Monday, August 27, 2012

My Dog Sugar, My New Hair

I have never uploaded a video before so I hope this works. My walking companion is my dog Sugar. ( thou I would like my hubby Peter to be my walking companion) Sugar is a very smart dog, she knows everything you say to her. she can find all her many toys by name, she also knows that when we go for a walk she has to pre~poop in the back yard. I gather our walking tools like the leash and keys we go outside and I tell her to go poop ! Here is what happens. She is a hoot!

I know my brother Tom is anxious to see my new hair do....I want Tom and Clyde to be able to recognize me at the airport on Thursday. My hair is growing, I am not sure what color it is. My red hair is gone, I know it cannot possible be gray. At least it is growing some of it is dark !

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another opnion about Tamoxifen ~ Very Funny

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More on Tamoxifen Side Effects

In a previous post, I shared with you that I was experiencing a little tamoxifen rage, euphemistically called "mood swings" by my oncologist.

Let's describe some of the other side effects that have popped up since then, shall we?

Along with the aforementioned tamox-rage, I also seem to be experiencing the inability to, shall we say, STFU. I don't know what's happened, but I've turned into that little old lady who says whatever the hell is on her mind without regard to how anybody else is going to take it. My thoughts come straight out of my mouth, without any stoppage. That might be cute, even admirable, when you are 95 and non-threatening in every other way. Hearing granny say, "Hey you fucking kids, get off my lawn" is cute.

Hearing your school secretary say it? Not so much.

Speaking of a little old lady, a few months ago I was a vibrant middle-aged woman who looked younger than her age. Now, I'm a hag. Literally. The skin is starting to hang off my bones. My arms look like they are melting. The tamoxifen is sucking me dry, and I've even gotten an (ahem) lady infection.

I've aged ten years in two months and am afraid to see what will happen in another two. I used to look at old-fashioned, 50's era photos of women my age and feel pity. They dressed like old ladies, they looked like old ladies. You know that your grandma, when she was my age, was wearing sensible shoes and a baggy housedress and baking cookies. Not me. I was glad to live in this age of Kim Catrell where I could still wear 3 inch rise jeans and five inch heels and eat salads with my girls. I now can't wear heels (more on that later) and I am seriously considering a pair of elastic waist jeans.

The tamoxofin may be sucking me dry, but it's also making me sweat. The hot flashes are not really flashes of heat; what a misnomer that phrase is! I just don't feel hot - instead, my brain seems to have a complete inability to regulate my body temperature. One second I'm freezing to death (and it's 80 degrees outside) and the next second I am boiling and sweating. I've never been a sweater so it's very disconcerting to find sweat running down my plastic cleavage (and my shins, and my forearms). All day long, every 15 minutes, I switch from boiling to freezing. One second I'm huddled in a blanket and the next second I'm ripping off my shirt. (Oh, THAT'S why it's called flashes!) It's like season five on Lost, where you flash from year to year uncontrollably. Only, without Josh Holloway.

Because of tamoxifen, my poor brain won't regulate my mouth or my temperature.

Why can't I wear heels, you ask? You know how I love them. Well, I ache. I ache all over. I ache from head to toe. My bones hurt. My hips hurt. Walking in heels makes my hip bones feel like they are rubbing up against each other. Even my ribs hurt.

The muscles around my bones hurt and my back really hurts. I have one spot in my back that is particularly painful, and that seems to be the part of the spine that holds you upright. So, sitting and standing - hurts. The pain is like those growing pains you had when you were a kid - you remember lying in bed and feeling that deep, horrible ache? And, your mom would put a towel in hot water to warm it up and wrap it around your legs? I have that everywhere, all day long.

I take a hot bath each morning to ease the pain and get my muscles loose enough to move. I am still on part-time hours at work precisely because it takes me so long to move in the morning. I fear for the day I have to leave the house at 6:30 a.m.

Getting up won't be a problem though, because I can't sleep. Who needs sleep anyway? Certainly, my cat is happy with my insomnia because she gets to be petted all night. I'm sometimes so tired I fall asleep after dinner but even then, I can't get a real nap in. I wake up in ten minutes like I had a night's worth of sleep and then, you guessed it, it's hard to get to sleep at bedtime. If I do sleep, it's in brief increments and I wake up throughout the night, typically when I try to rollover and all the sheets are stuck to me because I've sweated through them.

I can't shut up, regulate my body temperature, or sleep and I hurt all over. Thank you, Tamoxifen.

Tamoxifin is an anti-cancer drug given to pre-menopausal women. It is an estrogen blocker. My cancer "feeds" on estrogen and this medicine takes away the ability of any remaining cancer cells to grow. I am supposed to take it for five years.

