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ozziepuppy
March 21st, 2015, 08:29 PM
Just wanted to give a brief update ~ I think last time I posted I still had more chemo to go through. I did make it through the final chemo sessions although it was very difficult and I was very sick with multiple side effects. Many of those have resolved but I am still struggling with major body aches, fatigue, numbness in fingers and toes, and especially pain, itching, and tingling in my incisions and under my arms. This past week I began infusions of a single drug targeted therapy (will be every three weeks, through portacatheter in chest) which, since it specifically targets cancer cells, is not supposed to have as many side effects. I did have some side effects specifically from the infusion but they were milder than from the 3-drug chemo and only lasted about a day. On Monday I see my oncologist and I believe he will start the aromatase-inhibitor pills (one a day for 5 years) which the nurse says have a side effect of joint pain (among others). This past week I also had a MUGA scan (heart test) to check for heart damage from the chemo and to be sure I can continue with infusions (one possible side effect is heart damage). I have NO stamina (little efforts wear me out) and I believe I am quite depressed as I cry a lot. I think about last summer when I was happily working on my son's wedding quilt not knowing what was ahead. I grieve my old life and old self and it seems that I will never feel or be healthy again. Soon I will have to go back to work (starting with part-time) and I am very anxious about that. I check the forum every night on my phone when I am in bed and enjoy the gallery and "new posts." My hair is just starting to grow in; it is very fine (like baby hair) and is "fuzzy" rather than straight (there is also a lot more gray in it). Of course my head still looks mostly bald. I think if I weren't in constant pain across my chest and under my arms I would be coping better. I think I need to realize that I actually am NOT having many of the full-chemo side effects that were completely debilitating and I do need to concentrate on that rather than all of the things that are still problematic. Everything just seems so overwhelming though. I appreciate the positive thoughts and prayers that I know are still being said as well as everything that everyone has done for me (it has truly been amazing). I still need prayers if anyone is so inclined ~ thank you! <3 Happy sewing to all; if you are healthy try to realize what a wonderful gift that is; if you haven't had your annual mammogram please do so. :)

Jean Sewing Machine
March 21st, 2015, 08:34 PM
You have been through it, for sure, but are bravely moving forward. So glad the forum can be a refuge for you. You are still in my prayers for a complete recovery.

buckeyequilter
March 21st, 2015, 08:47 PM
Prayers and hugs to you.

RFREE
March 21st, 2015, 08:55 PM
I can't tell you how bad I feel to hear of anyone having to battle cancer. I know we are not supposed to ask why this happens to anybody but I just don't get it. I am so sorry you are sick and having to go through this. I will keep you in my prayers for added strength and a full recovery.

bscuzz
March 21st, 2015, 09:04 PM
Oh, I wish I could give you a 'reality hug' instead of a 'cyber hug'! I know in my darkest times health wise how you can turn to despair, but as I have survived my struggles I'm sure you will soon be in the light at the end of the tunnel - hang in there and plan for what will be your first sign that you are in the light! Baby steps, but steps nonetheless . . . be strong! Will keep praying for you and God Bless!

Sandy Navas
March 21st, 2015, 09:13 PM
Keeping the prayers going for you, Marci. Sending lots of warm fuzzies and good healing thoughts.

Grandma Nan
March 21st, 2015, 09:44 PM
Marci-you are amazing. Even when you are feeling bad, you can stop and give us an update. There are lots of us on your side who are lifting you up for divine healing. Look how much is behind you and take hope in those lights that are starting to shine down at the end of the tunnel.
Hugs

kimsophia
March 21st, 2015, 09:50 PM
It's great to hear from you, and I'm praying you will feel better soon...lots of love, Kim

Quiltfreestyle
March 21st, 2015, 10:03 PM
You are still in my prayers. God bless & keep you on your road to recovery.

KPH
March 21st, 2015, 10:09 PM
Prayers and hugs.

