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End of Chemo Year

Hey there! Remember when I was telling the story about my treatment? Me too! I was just getting to part of the story about the end of my chemotherapy infusions when I got a little distracted, had computer difficulties, got busy, went on vacation, got through the holidays, and, well, now this post is actually about me Thirteen Lucky Months ago. I left off talking about the day of my last chemo and how I was feeling going into it.

Since I was still a nervous patient and I had the added complexity of actually making the doctors nervous, I was able to see the oncologist before going down for my last infusion. As usual, I had a list of questions. I will spare you my notes about my upset stomach issues caused by the drugs. I had a chest cold and cough. There was green stuff instead of clear. I had a slight fever off and on. Yes, I could get it anyway. I had an ache in my armpit and breast. It had been there for months. I asked nearly every chance I had where someone would listen. I wanted to start working out. I had to wait until after the surgery and that release.

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Another Reason to Celebrate

So I told you I’ve been feeling pretty awful the last few days. Well, if I weren’t, I would be doing a little celebrating!

Can you believe THIS original post was a year ago!

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I copied the original below to make it easier to read.

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Achey Breaky Shots

Long story short, late last winter as things wound down, the question of long term treatment options really started to get going. My medical oncologist really wasn’t strongly opinionated on one option over the others, and I went for a “second opinion” even after he consulted with his team and another treatment facility. The decision was to, in part, start Lupron shots monthly for the five years per the protocol in the study and arm of that study that I fall into. That was late spring. Honestly, it was one of the “easier” options for me to go through. I show up and get a shot once a month and take a pill daily. No surgery. Study shows good long term outcomes.

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Hip Hip Hooray

The past few months my running activity has come to a screeching halt really. I was not able to run in the race that I initially set as myself for a goal. I did walk with a great friend and then after I did not do a lot of walking the rest of the day. That Guy rubbed my foot and back. For these last few months, missing out on the activity I had come to rely on to get back in shape and relieve stress and get some alone time, almost meditative like to help relieve the stress and anxiety, was leaving a negative cloud and causing me to hobble around in it. Finally I realized I needed to see a doctor.

Say what you will about my decision to procrastinate. It went beyond just my mom telling me to make a phone call and see if I could have it checked. Friends and co-workers chimed in as well. I just have not had the time and, most of all, I was scared. What if it wasn’t a pulled muscle? What if it wasn’t the same old pain I have had for ages just progressing? Why was it starting on my hip and going throughout my leg in different areas and causing heel pain? Were they connected? Did I really want to open that can of worms?

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Finishing up Chemo

As we headed into the holidays, my stomach was going crazy and things were just not smooth. These weekly chemo treatments were a bit annoying to be honest. I did much better mentally with the every three week regiment. Finding friends to go along was getting a little more difficult as well. Luckily, I had someone each time. My mind was racing pretty much all the time. Here I was, nearing the end of chemo, and I really didn’t know if it was working. I wanted to know, but was terrified to find out when I had my surgery.

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Full Circle Weekend

When I started this blog, I wanted to find a way to help others, put out there how appreciative I am of those who have been there and helped my family, and record the entire experience for my girls. I started writing when I was already a good bit into the treatments, but I still had a long way to go. We did not know how the chemotherapy was working, I hadn’t had surgery yet, and I still had radiation to do. And that was just the physical parts. In the past few days, I feel like I have had a lot of my original intention presented to me right under my nose. [Read more…]

Then Everything Went to Crap

(I just couldn’t resist some potty humor. I apologize!)

When I last posted about my experience going through treatment for breast cancer, I hinted that my stomach was starting to be an issue. As I said, we were going into a lot of celebratory events and I was pretty much in a pattern of knowing when I needed to be, shall we say, close to home.

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Lesson Learned… Again

My long term treatment plan has been up in the air. There are constantly new studies released and every nuance makes a difference for what determines each person’s set plan. Literally for the last five months the plan that they said was the absolute best a year ago, was now up in the air and open for interpretation and discussion, oh so much discussion!

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Do Your Job

As anyone who has dealt with their own or a loved ones medical emergency can attest to, sometimes you feel like your job is to make sure other people do their job. There were days I seriously just wanted to scream DO YOUR JOB so I didn’t have to. I have said that I was provided a nurse navigator through my health network system. There were times I could not imagine navigating this process without her. Once the process kept going, she was sort of a last resort to get done what I needed to when I was not able to get things moving. If you don’t have a navigator, as most people do not even though they are becoming more prominent in this sort of setting, it all falls on you and can be even more frustrating. This is where having a notebook, a planner, and a support system buddy at your appointments can really be helpful. You will need to be your own advocate and push people to get done what you need to in whatever time frame is necessary in your situation.

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Like the Energizer Bunny

So I left off as I was going into my third week of this chemotherapy regimen. This meant that it was a Taxol only week. My dad was my buddy this week for my treatment. I think it was the first he went with me. Week four was a three drug week and That Guy went with me and of course I fell asleep as I did every single time he went with me. Week five was back to one drug and a friend was able to go with me, and it was the first I was able to get an infusion without having to see a doctor before hand. My week six treatment was the first my mom was able to go with me. So we all just kept going and going and getting me through this. By the end of the sixth week I would be half done with the second group of chemotherapy drugs. Oh and you know, I started this blog at this point in my story.

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