I can tell you after two months, that I won't make it those five years. Something is going to have to change. Dr. B, you are warned. 

Link to blog: 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fighting cancer is like a giant game of Mother May I. There are times when you take a  few steps forward and than a few steps back.  This is so true. I have taken a giant leap forward. I am feeling good. I have been driving and I helped Peter in the yard today. The yard though it is small has been a challenge this year. It takes a lot of work. Peter has been repairing our stone walls in front of the house. He is  strong and lugs the rocks and cement around with ease.  We will be heading to the beach and enjoy life  with our friends and family - It has been a long year.   This will be a celebration for both of us. The cancer walk is moving behind us.
 A good thing:) This is the deck garden. tomato plant is not doing well.

Wilma sleeps in a picture frame right next to our bed, on my side. She loves the frame.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Hair is growing

Hi Everybody, Sorry I have ignored my own blog. ha ha  Here is a quick update.
After the reconstruction surgery. I  had a reaction or injury to my mouth. This included pain, bruising, swelling, my taste buds and appetite.  I think this happened because who ever was in charge of the items they put in your mouth was not very careful.  Otherwise the surgery went well. Very little recovery time. When they took the expander s out my leg pain departed also :) A very good thing. My new breast/boobs look marvelous!

 However, this is  not a good thing  - I have had  to deal with depression, serious depression. It appears this is common after a battle with cancer. As you start your journey towards being a cancer survivor. One more thing the  Dr's should discuss with their patients.
My attitude  was -  great this is all behind me - everything is awesome! However that did not happen, I had no energy, appetite, was not sleeping, hot flashes, lack of interest in anything - At first I attributed this to the aftermath of the last surgery and all the trauma my body  has gone through. Plus the start of my oral medication.
"Tamoxifen".  Depression kind of creeps up on you. I went from I can do this to I do not want to do this. After a few weeks I called my family Dr. a nice anti depressant  is helping.   I am a strong woman and look forward to a long and happy life.

What is tamoxifen?  I hope you never have to take this type of drug. I will be on this for 5 years :(

Tamoxifen blocks the actions of estrogen, a female hormone. Certain types of breast cancer require estrogen to grow.
Tamoxifen is used to treat some types of breast cancer in men and women. Tamoxifen is also used to lower a woman's chance of developing breast cancer if she has a high risk (such as a family history of breast cancer).
side effects may include:
  • hot flashes;
  • bone pain, joint pain, or tumor pain;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • vaginal itching or dryness;
  • loss of appetite
  • headache, dizziness, depression; or
  • thinning hair.
    Peter has retired and we are hanging out together, we are heading to Panama Beach , Florida. We will be celebrating my recovery with our best friends and my brother Tom and bother in law Clyde.  What could be better than partying at the beach.

    MY hair is growing!
     Thank you reading my blog.  I hope this information will help others and their families who may travel a similar journey. Peace and love to all:)

With Mayo Clinic nurse educator Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
A personalized approach is best as men consider the benefits and risks of PSA screening for prostate cancer.
Gene expression profiling for breast cancer: What is it?
Gene expression profiling is a treatment-planning tool designed to help predict whether early-stage breast cancer will return after initial treatment.

Advise for "older patients" that develop breast cancer

From Pam Stephan, your Guide to Breast Cancer
When a breast tumor is small and hasn't shed any cells, it may be early stage and very treatable. Many older patients are treated with lumpectomy and hormone therapy alone. But is that good enough?

Post-Lumpectomy Radiation Prevents Recurrence and Mastectomy
Women who are 70 and over with early-stage breast cancer aren't always offered the full array of treatments to prevent recurrence. A new study shows that those who had lumpectomy and radiation fared better than those who had surgery only. Are standards about to change again?
See More About:  lumpectomy  radiation  early stage
Lumpectomy - Surgery for Breast Cancer
A lumpectomy is done to remove just the tumor and a small margin of tissue around it. Your breast may have a dimple or a "dent" in it afterwards, but you will still have a breast. Learn what to expect from a lumpectomy.
10 Radiation Treatment Myths
Only in comic books do people get exposed to radiation and then become either: gross monsters or fabulous superheroes. Medical radiation for cancer isn't perfect, but it can help prevent a recurrence. Here's what a radiologist has to say.
Hormonal Treatments for Breast Cancer
An overwhelming number of breast cancer tumors are fueled by hormones. In order to reduce the risk of your cancer coming back, your oncologist will prescribe 5 years of hormonal treatments. These drugs are just about the exact opposite of hormone replacement therapy - they will lower your hormone levels to starve any leftover cancer cells. But not all these drugs work just alike.