MOM2ACAT's SparkPeople Blog MOM2ACAT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Another big setback with the hemoglobin, transfusion yesterday Had another set back again with the hemoglobin levels. On Monday, 9/28, it was at 10; when it was checked again this past Tuesday, it was down to 8.2, that is quite a drop within about a week. <BR> <BR> I started not feeling so good over the weekend, but I really didn't expect that my hemoglobin was dropping so fast at the time. I managed to make it the monthly lunch out with the friends I use to work with, but I was so worn out from it, I slept for almost 4 hours after I got home. <BR> <BR... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 09:55:36 EST Made it to another birthday! At the beginning of this year, I wasn't sure I'd make it to my next birthday, but here it is; I am 52 and still here. Not doing anything special today; didn't make any plans because it's hard when I don't know how I will feel from one day to the next. Just to have a pleasant day at home feeling fairly decent is good enough for me today. <BR> <BR> Hospice is going pretty well so far. Monday I had another visit from the nurse, and I met the hospice chaplain. Carelinc also delivered a wheelchai... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 13:05:58 EST Officially in Hospice Care now I had what might be the last appointment with my oncologist Friday; I'm still officially a patient, but for now, there is no purpose for him to see me once per month since I am no longer in treatment. (I'll still be under the care of my family doctor, my internist, of course.) He will be communicating with my hospice care workers, and if they feel I need to see him, they will arrange it. Anyway, at the end of my appointment, he gave me a big hug, then kind of hurried out of the room. I know i... Sun, 20 Sep 2015 10:27:04 EST Toprol is not for me! Well, I decided that the Toprol was not for me. It did bring my heart rate down to almost normal, but I didn't feel any less tired; in fact, I felt worse. I felt very "sluggish" all day after I took it before bedtime on Monday night. And it really lowered my blood pressure, the top number went down to 100 when I checked it at different times during the day. That's not really dangerously low, but the fact that it brought it down that low after just one dose was kind of scary. My doctor did tel... Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:35:00 EST Internist appointment today, and hospice meeting set up for Friday Today I had an appointment with my internist. We had a good visit. I brought up to him the fact that my tachycardia seems to be getting worse, and I can't do much activity-wise without my heart rate getting into the 130s, even just being on my feet long enough to wash a few dishes, and I think that is part of the reason for my fatigue, along with the anemia. I'm not really worried about the tachycardia; I know it was at least partly brought on by the all the chemo I've been on in the past, bu... Mon, 14 Sep 2015 14:44:25 EST Best friend is back in town! Penny got here in town yesterday, and she is staying on through until my birthday, which is the 27th. <BR> <BR> This morning, she took me to Walmart to do some shopping. I don't normally shop there, as I don't like their grocery department as well as I do Meijer, but I needed a few things from the general merchandise area that are much cheaper there. Even using the electric cart, the trip tired me out. Just to be on the safe side, I used my Thursday standing order (yes, I know it's Friday, ... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:24:06 EST Yet another half day spent in the ER I had to make another ER visit yesterday; had not been feeling very good again the past few days before that, and was nauseous too. The rapid heart rate seemed to be getting worse, and I wasn't sleeping much at night either. Yesterday morning I also had the dry heaves and even water made me nauseous. I had gotten dehydrated over the weekend too; since I was not able to sleep at night, I was taking very long naps during the day, and of course, if you are sleeping, you can't drink water at the ... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 16:31:52 EST Liver ultrasound report I had the liver ultrasound yesterday; the test itself went fine; it was painless, and took less than 20 minutes. From the time I got to the hospital, changed into a gown, had the ultrasound, and got back into my clothes, I was probably there only a half hour. <BR> <BR> I was able to get the report online around 6pm yesterday. It was a very short report; with all the problems with my liver, I was expecting it to be a longer one. But anyway, here a few highlights from it, my comments are in th... