Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today was my checkup appointment with the Oncologist. She was very impressed with how well I'm doing and how my scars are healing. She told me they were going to take blood from and flush my port. It was the first time they used it. Taking blood was fine but flushing it hurt. I must not have looked too good 'cause they took my blood pressure twice and made me drink cold water and wouldn't let me get up. I finally recovered and we were able to leave. I won't see her again for 6 weeks.
Tomorrow is my appointment with the radiologist and I'll find out my radiation schedule which will probably start next week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I thought I should update because I didn't want everyone thinking I'm not doing well emotionally.
Yes, I have bad days with this but more good. Today was great. I've been thinking all week I wanted to go to Mom and Dad's Wednesday but didn't think I could handle the drive there and back. So I wasn't going to try.
Then Stuart, my brother, called and asked if I would like to go to Mom and Dad's this morning.
Normally he would be at work in the middle of the week but he'd taken the day off to go look at a house in their neighborhood. I was very happy to go and extremely glad he called. I've always believed God cares about the small things but this was real proof.
I had a really nice time. Stuart, Mom and I went and looked at a house for sale which I think is fun cause I like to see homes in their neighborhood. It was weird though the house was built in the 60's and nothing had been changed even the orange shag carpet, ewww. Then we had McDonald's breakfast, played cards, and looked at pictures. Stuart and I left and went to Costco. That was nice to get something I needed to get done checked off my list and good to have someone who could pick up the heavy stuff for me.
Thanks Stuart! I had a great day!
I had a bad day yesterday. I read things about breast cancer and when it spreads and the life expectancy. I didn't want to read it or even mean to read it. I was looking up something about one of the drugs they are thinking about taking off the market for it.
Then I allowed myself to think a lot of stuff about other things - will I be able to go back to work?What will we do if I can't? I allowed myself to get upset about the pain I'm in and how in the world do people deal with this pain day in and day out (Chuck, Dad)??? I felt extremely weak.
Today is a new day and I found this blog;
She doesn't have cancer but she knows exactly how I feel.
God is in control and only He knows the plan for me, no man, no Doctor and I will trust and believe. I will fight and I will pray and I will have a better spirit this day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yesterday was the 2 week point since surgery. Somedays I feel much better and others like today I feel exhausted. I don't know what that's about. Maybe I did too much yesterday and it's catching up with me today. Jesse let me drive her new truck to the post office and then we went to the grocery store, I cooked dinner and did dishes. I guess I'm going to have to slow down just a little. It's just when I feel good I want to make up for lost time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I was going to tell you about the rest of the tests I had to have. Let's see if I can get it finished tonight.
After the CT scan I had my regular mammogram scheduled for the following Monday.
That wasn't fun. They had to do an ultrasound too. The Dr. came in after those tests were
done and said, "I'm so sorry to meet you like this", great, I'm thinking, "but it looks like a
tumor in the left breast." More apologies. But, the good at this appointment was the technician, Leslie. I told her everything that had happened. She told me to go do something fun the rest of the week and weekend and eat anything and everything I wanted because during treatment I probably wouldn't feel like it. She put her arm around me as I was leaving and told me to keep in touch she wanted to know what happened. She made me feel much better.
May 5th I saw the breast surgeon for the 1st time and she did a biopsy right then and there.
They told me it wouldn't hurt and it was ok 'till she went the 4th time beyond the point she'd
numbed, ouch.
The next day I had my first appointment with the Oncologist. This was my first appointment with her and I didn't have results from the biopsy yet but she told me then I was stage 4. Chuck was with me but didn't hear it. She did give us a lot of information that day so I think he just was overloaded. She also said she wasn't going to tell me how much time I had because she didn't know how much time she had and didn't believe in telling people that. To that I thought, not good it means she can see the end in sight. I was really scared.
The next appointment was with the breast surgeon again. It was when she told me yes it is breast cancer. I missed work a few days work because I was really upset. I had an appointment with the radiologist the same afternoon. He's the one who will be doing radiation soon. It was just a meet and greet and check through my records.
The 20th was the bone biopsy another ouch and took several days to recover. The results were positive for breast cancer, meaning it had spread from the original tumor in the breast.
Then I had my pre-surgery appointment, another appointment with the radiologist and another with the Oncologist.
My surgery was the 7th a lumpectomy with 5 lymph nodes removed and a port put in for medication to start after radiation.
Tomorrow will be two weeks since the surgery. I almost feel like I lost a few days afterwards and it seemed to mess up my sense of time. I'm so glad I'm off for the summer.
I still have pain but it dulls with each passing day thankfully. I have really begun to have some problems with my side where I have the tumor on the rib that's fractured. I don't know if it's because of the surgery or I can just feel it now. It's hard to reach and I can't lift anything heavy but that was part of the limitations during recovery anyway.
I am very grateful that I can feel I'm improving daily. Being able to do little things around the house helps me feel better too. I don't have any more appointments 'till the 30th which is a nice reprieve.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I posted on my other blog what I probably should have
put on here. So go here to read: Waterwalker

