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Radiation, Day 7; halfway done! Thank you Spark Friends!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I would like to say thank you to everyone who has left me the supportive and caring comments on my blog, Spark page, and on my teams. It's makes it easier for me to get through each day during this rough patch I'm in now, to know there's a place I can come and talk; it gives me encouragement and also hope that things will get better. I thank you for the prayers too. I'm very thankful for all my Spark friends, you are a big part of what keeps me going! emoticon

Still dealing with my IBS flare ups in the morning, but got it under control with a couple of Imodium today. I wish I could have slept in today, but my mom and I had a meeting at the nursing about my aunt. They have what they call "Care Conference" meetings with the residents families every 90 days, and the residents are welcome to attend if they are able. My aunt hasn't been able to attend the last few, or today's. She is is 89, and unfortunately, her health has declined a lot this year. Pretty much all that can be done for her is to keep her comfortable. Her memory is going too, since her last TIAs, or mini strokes. Most of the time when we see her, she doesn't recognize us, but I think deep down somewhere, she does know when we are there, and that she can feel our love. My mom would have been fine with me not going today, but I know those visits aren't easy on my mom, seeing her sister like that, so I didn't want her to go alone.

I didn't eat much before we went, I didn't want to have to worry about having to run to the bathroom while I was there. I ended up with some pretty bad heartburn instead. I have acid reflux problems, and if I don't eat enough or go too long between meals, that aggravates it just as much as overeating does. But once I got home, I took some liquid Maalox and had my lunch, and my stomach started feeling better then.

Hip pain wasn't too bad today, but my upper back has been pretty painful most of the day, in the area where the lesion is on my spine. When I went to radiation today, I asked the nurse if the appointment for my bone scan had been set up, and I was told the doctor wants to wait and have me do that next month. Which is probably just as well, if I do need radiation on my spine, it would be better to wait til I'm done with the hip, and hopefully, I'd be able to wait til after the holidays too. Anyway, I've treatment #7 today, 7 more to go, which means I'm officially half way done! emoticon

Speaking of the holidays; I won't be all done with my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving like I normally am, but that's ok. I've bought a few things throughout the year, made a few gifts, and the rest I was planning to buy online anyway, since it's hard for me to do a lot of standing and walking with the hip. If I'm shopping online, I'm not out in the weather or fighting the crowds, so I don't feel so rushed to get it done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALI_T 11/20/2009 7:10PM

    I think that not getting your Christmas shopping finished before Thanksgiving is understandable given what you've been going through.

I'm so sad for what your mother and you are going through with your aunt and I think that you're a real trooper for going with your mom for that meeting about your aunt's situation. I'm sure that it wasn't easy for you, either physically or emotionally, but I'm equally sure that your mom really needed to have you there with her.

emoticon on being halfway through the radiation. I'll be praying that things go well for you and that you don't have to do any more of this.

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MARLOU4 11/20/2009 7:28AM

    Your positive attitude is amazing! I love knowing that you can 'suck it up ' and not let anything stop you from doing the things you want to do.

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ZEE1960 11/20/2009 3:59AM

    God speed your recovery

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SAPNA. 11/20/2009 3:44AM

    May God bless you and comfort you and keep you strong always.

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SUEJENN 11/19/2009 11:23PM

    I can feel the power when I read your blog! You are so strong and have such a positive outlook. I envy your ability to manage your life around your needs. No whining, just do it.
It makes me think "Suck it up, Sue. You have work to do, do it!" You are such a positive model! Go girl!

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CARTOONB 11/19/2009 11:06PM

    Celebration!! You are amazingly strong and an inspiration to me.

Not done with your Christmas shopping, tho? Huh...I haven't even started. But, I do enjoy the day after Thanksgiving shopping!

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1GR8FULGAL 11/19/2009 9:46PM

    WOW Shari, I think you must be made of steel, or something!! You are so strong and you just keep going & going (hhmm, maybe Energizer bunny?)

