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Thursday, February 18th

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I was able to get to sleep without the Ambien last night, but still woke up a couple of times during the night with the heartburn. Still didn't get the sleep I needed, but a little better than the night before. I was able to sleep in a little bit this morning.

Still getting used to timing my meals and snacks with taking the Carafate 4 times per day. I have to take it on an empty stomach, an hour before a meal, or 2-3 hours after. It does take a little planning ahead so that I am not letting my stomach get empty for too long a period at a time. My food journal I keep helps with that, I can keep track of what time I take my meds instead of trying to rely on my memory.

Had a better morning and early afternoon than I did yesterday. I was able to do a couple of loads of laundry, and did 20 minutes of my chair yoga DVD. It's the upper back pain bothering me the most today; I think it's the referred pain from my stomach, and some of it is probably due to my decreased physical activity too. I ended up having to take a pain pill at lunch time, so I am feeling sleepy this afternoon. Probably won't get much of anything done the rest of today, but that's ok. I still accomplished more the first part of the day than I have the past two days.

It felt like I really had to tap into my energy reserves just to go out and get the mail today. Part of that was just not wanting to go out in the cold, and having to take the extra steps of putting on boots, a hat, scarf, and gloves besides just my coat. But that short walk outside did give me a second wind for a short period of time. I think it was good for me to get a little fresh air even though it is cold outside.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYEFYR 2/20/2010 8:12PM

  Sounds like you're doing a little better. Yippee! You got to do much more chair yoga today than you have been. I love that you're remembering to be kind and patient with yourself. Keep that up and you'll be good as new in no time!

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SERENEMOM71 2/18/2010 8:17PM

  You know, you have been through so much I'm sorry that you have to continue to go through so much after the radiation. I understand about your stomach needing time to heal and even why all of this is happening but I just hate that is has to happen! I guess I need some patience, too. Yes, this too shall pass, and yes you with the patience of Job will get through it as you always do, I just hate for you to have to do it. You are such a wonderful, wise, funny, awesome woman I just want things to be over and done with for you. Right now, God would be perfect. But life isn't like that, I know so I will just wish you serenity and love and hope and loads of healing as you rest and let your stomach and the rest of your body heal after your big doses of radiation.

Yes, bland and rest is good. Easy for me to say! I had a "Nissan" done which is a surgery where they constructed a new valve between my esophagus and stomach because I didn't have one anymore - my GERD was so severe it had actually eroded away completely. The stomach contents were going into my lungs at night and the gases were scarring my lungs causing a misdiagnosis of serious asthma. Thank God I found a wise and wonderful pulmonologist who made the correct diagnosis and I had the surgery which helped to correct the problem. Anyway, the point of me sharing this story is that I had a very bland diet for 3 - 6 months - no bread for 2 weeks - then miniscule amounts for a long time, no acidic foods period, and so on. I didn't suffer the pain that you have in that area, but I certainly understand the diet. I, however, suffer the pain in other areas, from severe rheumatoid, osteo, and degenerative arthritis. But, I don't have cancer. So, I don't know what that pain is like.

Anyway, you have remained in my thoughts and prayers daily although I haven't kept in touch daily. Family has really kept me busy. Yet, I want to devote this year to becoming devoted to helping myself become more healthy and "self-centered.!!"

God Bless You and Care for You! Love Ya!
Amy L - You Are emoticon You Are emoticon!! emoticon and Get Through This! emoticon and Rest and Relax! You Are A emoticon!
emoticon to the emoticon of friends of Survivors! emoticon Golden Crowns go to Women Who Go Through Radiation! emoticon We Are With You Through This! emoticon and Love To You!!!

Comment edited on: 2/18/2010 8:19:05 PM

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TUFFYBIRD 2/18/2010 7:55PM

    You go girl!

