Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Just a quick update: I saw the oncologist and got (confusing) information about the Time of the Chemotherapy. In all, I will take chemo (herceptin, for those interested) for one year; but in the beginning I will take two other drugs that will make my hair fall out and maybe my fingernails fall off, my mouth to blister, and a whole host of other side effects. I'm at the point where if I could call it all off I would. But I feel like a cog in a wheel, borne along on a path I can't see. Somehow I thought there would be more empathy from my surgeon/oncologist, and certainly more encouragement, but I can't decide if they feel this is so routine for them, or if they are pessimistic about my chances. N asked the onc. about prognosis and he hemmed and hawed and told us about a patient who lived 10 years after chemo. Ten!! I intend to live into my 80s if not more (I'm 60 now). Ten years out is nothing. Maybe they just don't want to get my hopes up. I have a PET/CT scan on Monday the 21st, to look for "mets" (i.e., metastases) which I am sure they will not find because my tumor was found at such a small size; 1/4 inch. I have an echo-cardiogram to get a baseline of my heart function since one of the drugs can cause heart failure. Gulp. I've had an echo before, it's OK.

Moving right along, the earthquake/tsunami in Japan is so horrific in the telling, I can't fathom what it must be like to experience it. And I totally get that many of them won't enter a buiding should there be another quake. We lived for a several years in San Francisco and felt a few minor quakes. At each one, we would stand still and think, are we done? Or is this the big one? It wasn't, but the mini quakes were always a reminder that we lived right on a fault line. When we were in the process of moving here, there was a whole series of mini quakes, and all we could think of was that tiny baby still in the ICU downtown, how vulnerable she was, so tiny. We couldn't get out any too soon for me. But in Japan there is no place to go that hasn't been affected, and now the nuclear reactors blowing up. I don't think the Japanese are being up front with the dire-ness of the problem, I guess it's that Oriental saving face and not wanting outside help that hampers them. I send good thoughts to all of them.

I have been so tired, I haven't done any candles in a while, but there are some I want to try, and hopefully this tired feeling will go away once I have assimilated all the stress of my situation. I want to try an ice candle next, see how that does. I see the surgeon today to get the last staples out, and schedule having an IV port placed in my chest for the chemo. Maybe I'll feel awake enough to do the candle afterwards. If so, a picture here I will place. There is no try, only do, or not do (Yoda wisdom). When we are waiting and waiting so much, we can bring along C's portable DVD player for distraction. I know we have several unseen movies somewhere in this house!

Thank all of you for the lovely comments, it really does help me when I read each one. I just hope I don't become TOTALLY obsessed with this cancer thing, how boring that would be. I will call my BGFF in Florida once I know more and vent to her, poor woman! I wish I could fly down there, but I am tied here for now, and she is going through some tough times now herself. It's so unfair (as if anything in life is fair.)

Bumper Sticker of the day: "Global warming: Live long and perspire."


Dina Roberts said...

I was reading about cancer prognosis a few weeks ago, and they kept talking about five years this and five years that.

I think I would feel exactly like you if I was in your situation. Ten years is really not what I'd want to hear.

I get what you mean about the doctors. Cancer is new to you...and very personal. To them, it's just routine. It's a shame they can't manage to act more empathetic.

This is probably a bad comparison, but I felt that way when I was pregnant and going to the obstetrician.

Sorry you have to go through all those awful treatments. Yuck. I'll be wishing/hoping/praying that they help you 80...or beyond.

You remind me of me, because I can imagine I'd worry about becoming too obsessed with cancer and talking about it too much.

I think you WILL be obsessed with it...at least for awhile. Really, how could you not be? It's kind of hard to think about other things while your hair is falling out and you feel like crap.

When you're feeling better, I'm guessing other interests and topics will start creeping back into your life.

Anyway, I wish you well.

Stormwind said...

Hang in there. This is the first time I've visited your blog, but you have my best hopes and wishes for your complete recovery. I haven't experienced this first hand, but my sister did- both breasts, stage 4 in one, aggressive, invasive/infiltrating, spread to a few lymph nodes on one side; Surgery, chemo, radiation, infected pics and ports. She is now cancer free (though not yet five years)and has scans every six months to make sure everything stays that way. No one told her that she should expect anything less than a very long life. I know others who have passed the twenty-five year survival mark without any problems. Here's to the same end result for you! In the meantime, you'll be in my thoughts.


Hi, no wonder you're feeling like a cog in a wheel.Phew so much to take in.You're on a steeep learning curve for sure.
Re the Dr's I do think its routine for them, they know what they're talking about they're immersed in it for years and they forget you don't.

I hope you have found a good support group in your area,I live in a small town we have canAssist and they do a great job with loaning equipment counselling information etc so I hope theres a good one near you.

It is hard not to get immersed in your health, esp as it will be your life for the next 12 months at least.
I hope you get the engergy to do some of your candles and post some pics for us.
btw, what is a glass candle?

Take care :)