Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reborn?

Once again, I have not written in a few days which I do not enjoy doing, I would like to write something everyday or every other. Normally when this happens there is a reason.

Not much has changed since my last entry, I am still resting! Monday I had the chance to spend sometime with my mom as she walked and I shuffled around the mall (not the whole thing). There were a couple of books I wanted to look at, last prescription refill, and we needed to pick up a gift for my little cousin. So..... I figured it would get me out of the house, and do some moving. Well, my mom had to go get the car every time there was an exit as there was no way I was making it back out to the parking lot. We finally rested and had lunch together which hit the spot. Following our short adventure my body was exhausted and we made it home to the couch where I did leave until bedtime.

My sleeps have been pretty good but I am having massive night sweats , even during my naps and unsure if they are related to my hot flashes or if my body is trying to get rid of crap! I have also been waking up around 4:00-4:30 for about 30-45 mins and then going back to bed till 8:00-9:00am. When I wake up I have my most source of energy but it is not lasting long and I am back taking a nap by 11:00am. The recovery from this treatment fatigue wise is the most I have every experienced or maybe acknowledged. I am napping in 4 hr spurts, 2x/day and sleeping 9 hrs at night.... it seems like my body for the first time is forcing myself to rest and recover. Therefore, I have been letting my body do what it needs to and following the process. Of course it is aggravating because you have no strength or stamina to even put the dishes away!

The closest analogy right now to how I am feeling is what a new born does when they are born, sleep, eat, sh*#! I have no better way to explain it except that it feels weird when you are doing it as an adult instead of a newborn. My body is just telling me to shut down and let itself regenerate and in time you will be strong enough again. I keep forgetting to mention also that my hair has started to grow back, actually following the 4th treatment and now its on the run looking like a fuzzy newborns head. Everything is changing and that's partially why I feel like I am dazed and confused, my skin texture has changed, my hair, my eyes look different, so many "new" things. This may not be obvious to everyone else but maybe I am also seeing things through a new perspective.

My life is starting a new with lots of familiar things, but many new insites, adventures and stories which I am truely blessed for.

The next phase of my journey begins on May 6th when I will be meeting with the radiation treatment plan team to have my CT scan, tattoo, and book my sessions, then May 12th for an information session and then within days I will begin yet another journey!

~sasha

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Resting!

So.... I am still resting since Thursday!

I had a healing treatment on Friday afternoon which left me to rest for an additional three hours afterwards, which felt good! I also finally slept for the first time consistently through the night considering my steroids usually cause insomnia for me.

Saturday didn't consist of too much, I helped my mom do some small things around the house like putting away the hats and scarfs, putting away the winter coats, etc. Doesn't sound like anything strenuous but I was exhausted by noon. Had some lunch and alternated between the bed and the couch for the rest of the night till dinner, ate and back off to bed for a nice long 9hr sleep. I woke up at 5:00 had breakfast, relaxed for a bit and then back off to bed again for a couple hours. The discomfort of the bone pain started to set in a little last night, so lets see how things go these next couple of days.

I also found out on Friday that I will be having my port removed on May 25th - YEAH! And my drugs are almost all gone!!!!!

The sun is out, the weather is beautiful and things are looking up!

~sasha

Friday, April 24, 2009

All Done!

Yesterday was my last chemo treatment, phase 2 over and out! It was a good day, I was able to have a healing treatment from Kim while I was there which knocked me out even more than usual as I have been able to sleep through these last three chemo sessions. Thanks Kim!


Following treatments as I was leaving I am not sure how my emotions were. It was a combination of many emotions which I can't even describe, I am not sure if it has all set in yet! But I did feel great leaving the place, it was a happy moment!




After all the excitement, the rest of the day was spent sleeping! I am sure over these next couple of days the emotions will start to set in and possibly overtake me.

Here are a few more pictures from my last treatment...



Me and my girl Heidi

Attila and I

Keep "fighting like a girl" and kick some cancer a$$!

~sasha

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day before last!

YIPPEE!

I can't believe it is the night before my final treatment! There have been ups and downs but I have made it to the final one with only two really bad treatments and no nausea or vomiting, I must say that is pretty good!

