Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I just came back from my LAST chemo and before I begin to feel the effects I am going to update this blog. I actually got a terse e-mail from Michael the other day telling me that I needed to do this. I feel like a liberated woman knowing that I am done with this ugly part. I have really been a rather foul mood for the last week because I felt so awful. It's not that I am sick, but the pain in my muscles, especially in my arms and legs, has been pretty bad. Just walking down the hall makes me want to sit down. It's been very odd. I'm sure that for the next week I will feel the usual symptoms and probably not get out of bed very easily, but hopefully after that we will begin the long climb out of this mess. I asked the chemo doctor this morning how long it would take to feel normal again and he said 8-10 weeks. That sounds like forever, but it is s shorter time than what I have put in so far, so I can do this. I do still have a few things to get done yet. I also finished the (how can I put this politely?) boob expansions this week. That has also not been an overly pleasant experience. I am still sore and I think that will not end until these tissue expanders are out and regular implants are put in. That will be at the end of October. They will take out the port at time also. Today when I met with the chemo doctor he outlined what has to happen next. In three weeks I will go back for a repeat of the bone scan and CT scan to see what if anything is going on in my ribs. I have to get an appointment with my regular gynecologist for a couple of tests and then I will see the chemo doctor in 4 weeks. At that time I will probably start taking Tamoxofin, which is an estrogen suppressing drug. I will take that for a few years and then switch to another drug which he did not name for probably another few years. I will also have regular check-ups with a variety of doctors. But I think I can handle all of this.
For the past 6 weeks I have been going to physical therapy twice a week to get my arms and shoulders working again. That is progressing nicely. I really have full range of motion and can reach just about anywhere I want to. I still feel a lot of muscle pulling, but considering that after the initial surgery I didn't think I would ever be able to do my hair with out putting my head in my lap, we have come a long way. I still have a few more weeks, but then I will be done with that.
So, that pretty much catches everybody up on the latest adventures of Janet. I continue to be amazed and profoundly grateful to everyone. The cards, meals, rides, and prayers have been so appreciated. Thank you to everyone. I will keep adding posts as things change or warrant. I am always willing to talk and or send e-mails. Do not feel that you are bugging me. Thank you so much.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Good evening everyone. It has been two weeks since I last wrote, so it is time to update. The past two weeks have been better. Once I got past the first week after chemo things have evened out. Probably my worst problem is a lot of leg pain. It is rather bizarre. It feels like I have been running up several flights of stairs and that muscle burn that one gets after you have really worked out. In reality all I have done is get up out of a chair or walk across the room. But it doesn't last long. I still do not have very much energy, but I have finally accepted that as a normal side effect. I just try to not over do. I have developed a lingering cough, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with the chemo. I have an appointment next week with my internist, so we will get that checked out. I get my third round of chemo this Wednesday. I am not looking forward to it, but as everyone keeps telling me, I'm half way through. So, I expect to feel crumby for a week and then hopefully get back to whatever my normal is. My last chemo will be in three weeks, the last week of July.
One interesting thing that has transpired is my genetic testing. It actually turned out to not be any testing at all. At the very beginning of all of this I had filled out a family history questionnaire of all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins on both sides of my family. They wanted to know when everybody was born, when they died and what they died of and any cancers that had come up. After they went through all of this information the doctors decided that there was not enough statistical probability that this was genetically related to warrant doing all of the blood tests. So the doctor just looked me in the eye and told me that I just had dumb bad luck. Isn't that comforting! Shannon, my oldest daughter went with me to the appointment. He did tell her that she and Laura would need to be diligent in getting baseline mammograms at 40 yrs and then every year after that. But, this also means that I don't need to be overly concerned about ovarian cancer. That is a relief. So, hopefully after this is all over we can just go back to normal life. So things are progressing on schedule. I have been getting some physical therapy to get the range of motion back in my shoulders. That will continue until the end of July. I am actually doing pretty good. I still have some pain from the reconstruction process, but my ability to get my arms up in the air and reach for things is improving. So, that about takes care of everything at this point. As usual, thank you to everyone who continues to send cards and e-mails. I really appreciate the good thoughts.