Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#8 - The End!

I am coming at you live and in living colour!!!  For my last treatment I thought I would come at you from the chemo suite .... hopefully I get this done before the Benadryl sets in :)

July 19th - 23rd, 2010

This week has been filled with my IVC treatments on M/W/F which I believe now are starting to kick in.  My energy levels have seemed to be improving more and more with each day.  For those of you who know who Jeff Dunham is and his character Peanut will understand this.  There is a skit where Jeff is asking why Peanut is so hyper and he repeats "coffee, coffee, coffee" (look it up on Youtube).  Well, when Atti comes home know and sees me moving around the house he repeats the skit to me but subs in Vit. C instead ... it has become an inside joke now for us.  I am so happy to have started this treatment and with how I am feeling while on it ... part of me wishes I would have started much earlier but everything happens when it is supposed to and when you are ready for it. 

Of course you know there was a massage this week :)

I had a follow-up with Dr. Alam on Thursday.  She has given me 6 weeks off ... time to enjoy the rest of summer!  Dr. Alam stated that this will be my last treatment for now #8!  This time frame will give this last chemo treatment a chance to work as well giving me a chance to finish up my Vit. C treatments.  During the beginning of September I will be booked for another chest CT scan to see how things are going, then I will meet with her the week following to discuss what my treatment plan will be consisting of  ... possible completion of chemo, change in chemo regimen if needed, maintenance drug or alternative treatments.  Along with this 6 weeks off I do not have to return for anything, she wants my counts to come up on their own and I receive my last Zoladex shot today.

July 26th, 2010

Had another IVC treatment today and had some adjustments to my treatments/regimen at the CCIM (Canadian Clinic for Integrative Medicine). It is so awesome to start feeling better, it has been awhile so you forget what the feeling feels like.  Everyone is waiting in anticipation to see how I will feel following my chemo treatment as most of the people who I have spoken with who are presently doing both chemo and Vit. C have started before they started their chemo therefore, they do not know any differently whereas I started towards the end of my treatments.  I am waiting in anticipation as well .... hoping I feel good!

July 27th, 2010

Happy last chemo to me, happy last chemo to me, happy last chemo dear Sasha, happy last chemo to me!  This is the song that the nurses sing to you in the chemo suite when you are done!!

I am now receiving my dexamethasone (steroid) .... part of my pre-chemo drugs.  Now onto my Zantac ... working in cardiac I questioned why I was receiving this as our patients receive this for indigestion ... for chemo, I guess it works for nausea.  

It's time to say "over and out" as my next drug is my Benadryl.  Time to get comfortable and get my David Gray play list ready and curl up in my comfy blanket for my nap!

Take care and I hope everyone has an amazing day!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Round #7

Again ... the best way to start of the month is with a massage :) 

July 4th, 2010

Happy Canada Day, Happy 4th of July, Happy early b-day Marc and Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary to my cousins Marc & Colleen.  Today we had a great day of celebrations at my Aunt Hope & Uncle Jim's house with the whole family, it was great to see everyone and have everyone together ... and I was able to enjoy it since I hadn't had treatment due to the holiday.

July 6th, 2010

Time for #7 which surprisingly was not as bad this time around.  Due to Canada Day they pushed my chemo treatment back 5 days which in turn allowed my counts to come up higher which in turn I believe gave me more energy.  Upon arriving home I didn't need to crash right away and was able to stay up for a couple hours before hitting the bed and trying to sleep some of this off.

July 9th, 2010

Still not feeling all the best but coming around faster than normal.  Today I was off to see Dr. Marier for my first IVC treatment.  My mom jokingly stated that she wanted me to be doing cartwheels out of the office after getting my Vit. C ... I ensured her that I didn't believe it worked that fast! 

I have been looking forward to this day for sometime now ... excited to be putting something into my body that is good and healthy.  Since today was my first day, they started with a support pack I believe it is called so it is not actually Vit. C but all of your B vitamins to get your body ready, next week I will be starting the actual Vit. C dosages.

July 11th, 2010

The return of "Fight Like A Girl"!  Today is the Dragon Boat races and I was really upset this week that my treatment would be falling 5 days prior to the races which would mean that I probably wouldn't be able to be with my team and drum.  Well, I did the best I could and rested up as much as possible on the weekend so that I would be able to be with my team and I did it!  It was a very hot day but with all the excitement it kept me going.  We won our first race which placed us into Division A Finals for the 2nd race.  We then placed 4th which dropped us into the Division A Consolation Finals .... I believe it was after this race that I started to feel everything catching up with me and was starting to become exhausted.  Time for the last race in which we placed 3rd in our Division which brought us overall to 4th/100 teams to finish ... not bad for only our 2nd year! 