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 10:15:44 EST Ultrasound of liver scheduled for Thursday I know it often takes a little time in between when a doctor orders a test, and that test is actually scheduled, but after a week went by and I still had not heard from the hospital after my doctor ordered the ultrasound of my liver, I called the cancer center yesterday morning and left a message to let them know it had not been scheduled. <BR> <BR> No one returned my call, but I guess somebody got the message because the hospital called this morning to schedule it. It will be Thursday, Sept... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:24:37 EST I put it together myself! About a week ago, I ordered rolling storage cart with drawers from <BR> <BR> I bought it to replace the current cart I was using for all the stuff I keep next to my computer. That was just cheap 3 tiered cart with just open shelves, and gradually, it started to lean too far forward. I called it The Leaning Cart of Crap. It had wheels on it, but because it leaned so bad, I couldn't really move it without it falling apart. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I decided it was time to replace it wit... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:39:58 EST Doing ok so far this week Thank you all for your support after the last blog I had posted. I am doing ok, but still trying to wrap my head around everything. <BR> <BR> I'll start out with the good news; Timmy is continuing to do great! He is showing no signs of ever having a seizure at all. We are at the one week point now since it happened. Even the fur they had to shave off his front leg for his I.V. is starting to grow back. <BR> <BR> I've done ok for the most part since getting my news on Friday, but I feel like... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:38:53 EST Oncologist appointment today; hospice discussed, and liver not looking good First, I will start this blog out with some good news; Timmy is continuing to do well now that he is home. He was even "naughty" this morning and got up onto the kitchen sink to see if I left any dishes in there. I didn't have the heart to scold him though, I just scooped him and gave him a hug. But the fact that is he still capable of jumping that high is a good thing! <BR> <BR> He doesn't like the antibiotic drops, but I followed the advice on a You Tube video and I wrap him up in a blanke... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:26:34 EST Timmy is back home! Timmy has been home for a little over 2 hours now; at the moment, he is curled up and taking a nap. <BR> <BR> We still don't know what caused his seizure, but he has not had anymore. He is alert and was already jumping on the bed soon after we got home. His CK level is severely elevated; that is some type of muscle enzyme and indicates he may have some of type of infection; it will take a couple of days before the emergency vet gets his full report back, but in the meantime, he is on an anti... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:42:12 EST A Trip to the Emergency Vet Last night I went to bed early, around 7:15pm, woke up briefly at 10:30pm and noticed that my 15 year old cat, Timmy, was curled up beside me, sleeping and purring. Then I woke up around 12:25am to him having a seizure; it was so scary, and quite a violent one. I picked him and held up and tried to comfort him, it was probably less than 3 minutes but it felt a lot longer than that. He also lost control of his bladder during the seizure, but at the time, I didn't care if he was peeing all over... Wed, 19 Aug 2015 11:11:28 EST Finally using the new computer, and a busy day with errands Finally got my new computer running! And the problem I thought I had with the old monitor not being compatible with the new computer? Thankfully, it was a much easier ( and way less expensive!) fix than having to buy a new monitor; the tech that helped me when I bought my computer last week said that all I needed was a new cord, which was around $34, so got that plugged when I got back home, and got everything else plugged into the new computer, and in about 5 minutes, I had it online. Even m... Mon, 17 Aug 2015 19:04:55 EST Transfusion and an overnight hospital stay Things started to go downhill pretty fast as far as my fatigue and energy level since I last posted my blog on Tuesday. <BR> <BR> First of all, I tried the Tizadine (might have that spelled wrong?) that the PA at the pain clinic gave me for my leg cramps. I took it at bedtime, and all it did was make me feel kind of "drugged" and kept me awake most of the night. And I still woke up with a bad cramp in my left leg, and made the muscle in my calf hurt for a couple of days. <BR> <BR> I felt so... Sat, 15 Aug 2015 13:49:44 EST Pain clinic appointment and informational meeting with hospice I very tired as I write this, so my apologies ahead of time for any grammar mistakes or if I leave a word out here and there. <BR> <BR> This morning, Penny came over and started on some housecleaning for me. While she was doing that, another friend took me to my appointment at the pain clinic, where I saw the PA I usually see. <BR> <BR> I addition to the usual things we always discuss, I told him about the painful cramps I've been having lately in my legs late at night and/or early in the m... