Cancer Treatment Update

It’s been months since I posted what is happening with me health wise.   With the recent stay-at-home orders because of Covid-19, I am constantly reminded of chemo class. It was an informative and instructional class for patients before starting chemo treatment.  Among the instructions were:

  1. For at least 5 days after treatment, do not be around anyone who recently received a flu vaccination.
  2. Do not be around recently inoculated children for at least 7 days.
  3. Avoid crowds and anyone who is sneezing and/or coughing.
  4. Use hand sanitizer after touching anything in public, and before eating when away from home.
  5. Spray your house with disinfectant after you’ve had company, and use disinfectant wipes on door knobs.

There were also suggestions such as getting enough groceries before treatment to last at least 2 weeks.  Another suggestion was that if we had to go out for anything and felt weak, to wear a mask.

Chemo drugs decrease blood cells, including white blood cells that fight infection.  My treatments were every three weeks.   About three days after treatment is when the weakness, pain and nausea began.  As one doctor explained to me, chemo drugs destroy dividing cells – normal and cancerous.  It takes 7 days before the body replenishes those cells. Therefore, the third week after treatment is considered the recovery week. And then the process starts all over again with treatment.

As our Governors began instructing on physical distancing, staying at home, and shopping for enough groceries for two weeks to avoid numerous trips, I did not think it out of the ordinary.  Although my last chemo treatment was in July 2019, my lifestyle has pretty much been the same as it was when receiving chemo.  Who in their right mind wants to get sick from something contagious; that scientists and physicians do not fully understand; that has no cure; and can kill you?

If you want my opinion about the terrorists in the streets rebelling against stay-at-home orders, it is this; they are like people having an orgy without practicing safe sex because they don’t believe strangers might have STD’s.

The Post Surgery Journey

My last post-surgical chemo treatment was in July 2019.  Since January 2019, my treatments were with Herceptin and Perjeta.  I describe those drugs as paralyzers of Her 2 positive cancer cells.  Once paralyzed, the immune system destroys them.  Originally, I was scheduled for 6 post-surgical treatments.  With my March pathology report finding no evidence of cancer; with my July 2019 PET scan showing no cancer cells, and my tumor marker score being 11, my oncologist cancelled the last 2 chemo treatments after I complained of Herceptin side-effects.

The side-effects had me weak from treatment to treatment with muscle pains progressing.  I was also so congested that I could barely breathe through my nostrils.

What the July PET scan did show was a lymph node on the right side of my neck that was larger than it was in Nov. 2018.  An Ultra Sound was not sufficient, so I was sent for a biopsy.  The pathologist’s report for the biopsy found no cancer cells.

I was then placed on conservative follow-up care with a CT scan and blood work every 3 months.   The January 2020 scan was interpreted to address my sinuses.

A side-effect of Herceptin is congestive heart failure.  In February 2019 I asked my oncologist about taking COQ10.  He said he didn’t think it would prevent the effects of Herceptin, but recommended I should take it anyway.  So, I did.  In July 2019 while still receiving treatment with Herceptin, I had another echo.  The score of strength of my heart muscle increased by 5 points.

In October 2019, I began physical therapy.  My therapist was wonderful!  She works with mastectomy patients.  Since 4 lymph nodes were removed from my right armpit, it stiffens at times.  The exercises really help.

I entered the New Year port free.  It had been a bit over a year since it was implanted, and was removed on New Year’s Eve.  From time to time, there is still soreness where it was.  The oncologist explained that my body became accustomed to having it and thinks that it needs to fill the gap with fluid.

I’m still dealing with some side-effects but they are becoming less and less.  Although my previous oncologist prescribed a medication for the neuropathy in my left leg, I learned that flaxseed oil is a natural treatment, and it works for me.  Oh – and my hair grew back so fast that I cut it last month.

The Big C Anxiety

Yes, I have the big C anxiety each time I experience pain anywhere, wondering if it’s cancer cells making a tumor.  That is something most cancer patients experience.

Lifestyle Changes

I was referred to an allergist.  It turned out that along with shell fish, malt, and soy bean oil, that I’m allergic to egg whites.  Apple sauce turned out to be a great substitute for eggs when baking.

It’s becoming more difficult to find soy bean oil free products.  The only store in my town that carries soy bean oil free bread is 10 miles away.  A brand that once had no soy bean oil in salad dressing has now added it, and soy bean oil free tuna is 3 times the price as tuna that contains soy bean oil.  Needless to say, I’m spending more time in the kitchen these days.

A benefit with having to prepare meals from scratch is that when Donald Trump was holding daily press conferences in the evenings, I didn’t see them because I was preparing dinner.

Back to Crocheting and Knitting

Since I was 13 years old, I’ve knitted and crocheted but other than caps and scarfs, I hadn’t taken on many projects in the last decade.  Since July of last year, I’ve crocheted approximately 100 caps that I donated to Cancer Centers.   Once I started, family and friends asked for custom caps, so of course I honor their requests.  I’ve also taken on projects of vests and sweaters.

One of our local yarn stores has remained opened with curb-side pick-up, and they have some great sales.

In other words, I’m never bored staying at home.

 

I Want To Return To Blogging More

Three days a week, my personal assistant/homemaker comes.  That is time I don’t get to spend online. I’m feeling up to writing more but have discovered a hindrance that is not associated with my health.  The television in my office died.  I gave it a great eulogy.  It is a Zenith that I purchased in 1992.  My computers are in my office so not having a television in my office to listen to and look up at means I spend more time in the living room.

Being in the living room and crocheting, means more television and less online time.  I’m still not a fan of commercial television so I get caught-up in 2 hour movies.

