Cancer Journey

Wow, it has been awhile since I have written on my blog. I have been through so much since my last entry. First of all, on June 1, 2 weeks after my lumpectomy, my husband of 23 years left me. Just took off and left me and the kids because he ” couldn’t take it anymore.” He always was self-centered. Life wasn’t about him anymore. The attention was focused on me. Then, after he left, he had the audacity to change banks and have his checks direct deposited into his new account, leaving me with no money. Meanwhile, I met with my oncologist who prescribed 8 treatments of chemo, 4 of A/C and 4 of Taxotere. I started on June 19. Since my useless husband left, my aunt took me to my treatments. She is almost like a sister to me as she is only 6 years older than I am. She is the only relative I have in my area. The first couple of days after my chemo, I felt really tired. Then, on the 3rd and 4th days, I felt nauseous. The doctor had prescribed nausea medicine. It helped some. When I next saw her, two weeks after my treatment, I told her I still had nausea, so she prescribed patches for me to use on my arm. This did help some with the next 3 treatments. Just when I started getting used to A/C, it was time to switch to Taxotere. My 8 treatments were spread out over 3 weeks for each one, so it took 24 weeks all together to finish my chemo. The Taxotere was a nightmare! I had diarrhea and painful joints. This lasted for about a week. So, at my next oncologist visit I told her how miserable I felt. She then gave me a different chemo called Abraxane. It did not make me have diarrhea, but the joint pain remained. Also, I started getting numbness and pain in my feet. This was known as neuropathy. The doctor lowered the dose. The joint pain still remained and so did the neuropathy. Along the way, I also had to have a Neulasta shot the day after every treatment. That caused more pain in my lower back and chest. At one point, my blood work showed my iron was low, so I had to have iron intravenously. All my treatments and blood tests were done through a port that was surgically put under my skin and in a vein, so I did not have to get an arm stick for every treatment. I am glad I have the port. It makes things so much easier. I also had a cough and congestion during my chemo at one point, so I was prescribed antibiotics. I finished my chemo on Nov. 13. A few weeks after that, I got a sinus infection with which I was running a fever, so I was prescribed more antibiotics. Through all this time I have also attended court for the proceedings for the divorce and custody of my youngest son. I have sole physical custody. He has limited visitation because of certain immoral things that he has done and because he has mental issues that he won’t get treatment for. Now tomorrow, Dec. 29, I will start treatment for radiation. I will have 33 treatments. I go 5 days a week. I do get New Year’s Day off because they are closed then. I forgot to mention that I found out after my surgery that I have Triple Negative breast cancer. This kind is more aggressive and harder to treat. That was not the kind of news I wanted to hear. With God to help me, I plan to beat cancer and not have a recurrence. In preparation for the radiation, I had three tiny holes tattooed in my breast. The one in the middle really hurt! They also made a mold of my arms and head for when I have to lay still during the treatments. They did a CT scan before that to see where my heart was positioned in relation to where the cancer was. It will be a little tricky, they said but they can manage it. I just hope it does not mess up my heart. I will let you know how radiation goes after I have it. For now, I just pray that God get me through this next phase of my cancer journey.

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Surgery-May 19,2014

     So one of the scariest days of my life happened on May 19, 2014. I had to get up really early that morning to get to the hospital. I got to the hospital around 6:30 am. I was taken to a room where I put on a gown and my vitals were taken. My husband had brought me. He waited while I went to the Mercy Breast Center to get prepared for the surgery. First, I had a wire put in my breast so that the surgeon could find the tumor. That was really painful. The nurse said the pain would go away, but it never did. Then I went to nuclear medicine. They poked three holes in my breast above the nipple and inserted a blue dye to go to my sentinel nodes. After all this, I was taken back to the surgery center to await the surgery. I just kept thinking about how painful that stupid wire was and to please just put me out so I don’t have to feel it anymore. Then, at some point, the anesthesiologist came in. She must have given me something to make me not remember anything before I was wheeled to surgery because the next thing I remember is waking up in a room. My husband, aunt and cousin came in and sat in chairs next to my bed. I saw a tray with crackers, graham crackers, and a cup sitting on it. A nurse came in and asked how I was feeling. I felt some pain, so she told me to eat the crackers and have a drink so that I could get a pain pill. So, after my “feast of crackers” and a drink, I took a pain pill. The surgeon said she thought they got all the cancer out. I would have to call on Thursday to find out the results of the sentinel node biopsy and make a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. My husband took me home. The kids were glad to see me. I went in the bathroom to inspect the damage. I had a big bandage over my breast and my underarm area. I sat down in my lounge chair and put ice on it. Later, we ate soup and sandwiches that we had gotten from church the day before. I took another pain pill at 7:15 pm. It had been a long day.  I posted my progress on facebook. My sister called many times that day while I was at the hospital, so I called her to let her know how I was. One other thing that I noticed before I left the hospital was that my urine was blue! Apparently that was normal after having the sentinel node biopsy. My mom called the next day to see how I was doing. My husband’s step-mom also called. I have been tired this whole week. I have also been battling nasal congestion and coughing. My throat was sore from the breathing tube. I still have some sinus issues, but not as bad. Next week on Tues. I will see the surgeon for a follow-up visit. She will tell me to see an oncologist. I get 4 weeks to recover from the surgery before I have to start any other treatment. Stay tuned.