Today, I started my dexamethasone (steroid) and not sure if it was that or the fact that I have been overdoing it these past two weeks but I went to the gym before my doctors appointment and only managed to walk for 35 mins. This was the first time that I said I had to call it quits, I just felt exhausted.

I had my exam today at the clinic along with blood work and ended up seeing a different oncologist. Dr. Alam was called out on emergency and with the hopes that I would arrive early for my appointment she couldn't stick around anymore. The one day that I don't show up early, but.... she is going to stop in and see me during my treatments tomorrow. So... I only had my regular exam with no details about what is to come next after my radiation, hopefully I will have these questions answered tomorrow. I am free and clear of the oncology part of it until June 4 when I have my follow up with Dr. Alam.

I managed to do some grocery shopping for the first time in awhile on my own. It's funny how such little things are so exciting to do. And go figure that today was the day that the Superstore decided they were going to start charging for plastic bags to save the environment.... couldn't anyone update me on this news, just kidding! Also got the chance to hang out and catch up with my co-workers and friends Wendy and Carly who I haven't seen in awhile.

After all the rain today, I went outside and just happened to be thinking about tomorrow and then end and everything else that runs through your brain and my questions, fears, concerns were all erased when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel in the form a beautiful rainbow!

Could I have received a more perfect and beautiful sign from above!

To end, here is a picture of my last stash of medications and it was oh so nice to see 0 repeats on all of my medications (what a sigh of relief) and my last $2900 medication bill, (but oh did I get some airmiles).
Time to get some rest and get ready to "Fight Like a Girl" tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Visiting Bouncing Babies

Today was a great day!

I woke up to read e-mails and to my surprise received one from one of my dear friends Glorianna who moved away a couple of years ago to Yellowknife. I failed to realize that she phoned last night but let an interesting message that she was doing something for me? So.... upon opening my e-mail and realizing that in honour of me she has decided to walk the Weekend to End Breast Cancer which is a 60km in Alberta Aug. 8-9 and try to raise $2000 for breast cancer research. Let's just say it really hit home and I felt honoured. I would have loved for her to have been here for the boat races but this is awesome what she and her team are doing! So, thank you G for honouring me and being a dear friend it means more than you know! And I had to go to the gym with puffy eyes because of course after I read this I got all emotional and started crying :( Love you and miss you lots!!!

At the gym today it was a little harder than yesterday as I was a little sore from walking but I managed to do my 60mins on the treadmill again.

Following the gym I headed out to visit with Val and my goddaughter Hallie as we were going to pay a visit to my co-worker and friend in Leamington Steph and her little one Isabella the soon to be play mates. Unfortunately, when one was awake the other was sleeping and vice versa, but hey they got to meet each other!

After our visit I hung out with Val and Hallie for dinner and then came home and instead of waiting till tomorrow to do the rest of the house cleaning I decided to start vacuuming and dusting at 8:30 pm... well at least I got it all done. I like to head into each treatment with a clean house so that I don't have to worry about anything!

And that was my day! Surprises from afar, girl chat, spending time with friends, and watching these new little bundle of joys take in this world around us!


Hallie getting ready for the car ride to Leamington




Hallie and her Kuma Sasha




Hey Izzy wake up, I wanna play!

~sasha

Monday, April 20, 2009

Over doing it!

Well first I would like to apologize for not writing at all this past week! This past week has taught me that even though you are feeling pretty good you still need to take your time and not go overboard!

Tuesday I had my initial consult with Dr. Schneider my radiologist who was amazing at explaining everything and taking his time to ensure that you came to the best decision for your health. We decided that having radiation would be the best for my next treatment plan. I went into the consult expecting that I would have to do radiation which I look at as another preventative measure considering once I am done with chemo and radiation there is no other form of treatment that I would benefit from such as hormone therapy, etc. Some of the side effects are possible scar tissue on the lungs, weakening of the ribs, and lymphodema, and fatigue. I still am waiting for my appointment to set up my treatment plan for radiation where I will find out my exact times and appointments, get my tattoo, and some x-rays. I do know that I will be going for radiation Monday to Friday for 5 weeks!

Wednesday night we had a fundraiser "Girls Night Out" for the boat race team which had a great turnout and hopefully we raised a good amount for the team! Thank you to everyone who came and showed their support!