Simply Quilting
March 21st, 2015, 10:11 PM
{{{HUGS}}} and continued prayers for you.

Sheep Farmer
March 21st, 2015, 10:12 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us an update.
I hope you are feeling way better very soon!
I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers your way for sure along with a hug and a smile!
I'm glad you are using this forum to connect. It's good therapy.
Feel good soon!
We're here for you. 104863

Angelia
March 21st, 2015, 10:21 PM
My thoughts and best wishes are with you.

SallyO'Sews
March 21st, 2015, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the update, Marci ... it is so helpful for us to know more specifically how to pray.

A couple of things from my cancer journey, that I hope will help you:

1. I was very weepy for a while; my sister the RN and my sister-in-law who worked for a surgeon for several years explained that being weepy for a while - EVEN AFTER YOU ARE NO LONGER ON THE DRUG - is not unusual. I was so frustrated that I was still feeling so emotional all the time, even after I was done. So go ahead and cry; just remind yourself that it won't be like this forever.

2. I had a good bit of neuropathy in my hands and feet, but within a year it resolved 90%, and now (7 years post treatment) is about 97% resolved.

So give yourself some time, and take it as easy as you can. Know that we continue to pray.

Love, hugs, and blessings,
~ Sally \0/

sewbizzy
March 21st, 2015, 10:26 PM
Marci, I am still keeping you in my prayers...I am not good with words, but only can say "hang in there"...I am glad you get time to read the Forum...hugs and blessings to you....

Amy R
March 21st, 2015, 10:46 PM
Prayers and gentle hugs.

quiltingtrish
March 21st, 2015, 10:49 PM
Hey there Marci! It's good to see you here checking in. I'm sorry to hear that you are still going through so much, please know you are still in my prayers for full healing. It seems like such a long journey that you are coming through. I hear crying is good for the body - I wish I could think of something to slow that down for you though. I can't even remember a good joke to get some chuckling going on - so I guess I'll stick to my praying for you.
Big HUGS for you - you are missed here for sure. Check in again soon, ok?

CARRIE M
March 21st, 2015, 11:13 PM
Marci,

I have not been on the forum much in the past couple of months. But I have been and will continue to pray for you. You have been in my thoughts almost daily. I'm glad that you gave us an update.

Try to focus on all that is positive. Come here often and look at all of the beautiful quilts and visit with your cyber friends.

Carrie M

MaryD
March 22nd, 2015, 12:19 AM
Marci

I remember still feeling awful after chemo had finished, and I felt sure that I was still feeling just as bad as I had felt during chemo for weeks after. I started comparing how I felt 'now' with how I felt 'last week' and realised that I had indeed made some progress. The further I got from chemo the less I seemed to be improving until I started comparing how I felt 'now' with how I felt 'last month' and noticed that I had 'improved' vastly.

It took six to nine months to feel human again. I'll never be as fit as I was before, but that's OK - I've made minor adjustments. Now the things I want to do (playing with textiles) take priority over the things I ought to do (those dishes stacked in the sink will wait till tomorrow).

Get lots of sleep. Spring is coming - take pleasure in the small pleasures it brings. Cry when you feel like crying. Your life has changed, but things will be getting better.

Lots more {{{Hugs}}}

auntiemern
March 22nd, 2015, 12:22 AM
Marci, so good to hear from you. Praying that the worst of it is over. Any time you need to vent or rant, please come here and do so. I can't imagine what all you have gone through. Just know we are here for you.