I admire your strength and courage. To see how kind and caring you are every day, even though you are walking through all that you are facing - you are one walking miracle, girlfriend!! emoticon
You take good care and I'll check back with you soon. Pls know that the t & p of so many others are with you 24/7. Hugs, Nance

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KIRSTY1306 11/19/2009 9:18PM

    You amaze me, you know how fantastic I think you are. I cant believe how selfless you are even though you have so many health concerns yourself, your family are extremely lucky to have you
Keep smiling gorgeous
Kirb xx

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AVALONAPPLE 11/19/2009 7:27PM

    I am so pleased to read that you are half way through your series of treatments. My thoughts often wander to you during the day and every one is for wellness and healing. emoticon

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 11/19/2009 6:38PM

    I'm so glad you are halfway through --- that's got to be a relief! You have so much courage and grace. I think of you daily and wish you the best! emoticon

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Migraine this morning, and radiation day 6, and doctor today

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I woke up at 5am with a migraine. I took an Imitrex, and got my cold pack pillow thing out of the freezer, and went back to bed. It took about an hour, but it finally went away. But when I have one of those headaches, even after it goes away, I still feel very fatigued and wiped out for the rest of the day. Today was one of those days.

I also had another attack of the IBS this morning, but not as bad as the previous two I had since Sunday, and this time I only had to take 2 Imodium instead of 3.

So, today was one of those days where I just had to kind of drag myself through it. I felt very fortunate though that I did my grocery shopping yesterday, there's no way I would have tried it today.

I had my radiation appointment this afternoon; I was glad to be able to take my time getting ready for it today. Today was #6, which means 8 more to go. Today was also my "doctor day"; all patients at the radiation center have to see the doctor once each week. I have a lesion on my spine, about mid back, that showed up in the bone scan I had in June. At that time, I wasn't feeling any pain in that area, so after discussing it with my oncologist, it was decided that due to the side effects of having radiation to that area, that I didn't need it at that time since it wasn't causing pain. But lately, I've been having pain in that area, and last week, it starting increasing a bit more in frequency and intensity, so I thought it was time to say something about it. So I brought it up to the radiation oncologist today since I won't be seeing my regular oncologist til next month. Anyway, he said a bone scan would be needed to see if the lesion is getting worse, and if it is, they will need to do radiation.

If it hasn't changed, I won't need it. The pain from it is for the most part mild, something I can live with, it's just the idea that it could be getting worse that is bothering me the most. I should be finding out tomorrow when I'll be getting the bone scan done. But I feel a little better about it now that I have asked the doctor about it.

I knew that just because my radiation this time around was a shorter course, and low dose, it still didn't mean it would be a "walk in the park", but I wasn't expecting it take as much out of me as it has these past few days. But I will get through it, I'll keep on taking it one day at a time, hour by hour if I have too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIRSTY1306 11/18/2009 11:10PM

    I read your blog , and all I got from it was ..." Oh my goodness, this woman is a fighter, she is amazing" . And you really are. You must be going through so much , and I can understand why you are so drained. I have a condition that affects me daily and I take 20+ tabelts daily, I get the migraines from the meds and the fatigue and the sickness, so I totally understand where you are coming from. Its no walk in the park for you and you should be proud of yourself for getting through each appiontment , each day , each month. You seem like such a string lady.
If you ever need to talk , you know where I am, feel free to add me as a friend.
Kirb xxx

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 11/18/2009 9:53PM

    You continue to amaze me --- with all the 'stuff' you go through and your attitude. I know how hard it can be and you have such grace. Hopefully tomorrow will be an easier day! God Bless! emoticon

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ASYOUWISH91 11/18/2009 9:43PM

    Hi there. Sorry you're feeling unwell and tired today. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you. I'm glad you talked to the doctor about your back. It's better to watch it closely and do something, if necessary, before it gets really bad. Take care.

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1GR8FULGAL 11/18/2009 8:36PM

    I'm sorry to hear you are not feeling well. (It's ironic; we share some of the same conditions.) You are such an amazing person; you are very strong and carry/project a wonderful attitude!! I'm glad I thought to give you that bear today and that you liked it. May he keep you company and remind you that you are in the t & p of others. May each passing hour bring an increase in your feeling better and more comfortable.
Hugs, Nancy

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CHATERJOY 11/18/2009 7:51PM

    I really think you are amazing...hang in there!

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Tuesday, November 17/ Radiation day 5

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I think the fatigue from the radiation is starting to hit me. I have been sleeping a little deeper sleep at night, which is a good thing, but it's still hard to roll out of bed in the morning. But I know that side effect is temporary, and I was expecting it. Just didn't think it would be quite this soon, after just 4 treatments.

My IBS flared up again this morning too; not as bad as it was Sunday, but it still took 3 Imodium before it stopped. I'm thinking now maybe it is from the radiation. But as long as I can keep it under control with the Imodium, I'll be fine. And hopefully, I'll only have to deal with it in the mornings and not all day.

