Wednesday, January 18, 2012
When I was going through radiation and chemo for my breast cancer, I found that I could walk in place for 10-15 minutes a day. Sometimes I could even do twenty if it was after the two day break in treatment. I would do the walking during commercials of my favorite TV shows. That really made it easy. I could also do some leg lifts, too. I could follow along with Spark videos if I could modify some of them. I continued to lose about a pound as week during my breast cancer treatment after the cancer was out of my body.
Six weeks after the breast cancer treatments had ended they found the cancer on my right tonsil. This time the treatments were harder on my body. The most I could do is stationary walking for 10 minutes or 15 after the weekend. But some days I was even too tired for that. But I still continued to lose the one pound a week.
What the hardest on me was the blood transfusion I had to have and the sickness afterwards that they couldn't find the cause. The oncologist had no idea what was going on during my first hospital stay. After two more stays, more tests, he still couldn't say what the problem was. All he knew for sure was my potassium and magnesium levels were way too low. Back to the hospital I would go. During this time I was so weak I fell numerous times. I vomited every day along with diarrhea. There was no way I could exercise during these months - September through December. Finally my primary doctor called in a specialist and after a 10 day stay, it was found that I had salmonella poisoning that had caused a serious infection. They put me on meds and by this month I was able to do my regular exercising. I kept on losing a pound a week. My oncologist was very concerned because my white blood cell count was at one. But after the infection was cleared and with returning to my exercise and eating habits, I have continued on my way.
Oh, did I mention I had a feeding tube for the second round of treatments? And when it was taken out I lived basically on Ensure and very little food. The food tasted like a handful of salt was mixed in it or metallic. My taste still isn't back. A lot of things make my mouth feel much too spicy. Carb items such as bread, rice, etc just ball up in my mouth. Also I can eat no sweets. I was a chocoholic before, but cannot have any now. This isn't such a bad thing, but I miss a few things such as orange juice. I used to have it daily.
Anyway, this is my story. I do hope it will help someone else who may be going through the same or similar treatments. The support I got from my SP friends really helped me to keep a positive attitude. That is the most important thing - at least it was for me, my faith and my friends' support.
This is me in July. My hair is growing back now.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
U of F has some fine sports teams. My husband and I love to follow them, especially football and basketball. Where I came from in Ohio, Ohio State was about the only college team anyone cheered for. Mostly it was pro football. We lived 1/2 way between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, so mostly one was for the browns or the Steelers. Because of this and the fact that we are just 65 miles from Gainesville, we are Gator fans. We have so much Gator "stuff" it gets ridiculous! There is almost as much as there is SP things. And that's a lot!!
One thing I didn't have to worry about this year was snacks. I have learned some healthy ones to fix and I followed my plan. SP gives the right info to help issues such as this. It used to be chips and dips or several pieces of pizza. Now I can make healthy dips and use lower calorie chips or crackers and veggies. I can still have pizza but I watch the toppings and how many slices. I feel full and I don't feel deprived of the things I love. My hubby agrees how good the things are, too. One of our favorite pizzas is:
On pizza crust add:
1 Tbls of olive oil
garlic powder season to taste
Bake at 350 degrees F until crust is browned and veggies are cooked, approx 20-30 minutes. Sometimes depending on your oven, these times may be off.
I'm so glad to be the leader of the Go Gators! team. If you enjoy Gator sports as much as I do, come join us.
Ev who bleeds Orange and Blue
Monday, January 16, 2012
Here I am and praying things will stay the same for awhile and prove I am over the poisoning/infection I had. I am eating a lot better now that I'm not losing everything! Bob was able to stay with me every night during the November and December stays. As I was being discharged in December, I learned it was because my condition was critical, but not so bad I needed to be in ICU. I was what you call a step up. My potassium was at a level 1 as was my white blood cell count. My magnesium was low, too, but I can't recall how low. I also fell so I had to have a bed monitor and help walking. That has continued until the PT started two weeks ago. I have been doing fine until this AM when
I started to fall and Bob was able to catch me. My legs aren't working so well, but I try to remain positive. SP has taught me - after a set back, tomorrow is a new day! I have tried to apply this with everything in life.
I want to thank you my dear friends who haven't given up on me during my breast cancer and tonsil cancers along with this salmonella poisoning and the infection from it. 2011 was a really bad year for me and having the support of so many of you along with my faith and loving husband I have been able to make it through all the bad stuff and realize how very blessed I am.