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:13:31 EST Today's CBC, and purchase of new computer It's been a long and tiring day; part of the problem was not enough sleep again last night. Had my weekly CBC done this morning; hemoglobin is still going down, and it only went down to 9.1, so while it's low enough to make me tired, it's not low enough yet to meet the criteria for a blood transfusion. I was not happy that I had my lab work done at 9:30am, yet it took until 6:30pm for my report to be posted online. It use to be, it was only a 2-3 hour wait for most tests to show up online, bu... Mon, 10 Aug 2015 18:57:55 EST My "Finding the Good in Each Day" experiment <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is the blog that I promised last Sunday, about finding the good in each day. I admit, it was a challenge at times this past week, with not feeling good most days (mostly due to being anemic, and the other health issues related to the cancer), but hey, when you challenge yourself to something, it's not much of a challenge if it's too easy! I'm not posting my entire list, as that would b... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 10:53:33 EST Will be needing a new computer Well, the computer problem wasn't the "easy fix" I thought it was going to be. It turns out the problem is with the processor inside the computer. I can't remember exactly how the tech put it, but basically, as far as processors go, it's one of the lowest in quality, and my current computer was one that was made to last about 2 years. I guess the fact that I'm still able to use it all after 3 years means that I am lucky. So, they were not able to get the USB ports or the camera card slot work... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 14:12:58 EST No transfusion today, and computer problems Well, no blood transfusion today. My hemoglobin only dropped very slightly, from 9.4 to 9.3. So, now we will just wait until I have my weekly CBC on Monday and see where we are at. Maybe the rate at which it had been dropping is starting to slow down now. <BR> <BR> Some good news! Penny is back in town for a week or two. She will be staying with my sister, as my house really isn't set up right now to have company overnight. I am going to be busy getting some things done with her tomorrow mor... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 17:22:59 EST Book Review: This Star Won't Go Out This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Esther (Persian for "star") Earl was a bright and talented, but very normal teenage girl who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 12. Despite her declining health, she lived a hope-filled and generous life focused on loving and caring for others. She was a cheerful, p... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 08:53:23 EST This week's numbers My CBC ( blood count) results from yesterday were mixed. <BR> <BR> White blood count: 1.47, down from 1.58; not too much of a drop so I'm not worried about that at the moment. <BR> <BR> Hemoglobin: After the blood transfusion I had on July 15th, it was 11.8 July 20, 10 on July 27, which was just last week, and yesterday, down to 9.4; if it keeps going at that rate, I'll probably need a transfusion next week. I was doing so good with going longer in between transfusions before I had started ... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 15:33:12 EST A stormy evening and a beautiful rainbow The weather made me a little bit nervous last night. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch from 4pm until 2am. It wasn't the fact that we were under a watch that made me nervous, it was looking at the weather radar and seeing what was headed for us. <BR> <BR> We had a couple of thunderstorms move through that brought some wind, heavy rain, thunder, and lightning, and in some parts of town, hail. The first one rolled through around 7:30pm and the second one a little before 8:30pm. The ski... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 18:12:17 EST The Good in Every Day <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've always loved this quote, and it's been on my mind the past few days. <BR> <BR> I have decided to try an experiment and focus on finding the "good" in each day this week, even if it's one of my "bad" days. <BR> <BR> I'm going to keep a list of the good parts about each day, and next Sunday, I will share some of those things on my blog. I encourage each of you to try this out too,... Sun, 2 Aug 2015 11:40:20 EST This weeks appointment, and fighting fatigue I feel like I have neglected my Spark friends and teams this week; it's been a tough week with my fatigue issues, mostly due to inadequate sleep, for various reasons. I'm not looking for any tips or advice on getting good sleep though, I've tried just about all of them this week. I just have to work through these issues on my own. Last night though, I was finally able to get a halfway decent night of sleep. Today is the first day of this week that I feel like finally have the minimum amount o... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:11:45 EST This weeks blood counts, lunch out, and help with yard work I was just thinking last night as I was waiting for my lab report to show up online; I await my blood counts each week like some people wait to see what the lottery numbers are, LOL. <BR> <BR> But the good news is, my white counts are up! Still below normal, but up high enough that I don't have to wear a surgical mask when I leave the house. Platelets are recovering nicely too; they are all the way up to 65 now! (They were down to 10 before the platelet transfusion I had on the 17th.) Hemogl... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:56:54 EST Recipe: The Easiest Shredded Crock Pot Chicken THE EASIEST SHREDDED CROCK POT CHICKEN <BR> <BR> This is an easy way to prepare chicken for recipes that call for cooked and shredded chicken. I found this recipe on <BR> This is a great way to prepare chicken to use in salads or sandwiches. <BR> <BR> <BR> 4 (4 ounce) chicken breasts <BR> 2 cups chicken stock ( or 2 chicken bullion cubes + 2 cups water) <BR> <BR> Optional: salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, or any other seasoning of your choice. <BR> <BR> P... Sat, 25 Jul 2015 07:47:17 EST Good days along with the bad Because of the damage to my bones and nerves from the cancer and the treatments, I am always in some degree of pain. On a good day, it's mild aches and pains, but yesterday was one of the bad days, especially with my left hip (which is my "bad" one) and leg. Even with my pain pills, it was still a rough day. <BR> <BR> I also started feeling nauseous late in the afternoon; not sure what brought it on, but at 4pm I took my nausea med. It makes me sleepy, so I ended up going to bed at 6:30pm. I... Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:09:46 EST Blood counts are looking up I had another CBC done yesterday. As I expected, my hemoglobin was fine, at 11.8. <BR> My WBC is up to .84, and my platelets, which were at 10 before Friday's platelet transfusion, were 32. Since this was my first platelet transfusion, I don't know how "good" that improvement is considered, but at least the numbers are going in the right direction. I'm not sure, but I kind of think maybe it takes longer for WBCs and platelets to bounce back than it does hemoglobin. I'm hoping by next week, my... Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:54:12 EST Stopping the Ibrance, and a platelet transfusion today It's been a long day today, but at the moment, I'm glad to be back in the comfort of my own home and in my pajamas. <BR> <BR> My blood counts yesterday were not good. The hemoglobin was fine, it went up to 11.5 after the transfusion, but my platelets actually went down some more, down to 10. When I went to the cancer center for my Halotestin injection, I had to get a platelet transfusion. It wasn't bad; not much different than getting a blood transfusion, but it takes much less time, only ab... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:06:12 EST Feeling better since yesterday's transfusion! Before I get started on today's blog, I want to correct an error I made in my last blog. I had miscounted the number days that I was on the Ibrance; it was not 22 days, but actually 15 days. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a long day at the hospital getting the transfusion. I had to be there by 8am but the first unit of blood was not started until nearly 10:30am. Our hospital recently started switching over to a new computer system, the same one that the bigger hospital that they merged with about a... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:05:55 EST Hit hard by the Ibrance Yesterday was day 22 of the first cycle of the Ibrance. After starting the 2nd week of it, the side effects got harder to handle. This weekend was especially rough with the fatigue, and I was starting to feel nauseous. <BR> <BR> I had my weekly CBC done yesterday. The results were not good; the Ibrance really hit the white blood count hard and platelets hard. My WBC was .59; normal is at least 4.00. Platelets went down to 20, normal is at least 140. My hemoglobin went down to 8.7. <BR> <BR>... Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:50:56 EST Blood counts and Ibrance I can't help but feel disappointed with my CBC results this week; the numbers themselves are not bad, but it's the fact of how they have gone down compared to last week. Because my blood was not drawn until AFTER my oncologist appointment yesterday, I don't know what his thoughts are on it. <BR> <BR> I've been on the Ibrance now since June 28, so I think the drops in some of my counts this week are due to that, as that is listed as one of the side effects, especially with the WBC (white bloo... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 15:56:47 EST Pain flareup and oncologist appointment Had a flareup of my bone pain over the weekend; the worst of it started late yesterday afternoon and went on into the evening, in my left hip (my "bad" hip) and radiated down into my knee. Even my prescription pain med didn't really touch it. I couldn't find any comfortable position either sitting or lying down. It made it hard to get comfortable to sleep last night; I'm used to switching between lying on my left and right sides through the night, and I could only lay on my right side, but th... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 17:28:47 EST A couple of good days! Yesterday morning, my friend Angel came over and she took me to Meijer for a few groceries. I had not planned to shop this week, and I was stocked up enough on things to be able to get by without shopping, and with my busy week, I just didn't want to make the extra bus trip this week, but since she offered, I gladly took her up on it. Even though I had plenty of food in the house, I was glad to get some things that you can't really stock up on too far ahead of time, such as fresh produce. <BR... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 15:38:59 EST Missed an appointment today I missed my appointment I had at the pain clinic this morning, due to another screwup at the Dial a Ride office. I called them yesterday morning, a whole 24 hours before my 11am appointment today, to schedule a pick up time. The dispatcher I spoke to told me they would have a bus at my house around 10am. <BR> <BR> So, I set my alarm for 7:30am, to give myself plenty of time to eat breakfast and get myself ready. I went to bed at 9pm last night, and it didn't take me long to fall asleep, but ... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 17:43:35 EST Got my Ibrance today UPS delivered my first month of the Ibrance this morning. <BR> Was kind of bummed to see that the pills are so big. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have placed a quarter besides one of the pills so you can see the size. Also, the reason that there is a row of pills "missing" from the bottom, is that on days 1-21, I take one pill daily, then on days 22-28, I don't take any; then the 28 day cycle will start all ... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:08:48 EST Starting Ibrance on Monday I will be starting my new cancer drug, Ibrance, on Monday. <BR> <BR> This morning, I got my first delivery set up with Diplomat, a specialty pharmacy. They will be sending out by UPS and I will get it on Monday. I will have to be here to sign for it. <BR> <BR> I had been concerned that the copay might be more than I could afford to pay, with it being a brand new drug (it was just approved in February), but to my surprise, and relief, my copay will only be $5.88. It's always stressful to sta... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:39:42 EST Update on how I am doing It's hard to believe that it's just been a week now since I got out of the hospital. Still fighting the fatigue, but I think that cellulitis hit me pretty hard. Even though I've slept pretty good the past 3-4 nights, I still end up having to take a nap in the afternoons. <BR> <BR> The oral antibiotic I am on, Clindamycin, has caused some stomach upset, but not as bad as some other antibiotics I've been on. I have had headaches every day though since I started it last Friday. Even though head... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:42:52 EST Hospital stay for cellulitis I ended up with another hospital stay this week, this time, it was a due to a cellulitis infection. <BR> <BR> It started out with a mild rash on my right upper arm that I first noticed on Saturday or Sunday; at first I thought maybe it was a side effect from the Femera I had just started last Friday. It was not itchy, and I did not have any pain, or fever, so I was not that worried about it; I figured I would keep an eye on it and if it was still there when I had to get my next Halotestin in... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 12:46:53 EST Oncologist appointment today; trying a couple new drugs Well, today was the day of the oncologist appointment I've been somewhat anxious about. But overall, I did a better job handling the anxiety this time around than I have for past scans. Last night, I even had a pretty good night of sleep! Those are pretty rare these days, and I am glad that the worries about what my doctor might say did not keep me awake. The nerves did not really get too bad until after I was up and awake this morning. <BR> <BR> His thoughts on my scans were not very differ... Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:37:59 EST Mini goals and long term goals A small victory for me today; I did my chair workout for 5 days in a row this week, working out for 22-25 minutes each time. That is not a lot of exercise compared to what a lot of people do, but it's been months since I've been able to do 5 days in a row of ANYTHING. (For those of you who haven't read my blogs before, this is kind of a "big deal" for me because I am also living with incurable metastatic breast cancer.) Not trying to get sympathy here, I just want people to know that no matte... Fri, 5 Jun 2015 15:26:01 EST Internist appointment today, and splurge at The Arctic Penguin Penny took me to my internist appointment today. This appointment didn't have anything to do with my recent scans (it was my oncologist that ordered those, and I see him on the 12th); it was a followup appointment having to do with my anemia issues. It went well. He is pleased that overall, my blood counts are not going down as fast as they were before. I still have the standing order from my oncologist to get my CBC checked on Mondays, but the one I had for Thursdays from my internist expire... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 15:47:58 EST Sunday and Monday My Sunday ended up being kind of a "lost" day, due to some extreme fatigue. Didn't get much of anything done, and it seemed like it took me forever just to get my grocery shopping list done and my coupons ready. Usually, if I take a nap, I try to do it early in the afternoon so that it doesn't interfere with my sleep, but I put it off until after 3pm. I tried by then to resist the urge, but I was so tired I just had to give in, and ended up taking a 2 hour nap. And although it did make it har... Mon, 1 Jun 2015 15:29:08 EST House sold yesterday! We had the auctions yesterday morning for my parent's house, and for the contents that my sister and I chose not to keep. I didn't have to be there, and I chose not to be, because of my health issues it would have been too tiring for me, and with my immune system being compromised, I didn't need to be among crowds of people either. <BR> <BR> The auction for the house went well; within 20 minutes of starting, the house was sold. The auction for the contents didn't go as well, there was a low ... Sun, 31 May 2015 13:01:59 EST Internmit service for Mom, more help from Penny Most of you who read my blogs know that my mom passed away in November of last year. We were not able to have the burial of her ashes at the time of the funeral, because of the weather. We had that done yesterday morning; it was just a short, simple service but the pastor did a beautiful job. It was more "bittersweet" than somber, just the way my mom would have liked it. We had perfect weather for it too; sunny and warm, but not too warm. Along with my sister and I, Penny was there, and also ... Fri, 29 May 2015 15:09:34 EST A lot of help from a very dear friend I'm so thankful for my dear friend Penny, she has truly been a blessing to me. She has been here in town for most of the past month to get my mom and dad's house ready to sell (she is the executor of the estate; she was listed in the trust to take over if I wasn't able to do it, and I stepped down because of my health issues) but she has also been doing everything she can to help me personally. <BR> <BR> I have a small shed in my yard that is over 20 years old; it's never been painted the wh... Wed, 27 May 2015 14:44:41 EST CT Scan Results My CT scan results finally showed up online late in the afternoon yesterday. Not really sure what to make of them; they aren't good, but I'm not sure how "bad" the "bad" really is, if that makes any sense? Until I talk to my oncologist, I don't know if the progression of the cancer is considered minimal, or a lot, or if it's still slow growing like I was told it was about 6 months ago. <BR> <BR> It does say there are multiple new lesions in the liver, but not what size those lesions are; the... Tue, 26 May 2015 14:05:36 EST No results yet I was hoping that my CT scan results would be posted before the day was over yesterday, but that did not happen. Sometimes, the scan results are posted the same day if the scan is done in the morning, but more often than not, it takes about 24 hours, and now that it's the weekend, and a holiday weekend at that, I probably won't find out anything now til Tuesday. If they aren't posted by then, I have to go in for lab work that day, so while I am there, I will just get the report from the medic... Sat, 23 May 2015 12:06:13 EST