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to be able to go for my groceries like I had planned, but I decided to get myself showered and dressed anyway, and then see how I felt. I was feeling better by then, so I left the house a little after 10am.

I went to Fashion Bug first, I had a $5 rebate coupon that was expiring this week, and another coupon for $10 off of a $25 purchase. I still ended up spending $60 there, so I think the store got the better end of that deal, lol! But I was happy to find this pair of winter boots, which I used the $10 coupon on:
I got the tan ones. They are so cute and comfy! And they fit well. I have a hard time sometimes finding footwear that is comfortable, because my feet are kind of narrow. Most winter boots are too wide for me, even though they are supposed to be regular width, and my feet slide around inside them, even with thick socks on. These are a bit narrower though, and I think I can walk around in these and be comfortable.

I also bought a baby doll style cardigan with 3/4 sleeves, a cami, and some dark brown suede flats that were on sale. My hip was starting to get sore by the time I got done in there, and I probably should have gone home and waited til tomorrow to do my grocery shopping, but when I thought about the struggle I had to get out of bed this morning, and wake up, I decided I'd rather get it done today and sleep in tomorrow. So I went to Meijer next and got my groceries for the week. Fortunately, I had a relatively short list this time.

I was hurting by the time I got home. I took one of my pain pills right away. They make me sleepy, but since my dad has been driving me to my radiation treatments, that's ok. If I would have had to drive, I would have waited.

It was chilly out today, but sunny and dry, so I took my new boots outside on the porch and sprayed them with some waterproofing spray made for suede and leather. That way when I want to wear them, they will be ready to go.

By the time my dad picked me up for my radiation treatment, the pain pill was starting to work.

The radiation is sponsoring an art exhibit that runs through the end of the month, artwork made by cancer patients and survivors. They started setting up the pictures today. I got to see some of them. Some were hopeful, some were sad, but they were all beautiful works of art. I have 9 more treatments to go, and knowing I have this beautiful art to look at makes that prospect a lot more pleasant.

So, it's now near my dinner time. I am feeling sleepy from the pain pill, but I know tomorrow I can sleep in a little longer if I need too. I know from past experience to pace myself with my daily activities, and if I need a little extra sleep each day until I get through this, that's ok too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEJENN 11/18/2009 3:06PM

    Popped in to see how you were doing. You are good to yourself, taking the time to rest instead of pushing it and paying for it later. Hope things go well with the rest of the radiation treatments. Your positive attitude shines through!

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CARTOONB 11/17/2009 11:04PM

    Cute shoes! Hope the radiation does it's job.

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HOPE2BE 11/17/2009 9:58PM

    that's great that you have such supportive parents. I know I always have had the support of my parents and its really helped. It sounds like you're getting things accomplished even though its small things. Sleep is the best thing for you.

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1GR8FULGAL 11/17/2009 6:55PM

    Hi, I stopped in to check on you and see how you are doing/feeling. It sounds like kind of mixed. Well, just know Sparkers are here for you and I am thinking of you often and always wishing you all the best. You are incredibly strong! Take good care -it sounds like you are. I'm very grateful it sounds like your parents are supportive- that's great. N.

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Feeling better today; 4 rads done, 10 more to go

Monday, November 16, 2009

I skipped my usual Monday morning grocery shopping trip and slept in instead. I didn't get up til 9:30am, and it took me another hour to feel fully awake, but I'm feeling much better than I did yesterday. Other than the ongoing hip pain issues, I'm pretty much back to normal.

I have IBS, and I think what I had yesterday might have been a flare up of that. Sometimes it's triggered by stress, and often, it doesn't hit me until it's a day or two past whatever stressful event caused it, kind of like a delayed reaction, and last week I had a little more stress than usual. I had my first radiation treatment on Tuesday, which isn't stressful in itself, but that was the day the machine had broken down, so I had to wait an hour for my treatment, and I was an hour late for my oncologist appointment which was the same day, and I also had my Zometa that week. Then Thursday was my mom's surgery. I didn't feel stressed out at the time, but I think the stress was mainly just not used to so much activity in a week for such a long time. The weeks I have the Zometa treatments I feel a little fatigued also.

I had radiation treatment #4 this afternoon. I was in and out of there in less than 10 minutes. I got there a few minutes early, and was just about to sit down in the waiting area when the tech came and said they were ready for me. 10 more to go now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYRICS2 11/17/2009 1:48PM

  Glad you are feeling better.