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ISLANDRITER 2/18/2010 3:18PM

    With you girl! I walked yesterday and it was so cold (relatively speaking for us anyway) that my nose kept running so I sounded like a train engine the whole walk. ;))

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Giving my body time to heal

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Last night, my mom and I went to the cancer resource center to hear a professor of nuclear medicine speak. I really liked the speaker, she was very personable, and you could tell she enjoys what she does for a living. She had a good sense of humor also. It was very informative and also entertaining. There was a nice size group. The actual room that the center is in was too small, so they hold those types of events in the waiting room that the doctors in that part of the building share. We were allowed and encouraged to ask questions at anytime. Now I have a much better understanding about how CT scans, MRIs, bone scans and the like work, and the things the doctors and the radiologists look for on them.

My hip got a little sore sitting there for the hour, but I did a lot better with it than I had expected. The hour actually went by pretty fast.
They had a nice spread of fruit, cheese, and crackers for us too. Of course, with my bland diet, I had to stick with just some cheese and plain crackers, but I sure hated having to pass up free fresh fruit, especially in the middle of winter.

I started the Carafate last night. I also ended up having to take an Ambien to get to sleep, despite the fact that I had felt so sleepy all day. But I did manage about 6 hours of sleep before I woke up. Still had heartburn in the morning, but this time, it didn't start until after I had been awake a little while, and it wasn't quite as severe as it has been, and I was eventually able to fall back asleep for a little while longer.

Today has been one of those days though that I have had to struggle through. I've had a low grade headache all day, and still having pain at times from the acid reflux. I've felt sluggish and tired all day also, and even took a nap this afternoon. I've spent a good share of my day just relaxing in my recliner.

I decided today to make peace with the fact that my stomach is probably going to be slow to heal. The radiation oncologist said 3 months, so I am going to try not to get so impatient and frustrated with the healing process. I've told myself before, and I need to keep telling myself, to take it one day at a time. And each day that I make it through, it's a day closer to being healed. As bad as I am feeling today, I've had many days that I have felt worse, and I survived those, so I can get through this too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAMISA 2/18/2010 1:32AM

    It is hard to have patience with our bodies... I find myself wanting my neuropathy to hurry up and get better, although I know it will be months...

That lecture about scans sounds fascinating! In fact, it would have been a great webinar!

Have joy and continue giving yourself time to heal!

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SUEJENN 2/17/2010 11:18PM

    It's amazing how patient we are with those around us but when it comes to ourselves our expectations are quite different. I was talking to an elite athlete at the cancer centre today. She said she did everything right: exercising, eating probably and getting enough rest and SHE got cancer. She is now striving for more balance in her life and she has come to the realization that it will take time for her body to heal. We commit to and take the time to go through the therapy. The dichotomy is we expect to heal faster than the time it take to do the treatments. Three months will bring you into the glorious spring weather. Take care of yourself, Shari.

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CAROLYN0107 2/17/2010 10:44PM

    You're a real trooper through your health problems. You have a good attitude. Hoping for a good day for you today.

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BMRBUDDY 2/17/2010 8:14PM

    I'm hoping you will feel a little better everyday! You have been through so much. It is amazing to me how well you have kept up a positive attitude. emoticon

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SKYEFYR 2/17/2010 7:16PM

  *hugs* Sending warm and comforting energies. Looking forward to hearing you feeling better. With all you've been through it seems unfair that you have to "heal" from the treatments to heal you. *more hugs*

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TUFFYBIRD 2/17/2010 6:57PM

    What an attitude ... you're an inspiration to us all Shari!

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Pat

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SAPNA. 2/17/2010 5:41PM

    You are doing so well compared to just a few weeks ago. God willing you will improve a little every day from now on.

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Tuesday, February 16

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Last night was kind of a hellish night. Had a migraine for the second night in a row; took my Imitrex at 8pm and again at 2am. First time since I've have started using it that I've had to take two. So, obviously I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. Feel pretty worn out from it yet today. I've had kind of a mild headache all day, but I think it's from lack of sleep, and it feels like kind of a "ghost" of last night's migraine; if you've ever had migraines, you probably know what I mean. I've been able to keep it under control today with Excedrin.

I can accept the limitations I have on my physical activity now, until my hip gets better, but it gets really frustrating on the days I don't even feel good enough to enjoy my "sitting down" activities, such as working on crafts or reading. It's very easy to feel depressed and discouraged when I can't do things to keep my mind busy. Not quite tired enough to sleep, but awake enough to just sit and think. I haven't done much today except sit and watch tv and rest; haven't even been on the computer much today.

