Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ Three’s a Charm

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

These are not current events, events are from October 2010

I apologize for the length of time since the last post.  My family is in flux at the moment and my access to the internet is spotty.  I am now going to attempt to upload blog (I've still been writing offline.) entries weekly and scheduled by blogger.  I'm sorry for any distress I may have called.  I DO not have a re-occurrence of cancer as a concerned reader emailed to ask.  ;)

Chemo last Friday went pretty well. Dr. wasn't happy with the nausea and vomiting I had previously. So he worked up a whole list of meds for me, some IV for the chemo infusion and some to take orally here at home. THOSE were not cheap, as we had to go to a non-provider pharmacy but the insurance will reimburse us about 80% of it. Let me tell you they knocked me on my butt! They kept the nausea down for sure. I just had a little up til Monday and it was gone. But sometimes the cure is almost as bad; I thought I was going to crawl to the bathroom a few times. I was so lightheaded; everything was so bright and whitewashed....I was not digging it!

I had the Neulasta Injection a couple of days ago, but he reduced it to a half dose. IF it’s going to fire up my bones it will be tonight. I can feel my bones kind of tuning up now. One bone will throb and it will stop and another will start. The nurse giving the shot suggested I start taking the Percocet at the first throb of pain. I had more muscle and joint pain earlier in the week from the Taxotere. I run fevers with it too. Its not fun and it hurts and slows me down. But it never gets to a level where I’m gasping in pain. It’s more of a groaning, “want to cry” kind of pain. Everything just throbs, walking is pain and a serious chore. But it’s like a level 6 at its worse. I mean it hurts, and moving is hard but I’m not crying out in pain. :/

When I was at chemo, a woman from the American Cancer Society came around and gave everyone a little gift. It was a tea cup with chocolates and lip balm and lotion samples. You KNOW that I was thrilled with that.

I told Dr. Joe about mom’s surgery and how family had forbid me to go. He said as far as my treatment...her surgery was scheduled perfectly for me. 2 days before chemo MY LAST chemo! So IF I feel up to it, I’m going to the hospital. If I’m still having pains I won’t attempt it. It’s still two weeks away and things can change a lot by then.

I had a laugh last week when I went to Kohls to check out their breast cancer awareness display. There amongst the therapy socks and gloves were "quick dry hair clothes" with pink ribbons embroidered on them. They are supposed to soak up moisture and dry your hair faster. I know I have had such a hard time getting MY hair to dry. I burst out laughing. People probably thought I’d lost it, standing there - bent over and holding my stomach and laughing with tears in my eyes. It just struck me as hilarious.

This week K and I have had a few giggles as we attempted to dry my hair. lol It’s good to have a mate who is right there with me in this. One day he surprised me with a banana cream pie...oh my. I asked him what he was going to eat? He thought I was joking. So I let him have a piece, maybe two. Since he also surprises me with the occasional chunky monkey....I thought I could share.


That is rather ironic and funny about the quick dry cloths being right next to cancer paraphernalia.

Thanks for the update! Be sure and take your doctor's advice and take the percocet. My former doctor (now retired; I miss him!) always said that the pain is faster than the medication, so don't wait until the pain is unbearable to take your percocet.

I am praying that your pain eases and that you're able to be with your mom when she has her surgery, and praying that her surgery goes well.

I hope you don't think it's silly, but I also prayed that you'd be able to taste the chocolate. (((Tina)))

Rosey –

No Linda not silly. I consider chocolate an essential food group. :) I have taken a pain med already as I can feel the bones are amping up. I can groan through pain at a 5 or 6 so if it stays below I can deal with it. I’m sucking on banana pops to try and stay hydrated too.

The funny thing about the hair towels was that they were pink BCA merchandise as well. I know that people without cancer buy the pink ribbon stuff in support of someone or as a donation. I thought it funny that the merchandisers or the store didn't consider how a survivor would view the towels. I choose humor but I have a friend diagnosed the same day who is having a really hard time. October is beating her up because she feels everywhere she turns; the world is shouting she has breast cancer. :( I’m kind of enjoying all the pink. It’s like the world is supporting me in recovery!

She’s still working and that just seems impossible to me. My father worked all through his chemo and radiation treatments and now I understand how much he suffered and how hard it was. He told me that there were times his coworkers just carried and covered him. I’m even amazed that he got up every day and went to work. He’s been gone nearly 10 years but I wish I could go back and give him a hug. For years, I would go home for the week of his chemo. His chemo was every day for one week a month. That week I was there to cook, clean and run their errands. Now, knowing exactly how hard it is, I’m so happy I was there for him.

Tracy -

I'm glad you saw the humor in the quick dry hair cloths. I truly believe that a person's attitude does affect their healing. Your sense of humor is keeping you sane!