Thank you so much to our great team, you worked your A$$ off.  It was an amazing day filled with lots of family, friends, love, fun, and team spirit, thank you to those who came out to support us and such a great cause.  

Until next year:)

Today was also Attila's 36th b-day, Happy b-day Atti!  Thank you to the Pazur family for opening their house to us and hosting our Dragon Boat celebration and Atti's b-day party.

To say the least following this day ..... I was exhausted!!

July 12th - 16th, 2010

This week consisted of me getting off of my butt and doing some exercise .... it feels good to be able to move!

Also, I had my Vit. C treatments M/W/F which last about 1 1/2 - 2hrs.  Everyone keeps asking if I have noticed a difference yet ... well not sure. The one thing I have noticed is that I am falling asleep easier than before and that I am waking up earlier.  I feel like my body is trying to find a routine or return to a normal routine in which Dr. Marier stated that it was more than likely exactly that ... my body is trying to find it's normal circadian rhythm and trying to balance itself.  Let's see what the weekend brings and if I notice anything else energy wise.  

Well, this weekend brought a much improved energy level.  Again, not sure if this is because I may be pushing myself or because of the Vit. C but I am thinking it is the Vit. C.  Normally when you push yourself you become tired, not saying I don't get the afternoon sleepy feeling anymore but there is something to say about my energy levels being higher to the point of staying up late and cleaning until 2:00 AM!!!  I know that is probably not good for my body to be up that late but I had lots of energy.  A goal of mine was to clean under our stairs ... our storage area this week coming which I was going to give myself two days to work on.  No .... instead Saturday afternoon I completed it in a couple of hours.  And even though being up that late over the weekend I was able to wake up after getting my 7-8 hours of sleep naturally.  And .... last night was the first night that I didn't take my 1/4 Ativan to help me sleep, just my natural sleep agents.  These things may seem small to someone else but to me these are huge improvements.  I am scheduled for M/W/F again this week and a follow-up with Dr. Alam .... next week will be the true test as I will be having my 8th chemo!

Have a great day!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

June 2010

June was filled with many scans, appointments and activities and the best way to start it off is always with a massage!

June 8th, 2010

Follow-up appointment with Dr. Alam prior to #6 chemo and blood work.  Was informed that I would be scheduled for a bone scan, and CT scans of my head, chest, abdomen and pelvic.

June 10th, 2010

Time for #6!  I can feel these chemos starting to take a toll on my body and I am feeling very toxic lately.  For some reason my treatments started late due to a computer issue and getting my orders from the pharmacy so I was about 90 mins behind.  I have discovered over this journey that my body can become pretty sensitive and in order to get back on track with the day my pre-chemo drugs of Zantac, Dexamethasone and Benydral were administered a little faster ~ 25-30 mins instead of an hour.  To say the least this didn't sit too well in my body and I was feeling very nauseated.  Nothing more drugs couldn't fix!  We came home immediately and I kicked off my shoes, walked to the bed and passed out for the next 4 hours.

June 11th - 13th, 2010

This treatment has taken its toll on me and I have spent the past few days in bed trying to recover .... not going so well.  Everything hurts, I am nauseated, not interested in food or can't find anything to satisfy my hunger and when I do have it, it is either nothing that I want or the nasty aftertaste kills everything.  

June 14th, 2010

Bone scan day .... inject me with radioactive dye (YEAH - more crap going into my body), come back in 3 hours for the x-rays.

June 15th, 2010

Not one CT scan but 4 .... even more YEAH!!!  I had to drink barium sulphate last night and a container prior to my scans.  Just the thought of it or seeing someone else drink it makes me gag!  After 4 years of being in and out of the hospital I have to mark this day down as the first day I have had a bad association with the hospital and feeling nauseated and just fed up!!!!  I managed to get the barium sulphate down, next was them inserting my lock in my arm which again as soon as they did it I could taste the metallic taste in my mouth from the dye they inject.  Next, wait patiently for my scans, get hooked up, say my prayers while the scans are going on, inject the dye, instant metallic taste (it's like putting a handful of pennies in your mouth and swishing them around), then the peeing warm feeling the courses through your body ... you don't actually pee yourself but this is the sensation and my first time around last year I was convinced I did but I was safe.

June 16th, 2010

Met with my naturopath Dr. Marier to review my progress and how things have been going.  From the alternative side of things everything was going well, though we discussed my issues of feeling like my blood was toxic and decided our next step was to "drain" me.  I was placed on some more homeopathy remedies that would act as a drainage system and help my start clearing out all of these toxins.  As well, we have agreed that based off of my scan results that I will be starting my Vit. C treatments in the next couple weeks ..... I can't wait!