Carrie J
March 22nd, 2015, 12:25 AM
You've never been out of this girls prayers, and they'll continue for you! Just know many here hold you in their hearts, prayers and think of you daily. {{{Hugs}}}

MayinJerset
March 22nd, 2015, 12:39 AM
Marci, Wanted to send you Hugs along with a Healing prayer card but you don't have a home address listed in your profile so I'm sending them to you here on the forum. Keep up the good fight.
104879104880

jjkaiser
March 22nd, 2015, 12:50 AM
Let's hope the worst is behind you now!! I know when you are dealing with cancer there are so many other things to take care of related to it. Getting your medication figured out with a minimum of side effects is a biggie and once that is in place and your soreness from surgery heals up you will feel like a New Woman! Every day you are getting one step closer to it. Thinking of you.

bubba
March 22nd, 2015, 01:02 AM
You have really been put thru the wringer. Look at the bright side.....you are still among the living and it will only get better!!

Mpyles
March 22nd, 2015, 02:20 AM
Continued prayers for you. Big big big hug!

dwil23
March 22nd, 2015, 02:48 AM
(((HUGS))) and prayers for you that you will continue to improve.

Monique
March 22nd, 2015, 11:59 AM
It is good to hear from you. Keep looking forward and don't look back. We can not change the past, but can better the future. Sending prayers and hugs your way.

MRoy
March 22nd, 2015, 12:15 PM
Prayers and best wishes!

GuitarGramma
March 22nd, 2015, 12:34 PM
Dearest Marcie,

I'm so glad that you were able to endure all six chemo treatments. As I mentioned once before, chemo saved my daughter's life. She's six years post-diagnosis and remains cancer free.

Having watched her go through the awful side effects of chemo, both during and in the immediate aftermath--where you are now--I have more good news to share with you: It gets better. Slowly, surely, day by day, these after effects start to fade. Hair returns, pain abates, cognition grows. Every day will be a little better, and those "betters" add up until you start feeling pretty good.

Yesterday, I attended the memorial service for my last surviving aunt. She died of natural causes at age 89 after a life full of spreading love to all her relatives. But here's the important part I want to share with you. At the memorial service were many cousins, two of whom are LONG TIME breast cancer survivors. My aunt's daughter has been cancer free for 12 years, another cousin for close to 30 (she's now in her late 70s).

You have been brave and persevering. You have walked a hard road. God bless you for that! And as every day gets better and better, please remember that this is the legacy of why you walked that road: You, too, can live six and twelve and thirty years more! Remember Kim and Nancy and Bette, and know that tomorrow will be better.

I will continue to pray for you. Thank you for being so generous with us by sharing your story. I'm glad that the worst is over.

P.S. L-Glutamine will help with the joint pain. Mix it in a banana smoothie for the potassium, and enjoy. Oh, and add cocoa. My philosophy is that everything's better with chocolate!

ceiliam
March 22nd, 2015, 03:27 PM
I am sorry you are dealing with this. Prayers and hugs your way, just know taking care of you is most imporant.

Kgrammiecaz
March 22nd, 2015, 03:48 PM
Prayers are always here for you. Thank you for taking time to check in. It is good to hear from you. So sorry you have to deal with all this. You do sound like you are dealing well, you are strong in mind and that is fantastic. Hugs Marci.

Bubby
March 22nd, 2015, 04:16 PM
I haven't forgotten about you, Marci, and I will continue to pray as long as you need. I hope and pray the treatments will do their job to kill the cancer and that you can be restored to health. You have a lot of living to do. (((HUGS))) & Prayers, Barb

alliek
March 22nd, 2015, 09:42 PM
((())):icon_hug:

Navy Wife
March 23rd, 2015, 12:01 AM
I'm glad to hear from you, and that the end is in sight. You continue to be in my prayers. Ask your doctor if there is a support group near you. I think that talking with women who have been through this will help the depression. My friends who have had chemo have had the same symptoms and all feel that talking to others helped. There are lots of ladies here who have faced the same problem, but a real hug means a lot. Hang in there! You are going to beat this!

klgls
March 23rd, 2015, 12:38 AM
Marci - I'm glad you made it through chemo - I know it is horrible. As to your hair - mine came back in kinky curly too - but after 3 years now it has relaxed and close to what it was before chemo - although I've decided not to dye it and it is pretty gray - but I'm getting used to it. I do enjoy not having to pay to have it dyed (more money for fabric). :) Bless you and hope your symptoms are not too bad from the inhibitor. I have found that taking a good grade of fish oil pills helps some with the joint pain. Your forum friend.