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 11/17/2009 11:36AM

    I'm glad to hear you are feeling better! emoticon

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1GR8FULGAL 11/17/2009 12:39AM

    Well, I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best every day. Take good care. (I have IBS, too) Hugs, Nance

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AVALONAPPLE 11/16/2009 5:49PM


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Not feeling so good today

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just a warning, if you are easily grossed out, you may not want to read my blog today.

I woke up around 6:30am, with a headache, and I had diarreah starting also. After I had been in the bathroom, I took an Excedren and went back to bed, but after having to get up several times, and the headache still not going away, I got up again at 7am and took 2 Imodium and an Imitrex. I went back to bed, and the Imitrex worked quickly on the headache, and it made me sleepy, but still I could not sleep because I had to run back to the bathroom every few minutes. I took a third Imodium at 9am, and finally, sometime after 9:30am, the diarreah finally stopped. I got up at that time, I couldn't get back to sleep, and decided I was probably starting to get dehydrated, so I'd better start drinking some water.

I'm not sure if I have a bug, ate something that didn't agree with me, or if it's radiation side effects. I didn't think the radiation was going to be hitting any part of my bowel, but maybe it's something that cannot be 100% prevented, and it doesn't seem like it would be affecting me quite so soon anyway, since I've only had 3 treatments so far.

I started feeling a little better after a couple of hours in the recliner, watching tv and sipping some water. Still feel a little weak and wiped out, but some of that is from the headache and the Imitrex. I haven't eaten much today, but so far haven't had any problems with the little bit I have had so far; a banana, some yogurt, and some mashed potatoes made from one of those instant mixes.

I had taken some chicken breasts out of the freezer last night to thaw overnight in the refrigerator to cook in the crock pot today. I went ahead and started them, since I had to use the chicken since it was already thawed. I think I might be able to eat some later, there's nothing wild and crazy in it; just some chicken broth and seasonings.

I've spent most of my day in the recliner, watching tv or looking through the Sunday paper, and I'm still in my pajamas. I'm just going to get through this day the best I can and hope I am feeling better tomorrow. I start another week of radiation tomorrow.

I'm putting off my Monday morning grocery shopping trip for now; even if I am feeling better in the morning, I don't really feel like getting my list and coupons ready today. I have enough in the house anyway to eat even if I can't get to the store for a few days. And since I have had to deal with IBS at times over the years, I know how to adjust my diet until I am feeling better again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIRSTEN 11/16/2009 11:32AM

    I am so sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. I have IBS and can sympathize with what you are going through, it makes you feel so drained (literally!) and like you can't leave the house, ie: the toilet. It isn't fun! I ususally go on a rice, applesauce and cottage cheese diet for a few days, and drink LOTS of water. You'll be in my prayers. Just try to enjoy the TV time with your kitties.

PS: Your hair looks great!

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ISLANDRITER 11/16/2009 9:52AM

    Hi Mom2, I too have IBS, on the way to Walgreen's in a moment to deal with the current wave...which has lasted five days now. When I was doing radiation, for stage iv, I drank liter bottles of a special water that would hydrate better, it has a purple label and is sold at Lowe's now. I ordered it by the cases...can't think of the name of it now (helpful). Anyway, regarding just overall radiation toxicity in the body, flushing it out with water is a must. I know you have your tweaks to do with your own special requirements. I just wanted to pass that one your way. Prayers are going your way. (You also encourage me because I have several days each week that I have to live out Plan B.) Baby steps are good for the soul. emoticon

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MARLOU4 11/16/2009 7:58AM

    Hope you are feeling better. I'm praying for a better day for you.

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DEUCE119 11/16/2009 7:48AM

    Here's hoping you feel better today!

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PATRICIA441 11/15/2009 8:05PM

  Sorry you had a rough day. Hopefully, you can sleep well tonight and regroup. Tender Hugs. Pat

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SUEJENN 11/15/2009 6:59PM

    Sorry you are feeling so badly. Days like that seem to feel like they last forever. Maybe you could ask about side effects of the radiation. They may have some suggestions. I wish I could be there to help you with your day. Hugs and kisses. I hope you are feeling better tomorrow. emoticon emoticon

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THORNBIRD1 11/15/2009 4:18PM

    So sorry you are going through this it never feels good to be so sick. Hang in there I'm sure you will feel better tomorrow.

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AUSSIEYANK 11/15/2009 4:12PM

    Sweetie, wishing you well as soon as possible cos you deserve the best!

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