June 17th, 2010

Massage ... thank you Manuel!!!  Followed by coffee and catching up with a girlfriend.

June 18th - 20th, 2010

This weekend was filled with more pampering for myself ... last year I was a regular at the spa trying to make myself feel better and normal, this year I focused on the integrative medicine side of things and not pampering so I felt it was time to treat myself to an awesome pedicure and algae body wrap that was so cozy and relaxing, following by a late night movie.

On Saturday we had an awesome dinner at my co-workers house Wendy & Mike ... thanks for the great laughs and yummy steak dinner, it was a great night out.

Happy Father's Day dad!  My dad wasn't feeling the best so we kept it simply and went to the movies to see "Karate Kid" ... loved it!  It brought back so many childhood memories and I have always been a Karate Kid fan.  Will, Jada & Jaden did an awesome job on remaking the original.

June 23rd, 2010

Today I had a follow up with Dr. Alam to determine where I stand with treatments and to receive all of my scan results.  I wasn't nervous at all leading up to this day but upon arriving at the centre my stomach was in knots .... damn anxiety!  Well ..... the good news just kept coming!  My bone scan was all clear and even showed that the rib fracture I had was healing, brain CT .... clear, abdomen CT .... clear, pelvic CT .... clear, lung CT .... much improved!  The lung CT still showed abnormalities but since my February and April CT scan it showed that all the lymph nodes had reduced from 2cm - 1cm, abdominal lymph node decreased from over 2.3 - 1.5 x 1.2cm, can't really determine if they still see all the sand like nodules on my lung as those appeared to be clearing up as well as the nodule in my lung which has decreased from 0.99cm - 0.46cm!  AWESOME NEWS!!!!  Where does this leave me for treatment now .... they have suggested I do 2 more rounds of chemo, run another chest CT and determine if I should have 1 more.  From there they will decide if I am done treatments, will need a maintenance chemo, change my chemo regimen and the possibility of long-term alternative treatments.  You don't have to guess which one I am praying for???

This news was great to have especially since tonight was the Girls Night Out for our Dragon Boat team "Fight Like A Girl".  Thanks again to my dear friend Amy Britton (Britton Images Photography) for hosting another great evening filled with lots of goodies, prizes, raffles and great company!  Thank you to all who were able to come and show your support, it was very much appreciated.

June 25th, 2010

Zoladex shot .... I need to get a picture of the next one because I think this is a huge a$$ shot!

June 26th, 2010

Our first Dragon Boat practice which was a great success .... I think we have another winning team!

June 28th, 2010

Valentina's 31st b-day!  We had a chance to celebrate my BFF's b-day at Caldwell's Grant in Amhersturg .... great food, great fun, great laughs.  We were honored to celebrate this day with you Val!

Best way to end the month????  Another massage!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

May 2010

Once again I have fallen off track with blogging!  The last real time blog was the end of May following my 5th treatment. 

The end of May was a great little vacation!  Friday I had to receive my Zoladex shot to suppress my ovary and then my friend Amy Poisson and I headed down to London to visit with my cousins and do a little shopping.  For those who know me well there is always one store I visit on each trip to London!!  Lululemon ... we raided it for a couple hours.  Saturday we went and saw my godson Blake's gymnastics class .. he was so happy that we came to watch him, then we went for breakfast, off to do some more shopping and walking around downtown and then we met up with Atti and my cousin Dave who drove down on Saturday morning and spent their day golfing.  We had an awesome night with my cousin's Chris and Michele with some great food and more great laughs! 

Another reason for the trip to London was that I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon for my reconstruction.  I had this appointment booked 6 months ago and didn't want to cancel it as I was interested in hearing what she had to say and what my options were for reconstruction.  I was given 4 options for reconstruction 1) TRAMS flap which I couldn't do because of my size ... it is pretty much a tummy tuck and a boob job at the same time and they use your abdominal muscles 2) Expander's and implants which would consist of a surgery to put the expander's in, 6 weeks of filling them slowly, then surgery to place the permanent implants 3) using the tissue from my butt and they can only do one side at a time and 4) using my back muscles with implants.  Not that I have to decide now and probably won't even think about it till spring of 2011 but she suggested using my back muscles as it would be the most effective for me.  Plus, the expander procedure doesn't seem like a guarantee as many complications can occur and secondly I like my butt and don't want any scares on it :) 

It was nice to get out of the city and relax for a couple of days before heading into my next treatment followed by a bunch of tests!