's as good time as any. I just want to know what it is. Let the scanxiety begin.

Yesterday was the last of my chemo sessions. It was a bit of a crap shoot, as I went in there high as a kite (i even borrowed a graduation cap from a local highschool to mark my 'graduation' from chemo) and left there quite in a different mood. Turns out my port wasn't working right (Brad had put his head on my shoulder for an impromptu snuggle a few weeks ago, and by accident somehow must have moved the port or the line from it. I felt pain immediately and of course he lifted his head right away but the 'damage' had been done. I was in pain for a couple of weeks after that, the line in the port felt kinked and it hurt when I lifted up my left arm and I could no longer sleep on my left side due to the pain. Of course the doctors said it'd be fine) Anyway, it was fine after a while, at least the pain went away... but yesterday when they tried to access the port and stick the chemo in it, guess what? It wasn't working. Ugh. So, for my very last chemo they ended up having to stick it in my veins (which I've been trying to avoid, which is why I got the port in the first place, and all the nuisance that came with that surgery). Anyway, it was ok in the end, but it did sting going in and I didn't like it. At least, we're done with chemo.

Yesterday at my last chemo session.

On July 29th I'll have a small 'procedure' to remove this darn port out of my body and I can't wait. Good riddance. I have agreed to be awake during it, and I hope things will be less complicated than when they put it in.

Radiation begins beginning of August. Turns out 3 weeks ago, a major international study came out and based on this study, women with my stage of cancer not only are recommended to get radiation, but it should now include radiating the lymphnodes by the collar bone too (Earlier I was perceived as 'aggressive' for pursuing radiation, now it's recommended and more of it. So, of course this will discolor my skin like crazy (and now above the collar bone too, which I will not be able to hide in clothing) One more point for cancer ruining what is left of my body. Ugh. But I'm glad the study came out because apparently it is changing the standard of care in radiology and I'm lucky to be getting in at the right time to take advantage of it. 3 weeks ago it would not have been the case. And that is why they do studies I guess.

It's the end of the school year. My last week has been spent at school, as my son received an 'Academic Honors Award' one day, my daughter was in the 'school talent show' the next day, doing a dance, the day after that was the school play, in which my son had one of the lead roles, and yesterday, was the musical performance in which my son played the recorder. What can I say, I have multi talented kids. Needless to say, I spent my days at the school clapping and cheering and taking pictures. I really appreciated the chance to be there, as normally, in June I would never be able to take time off work (property tax season and all) so I'd have missed it all, like in previous years. Yeay for silver linings.

He is in the front row, last one on the right.

During the school play... It was "the world of OG"

Again, last one on the right. He did a great job and may have found his calling.

I went to the Rihanna concert on Saturday, with my BFF Christine and her daughter. We had the good fortune of staying in a company box, (Christine's company owns a box in this building, and often they let their employees use it) Anyway, I'm not much of a Rihanna fan normally, but it was fun and I enjoyed it. A bit raunchy, and it was funny hearing her 12 year old daughter say 'mom, this is inappropriate' several times.

All dressed up for the Rihanna concert.

Also, through Christine we got the box use again, for July 10 - for ... New Kids On the Block!! Now this concert, I am sooo excited about. I remember them in concert when I was 16. I loved loved loved Johnathan Knight... Hehe. I am taking my daughter this time, and Brad's oldest daughter. It's the day before my birthday, and I plan to have a great time and forget all about the scans the next day. Looking forward to it. The kids have no idea who they are so I have been going on YouTube and showing them videos and songs from the 'olden days' lol. They are just exited to be going.

So, folks, that's what I've been doing the last 2 weeks. Sorry I didn't post. I am now preparing for the chemo yuckies to start today - nausea, bone pain and joint pain is on the horizon for me, but I usually turn the corner by day 10, and knowing this is the last cycle of this may make it easier to bear this time.


Brad Lang said...

Nice to see you writing again kiddo.
Love you

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Hey, you never comment! Nice to see you commenting on here :)
Love you too.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for chemo graduation! Love the graduation cap. It's worthy of celebrating, for sure. Sorry the port is giving you more trouble. July 29 will be a banner day! So glad you got to see your kids' school programs. They're precious!

