I started this blog because I recently found out that I have cancer. This is not the first time the big six letter word enter our family discussion. My current family cancer situation is that my Uncles have cancer as well. This word cancer brings so much anxiety into my family discussions. Cancer seems to be close on the mind of each person within my family. I wish I could logically think of a way to remove cancer from my body and from my family but unfortunately it has become a living situation with us. The reason behind starting this blog is that others who are in similar situation could find some hope or peace in reading this blog and future blogs. I will also be discussing my progress through my path of cancer and how I am living with it. I am also writing this blog from a perspective of an individual who has family members who have passed away because of cancer. To add to this perspective is that my first husband and the father of my children passed away of cancer. The word cancer seems to have engulfed my family and I hope I can assist other families with this blog and the writings of my perspective as a current survivor and as a counselor. Please feel free to post your questions, concerns regarding cancer and how to get through it and how to help a love one get through it. I can say that watching a person going through the process of cancer treatments is awful but somehow we must continue with life and be the person that God would have us to be during this time of our life.
It has been a year after my last chemo treatment. It has been a long time since I wrote on the website. This journey through cancer treatments and full time employment was and still is difficult. Some of the things that I have noticed is some obvious ones of my hair growing back curly. Many people who seen me recently after not seeing me for a year stated that they did not recognize me at first. Another factor of not recognizing me is that I am still carrying around a lot of fluid on my body which makes me look puffy and heavier than I have been in the past. Because of the fluid build up and the effect of the chemo on my body affecting my bones and giving me bone spurs and breaking cartilage down between my joints has caused my legs and feet to constantly ache. The chemo has weaken my knees and this has created a lot of pain when I stand from a seated position. I was told in October that I had arthritis and needed knee replacement surgery. I had neither condition before chemo. The chemo also affected my balance and feeling in my feet. Because of this, I have fallen many times. James my son, caught me one time while at the movie theater from falling. Falling can be a very scary event and embarrassing. I am still learning to lean on my family and friends more. I’m still too independent at times. I love my family and this cancer treatment process has been difficult on them as well.
I little note. I am currently on my 8th radiation treatment out of 33. I am also on my 9th Chemo Treatment out of 12. This chemo treatment is the 2nd treatment form of chemo administered. I survived the first round of the red devil treatment of 4 treatments. I did experience blood clots in my lungs during this chemo treatments which is still affecting my breathing but overall doing well. The 2nd set of chemo treatments have been postponed until December 1st for re-evaluation. At that time the doctor will determine to continue with treatments or to discontinue chemo all together.
Today was my 8th radiation treatment. Radiation is different than I thought it would be. It doesn’t hurt but it does drain my energy. Radiation kills the cells in my body at the location of the cancer. Because the location of the cancer is in my left breast and located close to my heart that each treatment of radiation, I am instructed to hold my breath in a way that the radiation beam can pin point the cancer but miss my heart. Today, I was extremely drained and feeling somewhat lethargic from radiation treatment. When my work family or co-workers called me into the conference room at the end of the day stating we had a quick meeting. I was surprised by a pile of food already prepared and ready for our Thanksgiving meal for my entire family. It was so wonderful. I only wished that I had the physical energy at that time to show them how excited I was. But when your legs are feeling heavy from additional water weight from chemo treatments and your aching from your hips down, jumping up and down with excitement is not happening. But I do want to express Thank you To my work family and I feel so blessed and thankful for knowing all of you. You are the best! Thank you for giving me another blessing and something wonderful to think about and thank God for during this Thanksgiving season!
I have gone through many chemo treatments since I started this cancer treatment in my life. My family has adjusted to seeing me without hair and I have adjusted to no hair as well. As a family, we are still adjusting and budgeting to meet the out of pocket expenses of the treatments. It has been very challenging to myself and my family living with cancer. Through the week, the challenge of maintaining the weekly routine of the kids going to school and going to work is exhausting. Being fatigued or exhausted each day is an ongoing challenge. Looking for the positive throughout this adventurer is the key to making it through these treatments. Each day I say the things that I am thankful for such as my type of cancer is treatable. I will live through this to be there for my family. To many, I have a lot of energy. I’m still able to work. The doctors office says I am doing amazingly well. For me, I see this as another challenge in life and to take hold of that challenge with both hands and hanging on tight is what I need to do and keeping Christ first in all things.
