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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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Slightly Less Than Smooth Sailing

About half way through the Taxol, Perjeta, and Herceptin routine, things started to go slightly less than smoothly. I had some issues with my stomach, a rash, and I was getting more tired each time. Unlike the first set of drugs, these were hitting me each and every week with no time to bounce back. Good for getting the job done I suppose, but not so good for rest and relaxation. And to top it off, we were heading into the holidays. Overall, though, not too bad compared to what I hear from other patients’ experiences.

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Sidestepping Side Effects – Notes Post Surgery

So a lot of this is kind of unnecessary information, but if you are going to go through the same thing, it is worth sharing with you! My surgery was a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy. The surgeon only had to remove one lymph node.

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Other Birthdays

I’m not sure what the normal protocol is for life threatening events and survival, but years ago I had blood clots in my lungs (pulmonary embolisms) and obviously I survived. From that date forward, my mom called it my second birthday. On my first second birthday, she even bought me a card and gifts. Maybe even balloons if I remember correctly?

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Sometimes It Is The Little Things

This could also be called, Sometimes It Is The Really Superficial Unimportant Things. Potato, Potahtoh. Either way, a few things that have been making me feel a little more like myself lately are worth noting. [Read more…]

De-Porting

Don’t worry, we are nearing the end of the story of my SVC syndrome from blood clots and the related hospital stay! If you will, come back to early fall when I was in the hospital trying desperately to get home to my girls again (you can see the previous posts here under Detour – SVC Syndrome).

We are now at the seventh day of my stay and I awoke anxious, ready to have my port taken out. During the morning, the doctors came around and I found out that if I had the procedure done that day, I could go home the next day (spoiler, doctors are not always right). If Interventional Radiology couldn’t get it done that day, I would be scheduled for the next day and go home the following. This had me concerned since we were headed into a weekend and it seems pretty obvious that much of the hospital would be operating on a limited type staffing through a weekend and, rightfully so, working on emergency patients first. With how quickly they had been able to get my care started when I arrived the week prior on a weekend, I don’t have a problem with that. Once the port was removed, they would need to get my Heparin (short term blood thinner I had through IV) numbers back to level, then switch me over to Lovenox (more long term blood thinner injected). My activity was to be limited once I was home. The original plan was to take it easy for 10 days with lots of rest and only going to doctor appointments. I was not to be left alone with my girls or drive anyone anywhere for the same time, until I was seen.

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Finally I’m That Girl

I’m going to tell you a bit about what is going on right now, in present time, before I continue to recap my story. Even with this news, I am going to continue to tell the story chronologically as it happened. I’m currently about four months behind. If you need a refresher on where we are, please reference the Starting Line page. I hope that in sharing my story in full it will help someone someday.

As you may have seen, I had surgery over the holidays. It took a little while, but just a little over a week later, I received a phone call from the surgeon with the pathology results. And nearly a week later, I had a follow up appointment with her to check my healing and go over the results in detail. I needed to hear it from her in person before I really shared it in this way, which sounds crazy I am sure.

Long story short, I am now considered “cancer free”!

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Happy New Year, Butter-cup!

So back when we were younger, a friend said to me, “Drink Up, Buttercup!” somewhere in the midst of twenty-first birthday festivities. Turns out, that phrase lends itself to many situations. I have often thought to myself over the past year, “Suck it up, Buttercup”. I have told That Little Girl, “Let’s Pick Up, Buttercup!” So whatever your New Year’s plans, I hope you have a safe and happy night ahead of you!

So, Buttercups, I was lucky enough to receive three new Butter Nail Lacquers between Christmas gifts and gift cards. The other three I had bought and mentioned previously, well, I couldn’t quite hold out long enough for them to make it into my stocking. Here are the three newbies. I am definitely expanding beyond neutrals!

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The lacquers shown are (from left to right) The Black Knight, Gobsmacked, and Slapper.

Pictured with my Erin Condren Jester theme Life Planner behind them. [Read more…]

Mama Needs a New Bag

With my surgery coming up, there are a few lifestyle type changes I plan to make. Part of the surgery includes removal of lymph nodes.  As a whole, it puts me at risk for lymphedema as a side effect. I am pretty certain no one wants lymphedema. At my pre-surgery appointment, they took measurements of the fluid in my body again. The first measurement was when I was still pregnant when we met with the surgeon before we even knew the pathology of my cancer. After surgery, I will be measured again from what I understand and Physical Therapy has taken physical circumference measurements of my arms.

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