Marebear
March 23rd, 2015, 07:56 AM
Marci - prayers and good thoughts sent to you!

Iris Girl
March 23rd, 2015, 08:46 AM
Big hugs going out to you for continued improvement.104988

Shirley
March 23rd, 2015, 09:09 AM
Marci, I was just thinking of you the other day and wondered how you were feeling. Many hugs and prayers to you! I hope each day you feel stronger.

WendyI
March 23rd, 2015, 09:19 AM
Marci so sorry that you have to deal with this but so glad you made it through your last treatment!! What a milestone! Have been thinking about you lots and hoping the remainder of your journey goes quickly and you are on the mend soon!! xox

ozziepuppy
March 25th, 2015, 11:59 AM
Thank you all so much for the support, prayers, and suggestions. The chest pain continued to get worse; by the time I saw the doctor it was really bad. He prescribed two medications that completely knocked me out so I don't think I can take both of them during the day especially since I am returning to work half time. I am meeting with my supervisor tomorrow afternoon. I am a little better and will see how taking just one of the meds works today. I still feel like a steel band is relentlessly tightening around my chest but the razor blades have been dulled somewhat. Trying to do "myofascial release" by myself (onc said to do this) but not completely sure I am doing it correctly. SO tired and achey too! Tomorrow we will work out the specific plan for my returning work duties. Just getting dressed and driving there (about 40 minutes away) and back seem pretty daunting. Oh well, baby steps. Have been doing a little work on small mats for the tables at my son's wedding in July but can only manage a few seams a day. Getting there though. Well I am still in bed & need to get up so will sign off but thank you again. All of your messages are very much appreciated! Marci PS The doctor is holding off starting another medication for three weeks to give me time to adjust to to new ones for the pain, so I have a little reprieve on that. :)

Carolyn
March 25th, 2015, 12:28 PM
Continue the upward climb, you are doing wonderful. In a years time you will be looking back on this and wondering what was the hardest part and not really knowing the answer, just knowing you made it. Warmest thoughts being sent your way.

WendyI
March 25th, 2015, 04:07 PM
I hope that the new meds start working real soon and you have enough energy to go back to work...it sounds so soon to me given how tired you are and how far you have to drive. Are you sure you are ready!? Take care! Thinking of you! xox

ozziepuppy
March 25th, 2015, 07:19 PM
No, I am not ready but I have been gone since 10/6/14 and I don't have short term disability insurance. If it becomes clear that it is impossible I won't have a choice, but I am going to give it a go. I will only start out half-time and will still also need to miss work for infusions every three weeks, doctor appointments, and so forth. Will try to increase the time as I feel better. It is amazing how long the effects of the surgery and the chemo last. Not looking forward to starting the additional daily pill in three weeks as it also has side effects. I do try to attend the local breast cancer support group when I can. They are a great group of very courageous & wonderful women but I only see them about once a month. This forum is very supportive and that helps a lot.

ceiliam
March 25th, 2015, 07:30 PM
Baby steps do what you can. Let the rest go. You need to take care of yourself

JaniceR
March 25th, 2015, 08:12 PM
Marci, I have kept up with your progress since you started your treatments. I am so sorry you are having to go through all the constant pain and all the frustration that brings. It is amazing how much you can care about someone and their struggles that you've never met but I do care and want you to know that. I have never had cancer so I cannot say that I can begin to know how you feel. I just know that it must be a very very difficult thing to cope with. I have been praying for you and I will continue to pray for a full recovery for you and that you feel better each day. You have been amazingly strong through all of this. I admire that! You hang in there and keep fighting. You are getting there!! Janice