Last week on Thursday morning, my father had a seizure. This was the first time that he had a seizure. After this seizure, he was later placed in the hospital and it was eventually discovered that his bowels and his stomach had quit working. Because of this, he can no longer eat or receive fluids. So here I am watching my family begin the process of change whether we want the change or not. The anticipation of my fathers death continues to grow thicker and heavier on my heart. I have such mixed feelings through this crossing in my life as I have many fond memories of my father. My most fondest is singing a duet with my father and hearing his tenor voice sing. I miss hearing that voice so much. But my fathers death would end the five years of him laying in bed and unable to move or speak because of a stroke. It is very challenging keeping my wits about me but I realized many years ago that God is my only constant in our life. He is the only One who remains and listens as we go through life challenges. Without Him, I would be a nothing but with him I realize that I can make it through life’s challenges because He has prepared me for this time in my life. Here is an old family picture of my dad and I looking at each other and he has that grin on his face that he is up to something. Miss him.
I will have my first chemo treatment on June 2nd, 2017. Yesterday’s office visit was not what I expected based on previous phone conversations with staff. However, it was much better and did help me in mentally preparing for the chemo day. They stated that each person is different regarding nausea and vomiting after chemo. However, many individuals feel a mild change of their stomach or mild nausea. So, I hope that I am one of these individuals with mild changes. I will lose my hair. I have no idea how I will look bald because I have such thick hair. However, my old neighbor in Mesquite was going through breast cancer treatment and she always wore hats. I could see her down the road because of her hats. So, I’m going to wear hats too. Have different hats for different occasions. I think it will be fun to wear hats. Also, I want to tank everyone who has been praying for me. It is highly appreciated. You all are being so thoughtful and caring.
Here is a link for a diet that fights cancer. https://cancerkillingrecipe.me/2017/05/07/this-diet-kills-cancer-cells-and-cured-thousands-of-cancer-patients-in-42-days/
Since 1992, I have dieted for at least 6 weeks out of the year on a diet that is similar to an Atkins diet. However, my diet also included no yeast, no fungus such as no yeast risen bread or salad dressing with vinegar. This is a difficult diet to do but as the years went by it became more and more the constant diet that I remained on to assist with maintaining my hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. Before this diet, I had fatigue and constantly getting sick. By maintaining this diet, I was able to get things accomplished in life. Here is a link to the first doctor that believed me that I was ill and hurting and who actually helped me. He is a fantastic doctor. http://goninowellness.com/. I would encourage you to follow this diet or the other diet listed to assist you in being cancer free because cancer feeds off of sugar. As mentioned, I have followed these diets for years but even the best intentions can sometimes not work especially if a person is genetically inclined towards getting cancer.
On Thursday, May 18th, 2017, I will under go my first radiation treatment. I am really not sure what to expect as far as how I will feel after the treatment. I am expecting to have an upset stomach and will more than likely have chicken broth and crackers for a time until I am able to eat more. I will update the treatment part after receiving the first treatment.
I’m heading back to the hospital tomorrow May 17th, 2017 for sugery. Tomorrow, I will have a port placed in my right arm for the chemo to be administered during the next 6 months. Hopefully the chemo process will go well and I will not have any infections occur during this time. I have been fighting an ear infection for about 6 weeks and it is still leagering. If infections occur, I will need to be admitted into the hospital. I hope this does not happen. My last surgery in April of 2017 removed 6 lymph nodes from under my left arm. Because the lymph nodes were removed, I can no longer have IV’s or blood drawn from this arm. This will be a change for me and I hope that I remember this for now on.