This week I had the chance to hang with some of my girls and do girly things. We also had the chance to visit with some friends we haven't seen in awhile and have some great laughs and great food!

I managed also to make it to the gym a couple of times to walk on the treadmill and did a little gardening outside which I later realized exhausted me. You would think after all this time that I would know ahead when I was overdoing it instead of realizing it too late. Unfortunately, it took until today to finally catch up with sleep and not feeling so fatigued. Maybe it's also because I know this phase is coming to a close that I am getting overly exciting and hence overdoing things.

All in all I am feeling good, still tired and getting ready for another busy week!

3 days left!!!!

~sash

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

He is risen!

Happy Easter to everyone, I hope that it was filled with love and joy! I couldn't be a better time to be going through my journey and the first phase coming to an end so close to the Easter season. I have not been on this journey alone! It is by God's grace and helping hand that I have been able to be travel this journey. It is his strength that has allowed for my strength! This Easter season I am especially thankful!

My Easter weekend was great! It started off with Good Friday Mass followed by our traditional fish and chip dinner (yummy!). Also, a Happy Birthday goes out to my little cousin Benjamin! Saturday, I had a girls afternoon with Valentina, and then family dinner with Attila's cousins. Easter Sunday, I attending mass with my mom and then we had a girls afternoon with my mommy and went to the Fox to see Riverdance which was an amazing production! After that we had dinner back at home and I proceeded to the couch to try and re-coop from the weekend and all the food and dessert I ate :

Aside from a great weekend, I am feeling pretty good! All symptoms are gone (thank you) which is nice after only 1 1/2 weeks instead of the 14 day recovery from the previous treatment. I am still battling this running nose, congestion thing but it seems to slowly be disappearing.

I meet with the radiologist tomorrow instead of Thursday, so I am interested and ready to find out what the next game plan is. With each day I am getting more and more excited to be completing this phase of my journey!

10 days to go!!!!!


Happy Birthday Ben! Miss you and love you!

~sasha

Friday, April 10, 2009

Last blog I stated that the pain was manageable and that I was taking my pain meds to help keep the pain level down. I started to space the time period between them on Wednesday to see if they pain was subsiding at all. I was starting to make it to 5hrs in between dosages.

As I stated I wanted to try and get some walking in so Wednesday I went to the gym and of course over did it by walking a really slow pace but for 60mins. I hadn't felt the best in the morning after taking my meds and needed to lie down again for another 1 1/2hrs before going and I don't think this mixed well. I think I did too much upon waking, making the bed, dishes, laundry, etc. It is so amazing how something that we think is so little activity can wear you out. Therefore, once I came home from the gym I needed something to eat immediately and then another nap... I know I over did it. So.... the rest of the night was just relaxing and trying to feel better which I did.

Thursday, I decided to not do as much in the morning as I had a healing touch session in the afternoon. This time around we tried some new techniques to bring my vibration levels up and to clean out my lymphatic system. One of my biggest excitements right now is knowing that all of this "stuff" is going to be out of my system soon, I can't wait till my body feels clean, detoxified, and back to normal. I have also been fighting this congestion since the change over in chemo drugs, therefore I have a constant running nose and now a cough.

So... for the first 20mins of the healing touch I felt like I was drunk, when you have drank too much and then lie down and get the funny spins and vibrations. I didn't realize what it was until Kim explained the techniques to me further once the season was complete. And then I just felt so relaxed and like my limbs were not part of my body. She also gave me a neti pot to start using to clean my sinuses, I have been meaning to get one for years and never have. To my cuz Chris... I agree, the neti pot rocks! This is the best I have been able to breathe in a long time and you feel so clean!

Following treatment Kim said that I would feel a little woozy and potentially sore due to the stirring up of everything and I possibly might have some weird dreams. Well, all of them occur ed! I was on the couch for about 2hrs napping and couldn't get up from it, once I did I went for a walk to stretch out and get things moving, came home had a bath, and then dreamed a very
bizarre dream.

Today, I feel much better! It is hard to explain but I just feel lighter, cleaner, and like I have some energy, hopefully out for another walk today. A much better feeling this time around than what I was experiencing the last treatment! Praying that I can continue feeling this way for the next two weeks!

~sasha

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Much better!

