Thursday, January 21, 2016

Milestone reached

I've completed 4 cycles on my first set of drugs and I'm starting a new regimen of drugs on Monday January 25th.  Two new drugs administered every 3 weeks for 3 months.  New drugs = new side effects.  I have mixed feelings about this new phase as I'm moving from what I know ie - how I react to known drugs - to the unknown which makes me a little apprehensive.

I've been very fortunate for the last 3 months as I was able to take medication that prevented nausea and most of the side effects. I've been able to do just about everything I would normally do with the only negative thing being the occasional lack of energy and the cumulative effect of fatigue.  All in all a pretty good 3 months.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to starting on these new drugs - how weird is that? - because it means I've moved to a new phase in my treatment.  It's bringing me closer to ending all the poking and prodding that one endures when one goes through this.  I look at it as being one step closer to getting well.

While I may be a little apprehensive about this next regimen, I don't worry about it.  Worrying doesn't serve any purpose and it's all part of the process to getting healthy and resuming my life.  Just another little bump in the road.

And this to shall pass.


Sunday, January 03, 2016

Happy New Year!

We made it through the end of 2015 and are now well on our way into a new year filled with adventure and untold discoveries.

Our New Year's Day was quiet and relaxed and I'm so very happy that I canceled the New Years dinner.  I felt so much better knowing that I didn't have to do anything to prepare.  K and I had a lovely day, barbecued some steaks and just enjoyed each other's company and the good food - and wine.

I go for my next blood test tomorrow and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my platelets are where they need to be for my cycle 4 treatment.  I won't be surprised if they are not there yet, however I'm going to think positive and hope that they are there.  If they are then I will have my last treatment on this set of drugs on Tuesday and then 3 weeks from then I will start on 2 new drugs for approximately 6 months.  From what I understand, although I could be wrong,  these new drugs present a whole new series of different side effects so I might not be quite so chipper with the new drugs.  Just going to think postively about the whole new process! We'll deal with what comes down the pike when it comes down the pike.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cycle 3 treatment

Cycle 3 went well and no problems in the first couple of days.  However over Christmas Eve and Christmas day I seem to have hit a wall.  I'm feeling well, just a little queasy, but have no energy whatsoever.  It's an effort to get up and walk across the room!

I've done really well so far so I guess it's to be expected that there will be some low energy days.  I was looking forward to hosting my annual New Years Day dinner but I think I'm going to have to cancel it.  The way I feel right now I think it will be too much for me and I don't want to stick my daughter with all the stress and work of preparations and then not be able to enjoy the day.  Definitely not fair to her!  Also at this point, little to no appetite so not much point making a huge meal and then not be able to eat it.

Ah, yes, the joys of chemo!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat!

Christmas is only a little over a week away.  Can you believe it?

Here on the coast it has been cold and rainy, however it is a huge plus not to have to shovel snow.

My cycle 2 treatment was on December 1st and things went well.  Very few issues except on Monday I had a killer, and I do mean killer, headache.  Unfortunately, I let it get ahead of me and had to take to my bed for several hours.  It became this evil migraine that I just could not get to die!  I took two Tylenol 3's and they didn't even touch it.  After lying in bed in pain for an hour and getting no relief, I broke down and took the third Tylenol 3 and finally got a little bit of relief.  I found that applying my bean bag heating pad seemed to really help the most so I was very happy that I had a couple of those in the house that I could alternate.

I'm on 3 different anti-nausea drugs and they are doing a wonderful job of keeping me from throwing up.  So far the only bad thing I've had to endure is these killer headaches. All in all, these headaches, though extremely painful, are very infrequent and a minor inconvenienece in my battle against the demon cancer.

On a sidee note, my daughter put the tree up on December 7th and I decorated it.  I like to putz with making sure the branches have been fluffed and are as pretty as they possibly can be before I do any decorating. Sometimes the process is slow, but all worth it in the end.the end. .  There's just something about having the tree all lit up that filles my heart with joy!

One of those things that just makes you glad to be alive.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The demon cancer!

I retired in June, had my mammography on June 24th and was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 16th   My doctor was fantastic.  He referred me to a local surgeon (who had a 12 month waiting list) and I was able to see the surgeon within 2 weeks,  on July 31st

I opted for a partial mastectomy and the tumour and 2 lymph nodes were removed on August 14th. Both lymph nodes came back positive for cancer.  On September 11th, I had a second surgery.  Two more lymph nodes were removed and a larger margin was taken, more as an abundance of caution than anything else.  My doctor didn't want any surprises.  Both lymph nodes and the margins came back clear.

I am currently cancer free!! Thank you Jesus!