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Went to the Dr. today - the breast surgeon. She said they took out the tumor which was
1.5 cm. and another 1.5 cm. around the tumor and there was no sign of cancer in the extra
that was taken out. She said she is done with me and I don't have to go back to her.
She said I need to go to the Oncologist and do whatever she tells me to and also do the
3 weeks of radiation treatment. She was very pleased with how well and quickly I am healing
from the surgery also.
Yay! good news!
Today I'll list all the tests I had to go through to figure out I have cancer.
First I had the MRI of mid back up. Then I had a bone scan, not a bone density scan.
A bone scan defined by web MD:

A bone scan is a test to help find the cause of your back pain. It can be done to find damage to the bones, find cancer that has spread to the bones, and watch problems such as infection and trauma to the bones. A bone scan can often find a problem days to months earlier than a regular X-ray test.

For a bone scan, a radioactive substance is injected into a vein in your arm. This substance, called a tracer, travels through your bloodstream and into your bones. This could take several hours.

A special camera takes pictures of the tracer in your bones. Areas that absorb little or no amount of tracer appear as dark or "cold" spots. This could show a lack ofblood supply to the bone or certain types of cancer.

Areas of fast bone growth or repair absorb more tracer and show up as bright or "hot" spots in the pictures. Hot spots may point to problems such as arthritis, a tumor, a fracture, or an infection

From this test they found 2 more tumors; one on the top of my leg bone and one on a rib that showed a fracture. The fracture could have been caused by the bone being weakened by the tumor. My oncologist asked if I'd coughed hard. She said she broke 2 ribs just from coughing.

I think it happened trying to lock my bus door at work because I remembered hurting myself one day when trying to do this. I even filled out a form at work about it and that was the area that was injured.

The next test that was done was the CT scan:

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside of the body.

During the test, you will lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner sends X-rays through the body area being studied. Each rotation of the scanner takes less than a second and provides a picture of a thin slice of the organ camera or area. All of the pictures are saved as a group on a computer. They also can be printed.

An iodine dye (contrast material) is often used to make structures and organs easier to see on the CT pictures. The dye may be used to check blood flow, find tumors, and look for other problems. The dye can be used in different ways. It may be put in a vein (IV) in your arm, or it may be placed into other parts of your body (such as the rectum or a joint) to see those areas better. For some types of CT scans you drink the dye. CT pictures may be taken before and after the dye is used

This was the test my Dr.'s office called after and told me the radiologist said it didn't look good. He said they found a tumor in the breast and he thought it looked like breast cancer that had spread to the bones.

I thought I would list all the tests but I wanted to say something about these and not bore you with all the information all at once.

The bone scan I had done on a Saturday. I went in at 8a.m. and was injected with the radioactive dye. I had to leave for 3 hours and then return for the test. It wasn't painful, except for the injection and that really wasn't bad. The only problem I had from it was the stuff they injected made me feel weird for a couple of days - you know not myself - nauseous and sort of weak.

The CT scan I had to drink this stuff they tried to make taste like lemonade. I had to drink 2 large glasses, yuk after the 1st 1/2 but still able to get it down. They also did the contrast by IV which again I had the same problem with for a couple of days after, weak, nauseous, not myself. I had to hold my breath for part of the test a few times and that got a little difficult but if you have to do it you can, trust me.

That's enough for today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

So I'll start at the beginning. Last year I was rear ended twice on the same road within 9 days.
The first time it was raining and the car behind me just kind of slid under the bus when I stopped at the light. I didn't even feel it but heard it.
The 2nd time it was bright daylight, 9:30ish in the morning and I was sitting stopped at a light. I remember looking in the rear view mirror, seeing nothing behind me, relaxing a little because I was nervous to be on this road after the accident, and then BOOM a lady going about 50mph hit me. I had been sitting up straight - when it happened - the next thing I knew my face was about an inch from the steering wheel, and I thought, "What the heck just happened?"
Anyway, making a long story short, I suffered back, neck and shoulder problems from the accident. I went to the Dr. a couple of times and since I had summer off - he and I both thought I might be able to get better before school started again.
Let me say I absolutely hate going to the Dr. and put off going back until I could no longer take the pain in my back. I was actually crying at night after work. When I went back to the Dr. he did find problems with my back caused by the accident but then in an MRI found something odd on one of my bones. He said he thought it might be a tumor.
This terrified me. He decided to do other tests to check the rest of my bones and found 2 more tumors. He told me I needed to go to my family practitioner for further testing.
She sent me to have a cat scan. I remember the next day her office called me and the nurse said, "The radiologist called and it doesn't look good. He found a tumor in your breast and thinks that's where the other tumors are coming from."
That's where I'll end this post except to say the weird thing in all this - the Dr.'s have said none of the pain I've experienced is caused by any of the tumors. So if I hadn't been hurt in the accident this might have gone undetected for some time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This will be my continuing story of my fight against cancer. I will start
from the beginning and work my way to my present circumstances.
Starting tomorrow. Setting this thing up took a while!