Well... I am doing much better at this point than what I was doing last treatment! I still have bone pain but nothing in comparison to before and the new meds are keeping it tolerable.

I am able to walk up and down the stairs, take a shower, do a couple chores.... so thankful! It's amazing too because I have a different mind frame. I prepared myself for what symptoms I could possibly experience this time and just prayed that the meds would work and I wouldn't have a reaction to them. Don't get me wrong I am still sore, but I can tell my spirits are a higher this time around which makes the world of difference.

Possibly jumping the gun but I am hoping to get a little bit of slow walking in starting tomorrow because even though I still am moving around I am stiff so it would be nice to move around.

Also, I will be heading into this next treatment with the next game plan ready as my referral for radiology has gone through and I will be meeting with the radiologist on the 16th.

Keepin the chin high!

~sasha

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sleep, sleep and more sleep!

Well.... since Thursday I have been sleeping! I fell asleep during my treatment again which is nice as it passes the time. I had the chance to share a smile or a wave to some patients that I am starting to recognize now that I am on the bed side of the treatment room. I also had the chance to chat with another lady on her first day of treatments and to help make her feel welcome, I guess as welcome as you can in a cancer clinic. It was nice to pass this on as Jeff was there for me on my first day of treatments, it is nice to see a familiar face.

The rest of Thursday was filled with sleep that crept over into Friday until I had to go back to the clinic to get my Neulasta shot. While waiting for my shot, there was a wonderful lady making a matching hat and scarf for patients in the clinic who decided to give it to me as she noticed that I was not wearing a wig but a hat and scarf set. I was so appreciated as it was so thoughtful of her!

As for symptoms this round... it has mostly been fatigue. I take my last steroid tomorrow morning so by Monday I should now weather or not I will experience any bone pain and hopefully these new meds will do their job. As for trying to decrease these hot flashes with my other new meds and Evening Primrose Oil, I am still trying to figure out if they are working yet. Dr. Alam said to give it two weeks so we will see, though they have decreased slightly at nighttime.

Off for a snack and then another nap!

~sasha

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Excited!

The excitement is starting to set in for this next treatment, it must sound so weird but it is true. As this part of my journey draws to a close I am getting more and more excited, only 22 more days!

Yesterday I had the chance to visit with my co-worker Steph and the latest little bundle welcomed to the world Isabella. On our next visit I need to make sure I take some photos so that I can post them. Today I also had the chance for a short visit with Val, John and my goddaughter Hallie along with my mom.

Today was a busy day but couldn't have started off more perfect than starting with a massage as I have been wearing my shoulders as earring these past couple weeks. I had my exam with Dr. Alam which went great! Due to all the bone pain and inability to carry out my activities of daily living and even inability to walk the Dr. decided to try some new meds.

My last treatment they decided to extend my steroids to help with the pain and wouldn't issue me the medication I requested called Tramacet due to a codeine contraindication. After talking with Dr. Alam she explained to me that becoming nauseous and vomiting was not an allergic reaction to codeine and is something that is very common for some. Therefore, we decided to give the Tramacet a try which I am excited about due to hearing how well it has helped others. Another new med we are trying is Clonidine which in low doses is used to help with "hot flashes" due to being put into temporary menopause. Dr. Alam decided this after performing my exam and me having one of the worst hot flashes ever and having dripping sweat from my armpits and forehead! I am on it for two weeks to see if it will help, if not then we will try something else (not too embarrassing)!

Other news, I should be hearing from the radiation clinic towards my last treatment. I do not have to have another MUGA scan as Dr. Alam stated that if my regimen would have been 6 sessions of FEC which I had for my first three sessions then I would have had to of been more closely monitored with heart tests as it weakens the functioning of your heart. But... because my regimen changed there is no need for it. During my next exam my referral will go in to have my port removed so....my port should be out with in 3-4 weeks after my treatments, which I was so happy about. I still will be having my Neulasta shot following my last treatment which I felt more comfortable knowing as opposed to having my own body try to bring up my white blood cell count. And lastly I had the pleasure of filling out disability forms and pension forms, etc this week to hand into the doctor. Paper work, paper work, more phone calls and paper work - its crazy!

Well, off to tackle my next treatment tomorrow!

~excited