I'm now into cycle 2 of my chemo.  By the time I'm finished I will have had 21 cycles of chemo and also radiation.    I've experienced very few side effects so far, tiredness and lack of energy being two  And of course, loss of hair.  The docs have me on tons of anti-nausea meds and so far they are working very well.  This first 4 cycles will probably be the easiest.  I'm told that once I go on the herceptin that it can get tough. I'm OK with that.  I'm just soooo grateful that things are going well now.  I deal with each cycle as it comes and I don't worry about what will happen tomorrow.

Lots for which to be grateful!

A change to my blog!!

Just wanted to drop by and update the old blog.  I've been absent for about a month - long story!

However, I decided to make a few changes.

Firstly, I'm facing some health challenges and I've decided that since Last Wordz  has always been a little on the personal side, that I will dedicate this blog to personal isses and blogging about my health and what's going on in my little corner of paradise in that regard.

If you would like to hear learn more about my journey then please continue to follow me here.  You can read more in my next post..

However, if your sole interest is to follow only the "art" in my life, then I encourage you to swing on over to my new art blog -   Inked Impressions-  to see what chaos I'm creating in my studio.   My goal is to document my art journey and to build my skills and stretch my creative muscles. This art journey will be a whole new experience for me and I'm very excited!  I hope you'll  share my journey!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Busy Month!

October was a busy month for me as I had numerous doctor's appointments and tests that needed to be completed before I can start my treatments on November 10th.  I'm into the final stretch for the first set and looking forward (???) to them as it means I'm on my way to being healthy again.  Tbe next 5 months will be tough, however, I come from a long line of tough old broads so it's all good.

My brother came out to visit us on October 24th.  His visit was short - he left on the 29th - but we had a great time and I really enjoyed having him here.  The day he left it was raining and traffic was one big hot mess.  His flight left at 9:30 am and we left my house at 7 am and barely made it in time for him to make his flight.  Thankfully he did so it all ended well.

I'm still trying to get my studio organized, however I haven't made a lot of progress in the last few weeks.  Actually, I have made some progress but it doesn't really show!  I've had so many other things on my plate that I just haven't been able to concentrate on it.  Same goes for art.  My mojo seems to have gone missing.  However, I'm not going to sweat about it - it will come back once I'm not so much on overload.

It's a wonderful, rainy day here on the coast.  Typical winter weather for us and quite cool.  Perfect time to curl up on the couch in front of the fire with a good book and the cats.

Gotta run.  Ciao.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Making progress

I've managed to get the cards to the store Open House (relatively) on time so that's one thing I can check off my list.  I have to admit that this year was tough.  I usually really enjoy creating Christmas cards and gift tags but this year I really struggled.  I wasn't really feeling the love and it took me forever to get my mojo working.  However, it's done and I'm pleased with the designs I created and I hope they do well at the store.

My health is improving - or more to the point I guess - I'm starting to feel like my old self again.  The infection is gone and while it's taking a lot longer to heal, things are going along smoothly.  

My studio looks like someone broke into it and tossed it, which is usually how it looks after I finish a project.  I'm still only halfway through my re-org and found it really irritating that I couldn't find the things I needed to create my cards.  I need to address that now so the plan is to get cracking at it this weekend.  This is our Thanksgiving weekend in Canada - not that that really matters now that I'm retired - however I am still somewhat hooked into the Monday to Friday week cycle.  Old habits die slowly.

Here's one of the Christmas cards I made.  I have to give 
credit where credit is due - not my design, I was inspired by Jennifer McGuire.

Where did the summer go?

We’ve had spectacular weather for several months here on the coast.  According to the climatologists, the nice weather will continue due to good old“El Nino”.  They say that the weather will be unseasonably warm which is wonderful until you consider all the climate problems it could cause.  We had water restrictions here in the Lower Mainland due to the low rainfall and because there was no real snowpack in the spring because we had such nice weather during the winter.  It looks like we may continue to have to restrict water usage if we don’t get a snow pack this year either.

I’m ending m fourth month of retirement and have no regrets whatsoever about retiring.  I have a very relaxed life now.  I’m enjoying sleeping in and doing absolutely nothing some days.  What’s not to like?  I’ve been enjoying re-organizing my studio – about half done – so still a work in progress.  I’ve enjoyed playing in my journals and creating art, some of which is  bad, but what the hell.

I’ve been dealing with a health issue since mid –July. It came out of left field and kind of set me on my ass.  Things are progressing well though.  I have more appointments and therapies waiting for me, however all in all things are good. Unfortunately one of the side effects is that I have little energy so I’m sleeping a lot and not all that energetic some days  which cuts into my art time.  As well, I will not be able to go to Palm Springs this February – I am not happy about that !  However it is what it is and I just need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.