Today should be a workout day for me, but I didn't have the energy to do more than a couple of sets of bicep curls. But I'm not going let that feel like a setback. I haven't been able to eat enough the last few days to give my body the fuel it needs to do more. Right now, I need rest more than anything. If I push myself too hard now, it's just going to drain my energy even more.

I had my appointment with the internist today. I'm still on the Kapidex and the bland diet, but he is also going to have me try Carofate, a drug that is used to heal ulcers. I'll be taking it 4 times per day, so I'm hoping that will really help me to feel better while my stomach heals, and I'm hoping that a bedtime dose will also prevent me from waking with heartburn and gnawing stomach pain so early in the morning, so I can get better sleep. If after two weeks, that isn't helping, then he said he will consult with a gastro doctor and see if he has any ideas of what to try next.

My mom and I made plans about two weeks ago to attend a free lecture tonight at the local cancer resource center, the topic tonight is Understanding Medical Imaging. I'm very interested in that topic with all the different types of scans and tests I've had over the past 7 years. The way I felt the first part of the day today, I was really afraid I wouldn't be able to go, but even though I am still tired, I feel like I can do it, it's only an hour, and I think the information will be very valuable. There is a different topic and a different speaker the third Tuesday of each month. Next month's topic is Insurance and Cancer Challenges, and I want to go to that one, since I've had problems with insurance in the past. And April's topic is on managing stress, and I definitely want to go to that one too.

When I come home, I plan to get into my pajamas, cuddle up with the kitties, and watch the Olympics til I can fall asleep. And I'll start taking the Carofate tonight, so I'm hoping my tummy will let me sleep in a bit in the morning and not wake me up so early.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYEFYR 2/17/2010 10:42AM

  Unfortunately, I know all too well the exhaustion and "ghost" headaches you're dealing with. There was a time when mine were so bad I used to be hospitalized for them.

Be kind to yourself. It's easy to get frustrated with your inability to do things. Just take some deep breaths and realize that the easier you take things then the quicker you can get back to your normal routines.

I'm really hoping that you got a good nights sleep last night, and that you're feeling better today.

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COOKIE502 2/17/2010 12:43AM

    It's tough to cope with anything if you don't get enough sleep. Here's hoping you have a good night tonight. emoticon

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BKWHITE3 2/16/2010 9:16PM

    Hope and pray that you were able to get some good sleep tonight. emoticon

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Still not feeling well

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yesterday was definitely not a Valentine's Day I want to remember. It started out with waking up early because of pain from heartburn, and a change in weather which made my sinuses hurt. I actually had a "sinus toothache" all day on the left side of my face, the same side I've been having the ear pain off and on.

Before I got to feeling too rotten yesterday, I actually did a get a short workout in with my stability ball and weights. But the rest of day, I pretty much camped out in the recliner and watched the Olympics. Did a little crocheting, (and actually finished one chemo cap and started another one), but I dozed a lot too. Ended up the evening with a migraine, for which I took an Imitrex for and thankfully, the Imitrex did its job. It also took away the pain in my teeth, so I was pretty sure then it wasn't true toothache, but from my sinuses.

After dinner, the heartburn pain came back, could even feel it in my back. So by that time, I was feeling pretty miserable and sorry for myself. I was able to stay awake and watch the Olympics; I really wanted to see the pairs figure skating, but was too sleepy from the Imitrex to work on my crocheting any more during the night. My only saving grace yesterday was that the sciatica pain was on the mild side.

I took an Ambien last night to make sure I would sleep, and I did sleep, but not a full 7-8 hours like I was hoping too. No sinus pain this morning, but it took me awhile to feel awake once I got up, and that "gnawy" feeling in my stomach lasted long after breakfast.

I made my trip to the grocery store, though I really didn't feel like it, I wanted to get it over with in case I started feeling worse later in the week. Just a quick trip today, as I just had a short list. I only shopped for what was on my list and didn't wander in any other areas of the store.

