Breast Cancer Awareness, Stories, Support

This blog is dedicated to everyone who has been touched by Breast Cancer. It is a means of sharing my story (the good the bad the ugly) and to spread awareness. My first post: October 1st 2010. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please follow as I share my story. Leave a comment or share an experience. You can contact me by e-mail at



Monday, January 31, 2011

3 Down 1 To Go!

I had my third chemo and yeah it went better than the last two. I had the same amount of heartburn, muscle and joint pain, and exhaustion. My blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature all elevated. I waited on pins and needles for the horrible diarrhea to start and right on schedule it seemed to be starting (Sunday night and Monday morning). I followed my oncologist’s instructions and the week after the chemo (the Monday that the diarrhea was increasing) I went in for fluids. I was feeling horrible as usual and not looking forward to the week of running to the bathroom and going back for more needle sticks and more fluid. Then…Monday afternoon and evening seemed normal. Wow could it be…no I won’t get my hopes up. I went to see the oncologist on Tuesday and still so far that morning things were good. We were both very excited so we canceled the fluids for the rest of the week and waited. If the diarrhea increased again I needed to call and come in for fluids. Praise the Lord it did not increase and I actually feel good and my next and last chemo isn’t till Feb. 8th. Oh please let that one go as well!

I went to the Look Good Feel Better class offered by the American Cancer Society. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it for anyone who is going through cancer treatment. It was a small class of only 4 ladies and we each got a tote full of beauty products that were donated by many well known cosmetic companies. We went through the steps of cleansing, moisturizing, applying makeup, nail and skin care, and then learned about wigs and tying scarves. There were wigs and scarves and hats to try on. All in all it was very fun and informative. I can tell you tho that I am very glad that (so far) I haven’t completely lost my eyebrows. They are much thinner but I still have enough. Why am I so glad about that??? I am very very very bad at drawing on eyebrows!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fluids, Fluids, Fluids, or Not???

I really should not wait so long between posts because I can’t remember everything that happened??? Well I’ll give it my best shot. I had my second chemo on the 28th (the lower dose). While it did go better then the first one (I at least didn’t end up in the hospital) I basically had the same symptoms within the same time frame. First the increase in diarrhea, the awful aches and pains, elevated temp., blood pressure, and heart rate. This time I took pain pills to ease the pain. The one improvement was that my fistula didn’t flare and I didn’t have nearly as much bleeding with the diarrhea. The day of chemo they gave me extra fluids and had me come in the next two days for more fluids. It was a holiday weekend so I went 3 days without fluids. Unfortunately I was not able to enjoy New Years Eve. That was one of my worst days and I was in bed by 10:30. We are going to have a redo sometime soon :) Because I continued to have severe diarrhea I did what they told me to do. I called and came in for more fluids that Monday after the New Year. The nurse told me if I continued to have severe diarrhea to call in the morning and come in again. I did so I called and came in. The one male nurse (I’ll call him nurse jackwagon), who doesn’t usually have me as a patient, came over and said “We all talked this morning and are wondering what to do with you?” (Really!) He told me that I can’t just call and come in for fluids when I’m not on the schedule. (You mean what they told me to do. Meanwhile the room is practically empty so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t jamming up their schedule.) Then he proceeds to tell me that I don’t look dehydrated and if we want the diarrhea to stop we shouldn’t be pumping in more fluids. I said that I thought the purpose was to prevent dehydration so that I don’t end up back in the hospital and that when I was in the hospital the diarrhea improved while I was on fluids. He then tells me (and this is very funny because a nurse should have some idea of what crohns disease is and the symptoms) that I need to do things at home to stay hydrated, that I need to eat foods that bind! I almost laughed right in his face. I said that I have crohns disease and there are no foods that bind me. He said I need to drink lots of fluids. I told him that I do. I drink lots and lots of water in addition to juice and milk. He asked if I drank coffee and I said no I might have 1 cup of tea a day. He said well you shouldn’t drink tea because it is a diuretic, or anything with caffeine. I told him I never drink anything with caffeine. He asked me how many times I went the day before I said 16 (you jackwagon). He was determined to convince me that my diarrhea was my fault. He said well if you are going to come in for fluids we need to put you on a schedule, how about Mon. Wed. Fri. I said fine. This lovely conversation was on a Tuesday so he said not to come in tomorrow just wait till Friday and then next week they will put me on for Mon. Wed. Fri. I told nurse jackwagon that since I have an appointment with Dr. A (the oncologist) on Tuesday I won’t come on Monday. I’ll just ask her on Tuesday what exactly I should do. Before I left the other nurse told me if I still had severe diarrhea to call and come in…Really??? So like a good little patient I went back on Friday and yes my diarrhea was still severe. Nurse Jackwagon didn’t come anywhere near me. When I was done the nurse said if you continue to have severe diarrhea to call, they have a doctor on call all weekend. Nurse Jackwagon really made me feel like I was being ridiculous and that I was a nuisance. At this point I am determined to never call again no matter what is happening.