That’s about all for my health update.  I see my oncologist again in July but truly, I’m more concerned for Covid-19 patients now than I am about myself.  With new discoveries of what the virus is doing to children, I’m not very encouraged that our country, indeed the world, will ever return to being the same.

Posted on 05/18/2020, in cancer, covid-19 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Ladylove1170

    Thank God that you were blessed with a healing. My heart feels warm knowing that you’re doing great. Also stay safe, we are all in this Covid-19 fight together, all we can do is do our part. Now if protesters wanna go protest then, don’t blame nobody but yourself if you get this demonic virus. Stay blessed, stay at home and stay prayed up ❤️❤️❤️❤️.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Xena, sounds like you’re doing pretty good, that is indeed good news. :o)
    It is kinda weird times we’re living in, I don’t leave the house more than 2 or 3 times a month anymore. I already had masks and gloves in my Earthquake supplies, I don’t go out without them and as far as those Protesters/Terrorists go we have them here too, if they want to earn a Darwin Prize that’s OK with me, it’ll probably improve the gene pool. ;op

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim!! I was going to email you because I miss you on Twitter. I see that you too already had a lifestyle of protection. What I can’t believe now is the spray disinfectant I had that is now used up and I can’t find any in my area. It kinda makes one wonder what people did before the virus.

      Like

  3. Hi, I’m happy to see you up and about. Yes, we’re living in a trying time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Xena~ HALLELUJAH! Clean bill of health is always a blessing! Please stay healthy and DO return to blogging. Now that I have a great deal of time for reading, I rather read intelligent posts. In this trump era, those are getting harder to find! LOL! BE WELL! Love, Cielo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cielo! Good seeing you. Any day I wake up is a good day. In spite of some of the chemo side-effects, I know a new day is an opportunity to continue healing. Regarding Trump, there are days I wish he would go on a very long trip without reporters and take his entire family with him so we won’t hear his bullying and dishonesty.

      Cat Headphones

      Like

  5. Hello Xena, so nice to read about you and your jouney❤️ keep focusing on living in joy, and be well. Love Barbara x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hang in there and keep doing what is best. I get so angry at all the people who show no regard for the lives of other people by not wearing masks, not social distancing, and now evidently not getting tested where states have opened up testing to everyone. I am beginning to believe that we are not a reflection of Trump, but he a reflection of much of the country. You do have my thoughts and sincere prayers. Stay safe as you can.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Padresteve,
      You always have powerful words that give deep thought.

      I am beginning to believe that we are not a reflection of Trump, but he a reflection of much of the country.

      YES! Which is why he was able to appeal to those who think like him as it concerns other people who do not look like them.

      Thanks for your thoughts and sincere prayers. They are precious.

      Like

  7. Hugs you sound well and up beat. Take it easy . Hugs and hope health returns to you fast

    Liked by 1 person

  8. great post, hope you are blessed with continued good health

    Like

    • Sunleo,
      So happy to meet you, and hope this response finds you feeling better and encouraged. Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Like

  9. I am so glad to hear you are cancer-free!!! Keep safe and well, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jill,
      Thanks so much, dear friend. I still have “C anxiety” and can hardly wait until March 1, 2021 gets here. If I make it through 2 years of NED, then maybe the “C anxiety” will lessen. You too keep safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Take it from one who knows, you will always have a bit of “C-anxiety”, but it will fade. You will wake one morning and realize you haven’t worried about it for a full month! It will lessen, and I will keep my fingers crossed for that March 1, 2021 deadline to pass quickly and without issue. Hugs!

        Like

        • Jill,
          I hope you’re right. If only the side effects went away. (sigh) My oncologist explained that with the removal of lymph nodes, I will always get (from time to time) that pulling feeling under my armpit and the upper right-side of my chest. Because the tumor was located there, it is always a reminder. Still, I read about women such as actress Kathy Bates who had many lymph nodes removed and at times, wears a compression band. So, I suppose I should count my blessings. (((((Hugs)))))

          Liked by 1 person

  10. roderick2012

    Xena, I am sorry to hear about your recent health issues, but I want to you to be around to see both the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius this December and when Pluto moves into your home sign of Aquarius in 2024.

    It will definitely be an exciting time for every human on planet earth and possibly some visits from aliens.

    I will whisper a positive word into the universe for your continued good health and healing.

    Be blessed.

    Like

    • Roderick! It’s so good to hear from you! I plan on being around forever. 🙂 Thanks for the head’s up about December. Thanks for the positive word and good wishes. You too, be blessed.

      Like

  11. Stay Blessed and safe! Prayers to you and on you and all around you!💕🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I know the big C anxiety, and I feel it almost everyday… Take care and blog more 🙂

    Like

    • Hello Rist. Happy to meet you. Can’t wait to see my oncologist because I have loads of questions about side-effects and how long can I expect them to last. If the answers are not vague, then maybe some of the Big C Anxiety will be relieved.

      Like

      • I think your anxiety will relieve when you get properly informed. That is my experience, because my imagination and fantasy are my worst enemy. Sending hugs💕

        Like

        • I don’t know, Rist. Being properly informed means I have to absolutely trust that the information is correct. The beginning of my journey taught me that there are medical professionals I cannot trust. The medical system is a big disappointment. I received a referral yesterday and was told the doctor doesn’t have an opening until Sept. And, this involves a biopsy from 2017 that found A-typical pre-cancer skin cells. That was in 2017 after I had complained about the area since 2011. It took my rheumatologist to take me seriously.

          Like

  1. Pingback: Cancer Treatment Update — We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident | oliverelavuna

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