I'm sure some of you are wondering how I can feel so blessed after everything that has happened. Well, I am blessed that the breast cancer was found so early and hadn't spread. Also that my genetic markers were good enough I was able to have my chemo by pill. Then I was really blessed that the tonsil cancer was found so early it hadn't gone into my jaw, tongue, or throat. And I have been blessed that even though it took so long to find I have made it through this last illness. I also had the blessing of having wonderful doctors who care about me and are wanting only the best. My entire team from my primary doctor on through to all the cancer team were the very best. I honestly feel God couldn't have sent me to a better place than with the care I received. But I don't think I could have made it without that faith, my super wonderful understanding husband, and all of you my friends. I honestly feel like I know so many of you. We have all shared so much of ourselves during our journey to a better lifestyle and becoming healthier.
One sad note. I had just returned from the Sept/Oct hospital stay when my little Pepper went to the Rainbow Bridge. He played one day, went to sleep, and in the morning was gone. On my birthday, Bob took me to a rescue about 60 miles from home to let me pick out a dog. They had a long haired Chihuahua that was nearly 3 yrs old and a male. I think he chose me, and he came home with us. I got to be with him a little over a week before I had to return to the hospital. He is the sweetest boy and sleeps under my comforter all the time.
I'll show him off to you. His name was Bowser, but we thought that was too close to Bruzer, so I changed it to Snuggles. So here he is:
This is my story for today. I'm so happy to be back.
Love and blessings to you all,
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Yesterday I had my first mammogram since my treatments for breast cancer ended. I also had to have a sonogram. The radiologist came and talked to after and said everything was looking good, but after surgery they have to start all over as the look can be so different. End result - return for mammo every six months for two years. But that's ok. I was so nervous that they would find something else "suspicious". And really who could blame after what happened in May? At least half of my fear is gone.
After today's appointment with my radiation oncologist, if he gives me a clear bill on the tonsil cancer, the second half of my fear will be gone. I keep on praying that this will be the case. Until then, I do carry some fear within.
Next week I start my therapy from the tonsil cancer. I'm rather anxious to see how it goes. I can't imagine what I will be doing. Time is the only thing that will bring my tasting back. I'll keep my blog updated.
October 1st brings a huge change in my life. My medicare goes into affect even though my birthday isn't until the end of the month. I don't know why I have dreaded this, but I have. For the past few years I have loved saying I was old enough for social security, but too young for medicare. Now I join the ranks with my brother, SIL, and Bob. Ah well.....time sure flies when you're having fun - or cancer treatments - or re-learning to live a healthy lifestyle.
Speaking of which, although I'm able to eat more, I still have to have one Boost a day to get calories and try to get enough vitamins and minerals. It hasn't been working too well and I wonder if I had the surgeon remove my feeding tube too soon. I can also feel a lot of my strength has left me and sometimes I feel so weak. I have to get any exercising done as early as possible to be able to make it. And I have had to use my walker again even more than before. Yesterday while I was waiting for the radiologist to come in to talk, I did some stretching and leg lifts. I felt good that I didn't use the time to read yet another magazine!
So that has been my fear and issues. I am so thankful I have this site so that I can blog and greet teams and friends. Such a blessing you have all been to me. From Spark Guy to my teams to all of my friends.
Friday, September 23, 2011
I had to laugh when Bob asked me that question. Of course I told him yes. He sat there almost staring at me as if seeing me for the first time. Finally he said he had never seen them before, that they had been hiding. I must admit, it was one of the nicest things I could have ever heard. It's a marker in my healthy eating journey. It made me feel the best I have in days! I just wish we had taken more pictures during this second round of treatments for comparisons.
I still don't have my taste back and I wonder what it is going to like when I do. So far, I can't stand the taste of most anything with starch. ie: pasta, rice, bread. I don't know this is a bad thing, actually. I DO still love my veggies and fruits with carrots and pears being my favorites. But I really need to have more of a variety. Ahhhhhhhhhh, one day I'll be back to tasting. At least I hope so. I've been told it could take up to a year.
My biggest fear is when I am back to normal, my weight will go back up. But perhaps not. The stronger I get, the more exercise I can tolerate and I hope by then, I'll be back to my hour workouts.
In the meantime, it's nice to have cheekbones - again!
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