Saturday, August 07, 2010
Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog yesterday and gave me some much needed support!
Just want to clarify one thing; it's not the chemo I was considering stopping, just the Neulasta injections I get the day after. The side effects of the Neulasta injections are worse than those from the chemo. And on the days I get chemo, they also give me steroids along with it, to prevent nausea. When those steroids start to wear off, it makes me feel somewhat depressed, so I think that's where a lot of my feelings of hopelessness came from the last couple of days.
I gave my TENS unit another try last night while I was watching TV, for a longer period of time. I think it helped a little, but it's hard to say, since I also took a pain pill. But my pain pill seemed to work better, so maybe it was because of the TENS. It's not painful to use, but feels a little strange, something I need to get use too. I think until I get use to it, I'll just use it in the evenings when I am sitting down. When I get more adjusted to it, and if it seems to be helping, then I can wear it while I'm doing my everyday activities.
I'm a little tired today because I had to take a pain pill. While I am still not feeling "on top of the world", I feel content and peaceful today. Got some light housework and a load of laundry done, and got caught up on my paperwork for the week. Also got some more old photos scanned into the computer.
I also did a short, gentle workout with the light weights and stability ball. Ended up with 72 fitness minutes for this week, which for me is not bad for a "chemo" week.
Friday, August 06, 2010
I have not felt good since yesterday, mostly due to the side effects of the Nuelasta shot. I still have at least 5 more chemo treatments to go, and I am seriously wondering if I have it in me to keep going with them. I'm not really sick from them, from feeling rundown and crappy. I think the "mental tiredness" of it all, not just the physical side effects are getting to me. I have to wonder if it's all really worth it. Since my cancer is stage IV, this chemo won't "cure" anything; the best that can be hoped for is that it will slow the disease down.
The side effects of the Nuelasta injections are worse than those from the chemo; it makes me ache all over. I am seriously considering just not showing up the next time I am scheduled for the shot.
And it bothers me that some people are still wondering why I can't work, because I "don't look sick". Since I haven't lost my hair to the chemo this time, it doesn't really show from the outside how I really feel. And usually, if it's a day when I'm out shopping or running errands, it's on one of my "good days", but even on those days, no one knows hows much of a struggle it is to get out of bed and get moving in the morning, and how long it takes me to style my hair to cover up the thinning spots from the chemo, and how much concealer I have to spackle on to cover up the dark circles under my eyes because it's so very hard to get enough sleep most nights.
There are people that I use to work with that think I have life so easy now, not having to work. But believe me, living with stage IV breast cancer is no picnic. Life is not a bowl of cherries for me. I tried to work with this disease as long as I could, until I got to the point I just couldn't do it anymore. It's not that I don't want to work, it's that I can't! But I feel sometimes as if I am being judged for that fact. Some people have said that I am "so lucky not to have work any more" and I would like to say, (and I think I WILL start saying it, sarcastically) "Yes, I am so LUCKY to have cancer!"
I know that life isn't fair, yet I have it a lot better than a lot of people, despite the cancer. But last night was one of those nights where I forgot about that, and was just thinking about myself, and cried myself to sleep out of frustration. I know I am not alone in this world, but last night I felt like I was. When it's 3am, and you can't sleep because of that, it's hard, because all the friends and family you have to talk to are asleep.
I ordered a TENS unit from Amazon last week, and tried it out today. Can't say it really helped, but then I still don't know quite what to do with it. It's going to take some trial and error to figure out the best settings for it, and where to place the electrodes. I am not disappointed though, I wasn't expecting any miracles on the first try. I'll keep on trying until I figure out the best way to make it work for me.
Back to the subject of my hair; even though it's thinning out from the chemo, it's still growing too. It's too soon to start letting it grow out yet to the longer length that I prefer, but it needs some trimming, especially my bangs. I made an appointment to get it cut on the 19th of this month. (My stylist is on vacation next week, but she did such a great job the last time, I am willing to wait a week for her.) Maybe a freshening up of my current cut will help me out of this funk I have been in lately.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
This is another Hungry Girl recipe.