Still, I was glad to be back home. I was tired out from that trip. I know I'm still fatigued from the radiation, and even though I didn't track my food yesterday, I know I probably went under what I should have for calories; I was a pound under my goal weight this morning. I know I need to eat a little more to keep up my energy also. My hip was starting to hurt, so I took a pain pill which made me even more sleepy.

I really had good intentions to try my chair yoga DVD again today, but I don't even have the energy for that. Not going to push it today.

My internist's office now has a website set up, where you can email to ask questions and to set up appointments. I like that much better than trying to explain a problem in 2 minutes to the receptionist on the phone. I emailed him this morning about the stomach issues and my ear pain. The office called me this afternoon and I have an appointment with him tomorrow afternoon.

I did take almost an hour nap this afternoon. Just got up from that about half an hour ago, so I'm not quite awake from that yet.
I plan to continue to take it easy with what's left of the day, and watch the Olympics again tonight. Hopefully I'll feel like doing a little crochet today.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYEFYR 2/16/2010 11:36AM

  Feel better honey. Migraines stink. I know it'll sometimes take me 2-3 days to fully recover from one. I hope you heal faster. Take care of you, get rest, and feel better.

*gentle hugs*

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COOKIE502 2/15/2010 8:38PM

    Hope you feel better tomorrow. emoticon

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PATRICIA441 2/15/2010 6:53PM

  Sending you loving, healing very tender hugs. !!

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CELLOPLAYER1 2/15/2010 6:35PM

    emoticon

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3BEACHLOVERS 2/15/2010 6:31PM

    Shari....Sending you lots of hugs...Just know that this too shall pass...Listen to your body and do will it is telling you to do....Now is the time to take care of yourself...the rest can wait...

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Laura

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THE_SILVER_OWL 2/15/2010 5:28PM

    emoticon

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ISLANDRITER 2/15/2010 5:25PM

    Hoping you have nice, sound sleep tonight of 8 hours or more. Mary

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TUFFYBIRD 2/15/2010 4:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAMALEX 2/15/2010 4:33PM

  Sorry to hear your not feeling well. Hopefully your doctor will be able to help you. emoticon emoticon

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BKWHITE3 2/15/2010 3:45PM

    Shari- Sorry that you had such a rough day yesterday. You have done so well with all of the radiation that you had to take. You will be tired,I know my Mom and hubby were after radiation, just take it easy and listen to your body. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Bonnie emoticon

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BMRBUDDY 2/15/2010 3:39PM

    I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling so terrible. I wish I could take it away from you!

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Recipe: Madeover Blondies with Almonds

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I made these for my mom and dad for Valentine's Day. I found the recipe in Prevention magazine. If you don't have a food processor for the oatmeal, a blender works just fine.

BLONDIES WITH ALMONDS
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP butter
3/4 cup + 2 TBSP dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds, divided

Heat oven to 350F. Coat 8 x 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line bottom with foil, leaving a 2" overhang on 2 opposite sides. Spray again on foil.

Put oats in food processor and pulse until finely ground (1/3 cup). Whisk together oats, flours, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into large bowl. Add egg, vanilla extract, and reserved dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in 1/4 cup of the almonds.

Pour batter into prepared pan, spread evenly with spatula, and top with remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 18-20 minutes.

Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Lift out foil and cool completely on rack. Remove foil and cut into 16 bars. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 16 servings.
Per serving: 137 calories, 2g protein, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, 6.5g fat,88mg sodium

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOKIE502 2/14/2010 9:22PM

    These sound tasty! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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TUFFYBIRD 2/14/2010 4:07PM

    Sounds wonderful Shari!

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BCGIRL74 2/14/2010 2:31PM

    Mmmm....yummy. Thanks for posting!

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HOLLYSNOWWOMAN 2/14/2010 2:03PM

    The only think I can say is yummy!!!

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THE_SILVER_OWL 2/14/2010 12:39PM

    This sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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TRISHAANN56 2/14/2010 11:03AM

    Thanks for the recipe, I'll have to try it.
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