Mandi said...

Yay for being done!!! It took awhile for the reality to set in that I really didn't have to go to chemo again (mostly 2 weeks later when it would have been a normal chemo day I had the OMG I don't have to get chemo moment).

Another lump is scary, my fingers are crossed for you.

I am curious about the radiation study if you know where information is.

Sayre said...

Good heavens... you've been on quite a roller coaster! Yay-end of chemo! Love the picture with the cap and big smile. Boo-scary lump that makes our girl worry! I'm glad they're going to go ahead and check it out. It's better to know so you can get it taken care of. Yay also for silver linings! Precious, seeing your kids doing their thing at school...

I've been thinking about you, praying for you and wondering what was up with you. Life can get pretty busy, even without having to answer to every curious person - so I just waited this time... I knew you'd be back to chat when you were ready!

Conquering Cancer By Living Well said...

Wow, a crazy couple of weeks for sure! I am glad they found that out about the radiation! You are now on the downhill slide to a very healthy life!! You have done so much to get to this stage and now you can see light at the end of the tunnel yay for that! P.S. the photo of you with the graduation cap is priceless! :-)

nollyposh said...

(((Hugs))) *You* are amazing keeping up with things like you do! And how Fab did you look for the concert! When i had my port out i was terrified but it turned out to be a cinch! so CONGRATs for the end of chemo X:-) ...Btw i have this theory about menopausal flushes (As we call em in Aussyland) that they heat up and thus destroy cancer cells... Well why not afteral that's one of the things they do now to get rid of tumors (ie) heat 'em up and they die!
Thanks so much for keeping me part of the gang... i look forward to all of the stories of your ~recovery~ xox

Anonymous said...

Thank you Michelle!
Through your blog, you have helped me remember what is truly important in, friends, love and laughter! You are truly an amazing woman.
The worst is over with the chemo behind you. Enjoy your month off before radiation begins.. that too will be over before you know it!
love your grad cap & LOVE your spirit. Go get 'em warrier girl!

VV said...

My sidebar didn't show that you'd updated your blog. I wonder if that's because you've gone private. Anyway, glad to hear you've finished chemo and sorry about the port. I just cringed in pain for you. I'm glad you found a silver lining and got to see your kids perform at school. That's really priceless. So your birthday is on the 11th? I just had mine on Sat. the 2nd. Glad you'll be able to see the concert for your birthday. Sounds like you're keeping very busy. Aren't you supposed to slow down and take it easy right now? ;-) said...

Reading you blog I have tears in my eyes realizing you have had way to much on your plate and I am sitting crying my eyes out because I cant simply keep my home any longer if things dont turn out. I love the photo's of your chilren in there concerts and such.. I remember the NKOTB. I was only 12 or going on 13 when they came out.. Miss you..

nancyspoint said...

My goodness, you have been busy! I'm sorry about the crappy parts. I don't blame you for being worried about that lump. ugh. And the hot flashes and night sweats...yuk! Congrats on the graduation from chemo! Your picture is adorable as are the ones of your son. Enjoy this time between chemo and radiation, your days 'off'. ha. Like there are any from cancer. Thanks for posting!

Embracing the Rain said...

Yay for being done with chemo! It sounds like it has been a rough couple of weeks for you. I hope that the lump is nothing to worry about and that you start feeling better soon. ((((((((hugs))))))))

Anonymous G said...

Wow..and what a couple of weeks it's been!

How proud you must be of your kiddos. Silver lining, yes... wonderful for you to be there for those special moments :)

You look beautiful in your chemo-grad cap and sex-ay in your concert ensemble!!

Praying for that stupid bump to be nothin' at all....


Embracing the Rain said...

Happy Birthday! Thinking about you lots today. Hope the cat scan went well and that you have a wonderful birthday.

VV said...

So how was the birthday, the concert, what have you been up to, how are you feeling, etc.?

Sue said...

You haven't mentioned anything about bladder infections for a while, but I have something called intertial cystitis which feels like a bladder infection, but isn't. It's caused by the skin linig your bladder being really really irritated. It isn't uncommon after chemo for our bodies to complain about what we have put them through.
Was wondering if you had talked to your doc about this.