I went on Tuesday to see the oncologist and she said my blood work has been good. She asked about the diarrhea and I told her exactly how many times a day I was going, when it starts, and how long it lasts (I’ve been keeping track). I told her I was confused about what to do as far as the fluids go, that I was doing what I was told and calling to go in when the diarrhea was severe, but the nurse said I shouldn’t be doing that and needed to be on a schedule. She looked everything over and she said based on when the diarrhea starts she would have the nurses put me on the schedule for the Mon. Wed. Fri. Mon. the week after my chemo. She also said I’m going to write in here that you can call if the diarrhea is severe and you need to come in for more. (Yeah right I’ll call and then be treated like I’m overreacting, no thank you) She said she wanted to push forward and do two more treatments like planned. She also wants to see me again in two weeks to make sure I’m doing ok. I can’t wait till this is over.

Oh the other funny thing is that in the middle of all this I called my GI doctor to see if I could take anything to help with the diarrhea. He prescribed Lomotil and told me if it didn’t help to call and they would arrange for me to come in and get fluids!!!

The good news is that just like the last time I am at the point where my poo is back to normal and I am feeling better (except for being completely exhausted). My next chemo is on the 18th and then only one more after that. I CAN DO THIS!!!
Later that same day that I saw the oncologist I went to Jiffy Boob for a fill up. He is very happy with my progress. I’m amazed at how big my new boobs are getting (I think I’m still less than half the size I use to be but I was quite big before :). I actually have some nice cleavage going on!!!

I registered for a class through the American Cancer Society. It’s called Look Good Feel Better. It’s a class to teach you how to care for your skin and apply makeup while you are going through chemo. I’m looking forward to that. Just about all the hair on my head is gone but I still have my eyebrows. The area where I always plucked is not growing anymore hair. I have lost some eyelashes but I still have enough that most people wouldn’t notice. I have no hair under my arms Yeah and the hair on my legs has stopped growing so I don’t have to shave them either Yeah!!! I’ll let you know how the class goes.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Post I Forgot to Post!?!

I started this post after Christmas and then forgot to post it (chemo brain) so here it is :)
Once again this is on both blogs :p

Being home and hydrated made me feel very good. I haven’t had much energy but I also haven’t had much pain and I’m back to my normal for me poo routine. The fistula has also been behaving.

My hair started falling out (2 weeks after 1st chemo) so we had a little buzz cut event. My boys already have buzz cuts and B and J’s friend Jeff needed a trim so J buzzed Jeff first and then B. Then off with my hair :( but I have to say it doesn’t look that bad. J already looks a lot like me and now we look like twins hahaha. We took pictures but I don’t think I’ll post those. I went to pick up my wig the next day and it is wonderful. The color and style are just like my real hair. People will never guess it is a wig (if they don’t already know that is)

I was very disappointed to miss my beautiful niece CSD’s wedding. I just wasn’t feeling well enough and my doctors don’t want me to be around any large crowds to prevent being exposed to germs. Thankfully I have the most wonderful family in the world. My niece CRSA and my sister CAE sent me pictures during the ceremony and reception….THEN my amazing, beautiful, wonderful niece and brand new bride CSD, brand new hubby N, and her Mom (sister CAE) came to my house on Christmas Eve to reenact the wedding reception. With the wedding dress on, Mother of the bride dress on, bouquets in hand; they came down my staircase escorted by my son (in shorts and a tee-shirt hahaha.) I cried! I also dressed for the occasion and wore my wig. They brought a center piece, snacks, cookies, and cake. We took lots and lots of pictures, and then we ate, and the bride and groom cut the cake. My beautiful niece KRS and brother RJS and sister in law RJS were also in attendance. I can’t even find the words to express how wonderful and special this day was for me. I love you all so much xoxo.

I finished my online Christmas shopping but everyone got a lot less than normal. They weren’t disappointed tho because they are wonderful. Hubby wrapped everything for me on Christmas Eve evening…nothing like waiting till the last min. (of course I do that just about every Christmas ;) This year we did a 2 fishes Christmas Eve Dinner (as opposed to the 7 fishes). Christmas morning was very nice. We opened our presents and then went to CRA’s for a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast. The rest of the day was relaxing. Hubby cooked a nice Christmas Ham dinner and we watched our boys play Wii. I use to be good at these games but apparently it’s not like riding a bicycle!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is