You can find the True Lemon products in the baking aisle of the grocery store near the sweeteners.
I made this last night and it was so good! It really did taste like pie.
I added some fresh strawberries to mine too.
UPSIDE DOWN LEMON CREAM PIE FOR ONE
one 60 calorie sugar free vanilla pudding snack
2 packets True Lemon
1/4 cup fat free whipped topping, divided
1/2 sheet (2 crackers) low fat honey graham crackers, crushed
Place pudding, True Lemon, and 2 TBSP topping in a bowl.
Mix well. Top with remaining 2 TBSP whipped topping and crushed crackers.
Per serving: (entire recipe) 120 calories, 1.5g fat, 25g carbs, 4g sugars, 1.5g protein
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Yesterday's chemo took a little longer than usual. My doctor is still short one chemo nurse, but she should be back in about 2 weeks, recovered from her foot surgery. They didn't have me see the doctor before chemo, as they usually do, just got me right into a chair to do the blood draw for the CBC they need before they start. But that was ok; I didn't have any new symptoms to report or any questions.
They are changing the computer software at the hospital, and they started yesterday; the computers were down a lot and it took a long time to get my blood back from the lab. I had my Zometa first, then nausea meds, then the chemo. My appt. time was 2:45pm, and I didn't get out of there til after 6pm.
Have been feeling kind of "gassy" and crampy since then, but they gave me different nausea meds yesterday, so that might be some of it. Or perhaps just something I ate. Only got 5 hours of sleep last night. Can't blame it all on the steroids they gave me with the chemo, as I stayed up til 2am to finish a book. I woke up at 7:30am and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up at 8am.
I got my TENS unit today from Amazon; I still have to read the directions and get it set up. I'm usually pretty achy on days 2-4 after chemo, so I will probably try it out tomorrow.
Went for my Neulasta injection at 2pm. I was at the hospital a half hour for that because the staff was still learning how to use the new software, and all my meds had to be re-entered. Lucky for me I remembered to bring a book with me this time.
The steroids are keeping most of the sciatica pain away today. I felt like I had a walk in me today, but it was too hot and humid. So I did a Leslie Sansone Power Mile DVD instead.
We really need some rain here; just came in from watering my plants. Gave them a good soaking because I probably won't be up to it tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Had another sinus headache last night that was turning into a migraine; had to take my Imitrex at bedtime last night. Tis the season for my allergies again. My eyes are red and watery all the time now, but the worst part is the sinus headaches. Unfortunately, I can't take any allergy meds to prevent my symptoms, because I am too sensitive to the side effects, and I've tried them all.
It was hard to get up again this morning, but I had to get my groceries since I didn't do that yesterday. It's hot and humid today; wonder if that's why almost all the other shoppers looked so grumpy today. They are probably the same people who complained about how cold it was this winter. I don't like the heat and humidity either, but I don't see the point in complaining about it. And we don't have it as bad here in Michigan as some of the other states have had it this summer. The only smiling faces I saw in there today (other than the employees) was a lady I use to work with, (she was smiling because she was on vacation!) and a disabled man in one of those electric carts; and that made me think, if he can be smiling, why not all those other people who should be thankful that they have two good legs to walk on?
I'm not saying people need to have a smile pasted on their face constantly, but it doesn't hurt to give someone a smile when you pass by them, or at least take the frown off your face. I just felt a lot of negative vibes from people today, and that tends to make me feel grumpy too.
I bought a lightweight sweater today that I had been admiring; I was waiting for them to go on sale, and today they were $10. I really wanted the cranberry color, but it was out in my size, so I got this gray one instead. I have a pair of dusty pink jeans that will look great with it. The sweater has a cowl neck, is fitted, and has 3/4 length sleeves.
I am blogging early today, because I have to leave for my chemo in about 2 hours, and I will probably be too tired to blog when I get home. This will be #7; not sure how many total treatments I am getting, but I think it's 12; if that's the case, I am half done. I'll be there about 3 hours. Already have my book and my snacks packed in my bag. And when I get home, I have the chicken and noodles I made last night that I can reheat.
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