Posted by: pamseattle | September 14, 2008

Eight Months Later

I have not written for a while so I guess it is time to give you an update.  Everything is going well with the exception of these dam hot flashes.  They only keep me awake some nights but I am taking Gabapentin to help and when I forget to take them it does make a difference so I have to say it does help.   There is nothing like a good night sleep so not quite ready to go cold turkey.

My hair is coming back very curly. The texture is the same just some curls.

I am letting it grow out to see what I get.  They say it does go back to your original hair type in a couple of years so I guess I will take advantage of it while I can.

Scott and I have been doing BBQ Competitions so that has kept our focus this summer.   Too Ashamed To Name

Glad that is football season again and off to a great start.  ECU is now 3-0.   It does not get any better then beating WVU!

Go Pirates!!

I hope everyone had a great summer!

Posted by: pamseattle | June 7, 2008

Curly

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update, all is going well and feeling back to normal. Tamoxifen not giving me to many difficulties so I am thankful. I just wish the hot flashes would be done!

Hair is coming back in really curly and much darker. I am enjoying the change. Hope everyone has a great summer.

Posted by: pamseattle | March 6, 2008

Back on my feet

It is nice to get back amongst the living. Starting to feel like my old self at work, meaning, the brain is getting sharper. For a while there I had some serious chemo fog.

Still working through the hot flashes. Summer is coming up fast and it was nice to have the cool weather when dealing with the hot flashes.

The hair is growing back so I still get some stares from people. I like to think they are wondering “that girl has some balls to wear her hair that short”. I did have a lady asked me how my hair dresser did my hair. Yikes that was a hard one to answer.

Our beloved pet, Bootie, moved on to the big dog park in the sky last week. I was glad to have her around and by my side through my dark days. She had a great life and will be greatly missed.

15-weeks-post-chemo.jpgback-post-15-weeks.jpg100_0307.jpg

Posted by: pamseattle | January 17, 2008

Back to Work

I finished up Radiation over the Christmas holiday and have since returned to work. I was fortunate enough that with many layers of aloe and sween cream that I did not experience the major blister or peeling associated with radiation therapy. Just the sunburn and nothing else. I hardest part was just going everyday.

Had my follow up with my Oncologist to review the next steps. Once again I fell into the gray zone since I have a chemotherapy induced menopause. Will I stay in menopause or not is the question. So right now we start myself on Tamoxifen and continue to monitor my estradiol and FSH. I also asked my physician about testing me for the gene mutation CYP2D6 because I worry about the effects of Tamoxifen and if it is not going to work for me then I surely do not want to take it. I do have one mutation of the CYP2D6 so all the data out there right now suggests that Tamoxifen is still going to work for me.

Back to work has been has been hard. I only made it a couple of days before the fatigue really caught up with me then it was off to bed. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to take it easy. The books state that it takes you the same amount of time to recover as you were in treatment.

My hair is coming in but nothing really curly yet. I hope everyone had a nice Holiday!

Week 11 Hair Front Week 11 back


Posted by: pamseattle | December 18, 2007

Hot Red

I now have had 25 treatments and the last of the full breast radiation. Needless to say I am burnt. I am fortunate that I have not regained some feeling in my breast so I am not feeling that sunburn pain. My underarm is really the worst location. Next we start the booster part of the treatment where they will shoot radiation to where the tumor was located. I just telling myself it is almost over. My last treatment will be Dec 27.

My hair is coming back and so are my eyelashes. The eyelashes are coming back but growing straight down. I guess I need to dig out the eyelash curler when they get long. I had my mediport removed on Friday. The doctor just numbed the area then told me to close my eyes (did not want me to see the knife) and sliced me open and pulled out the port. I am glad that is gone and look forward to sleeping on my side with out an discomfort. Other then that things are going well and looking forward to getting my strength back and getting a full nights sleep.

Hair Return Week 7Hair return week 7 back

I hope you and your family have a great holiday season!

Posted by: pamseattle | December 3, 2007

Turning Pink

I now have 13 treatments under my belt and starting to turn a little pink. I have had enough sunburns in my lifetime that I expect to handle this one like the others. Since I go everyday for radiation I have come to make a new friend. We are finally going to lunch tomorrow since we never seen to have enough time chatting while waiting our turn for radiation. I am grateful for meeting her and having someone to pass the time. We are both on the same schedule and treatment plan.

I am building up strength with my Yoga classes. I finally made a trip back to the gym (still a little scared of germs) for a yoga class. I really felt at home with the bald head, not sure how the others felt in the class. I feel like I am getting stronger but I still get tired.

The hot flashes are still coming and I hope those reside a little soon but I do have to say they might just save us on the heating bill this winter. My hair is starting to come back but it is just fuzz. I will be posting my hair progress every couple of weeks. I excited to see how it will return. Will I be sporting the same old look or will be I going for the afro? You will have to clink on the images for a clearer picture.

Hair Post Chemo 3 weeks

Hair Post Chemo 3 weeks

Hair Post Chemo 5 weeks

Hair Post Chemo Week 5

I write in a couple of weeks. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by: pamseattle | November 18, 2007

Radiation

I started radiation this week so I have 5 treatments out of 30 under my belt. No major problem but the sunburn is to come later. I just keep lathering up with Aloe. Still getting use to going to the center everyday for radiation. It is only 4 miles away from the house; I cannot image what it would be like for someone that had to travel long distances.

One good thing has happened, last night I finally slept through the entire night! All is well and on the road to recovery.

I had some friends from back east visiting this week so I got to go out to have some fun and got to feel somewhat normal.

Fisherman W SFI hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday.

Posted by: pamseattle | October 31, 2007

Chemo Over

What can I say I am so glad to have chemotherapy over. This last treatment has been a little bit harder, more aches, pains and fatigue. I think I am coming out of it today. I go back to the Oncologist next week to check my blood counts to make sure they are making a recovery. Monday I go for my fitting for radiation and get all my instructions.

There is nothing like a good earthquake to jolt some adrenaline into your system. We had a 5.6 earthquake here and and continue to have aftershocks that we cannot feel.

We were just sitting there watching TV and BAM the earthquake started . The one cat jumped off the couch, Scott and I just looked at each other and said earthquake and got up and away from the windows and any shelves. It was a good shaker and then a wave. My legs were spread and hands out for balance. Just a natural response. The other cat sat proudly in her chair and the dog just look up at us from her bed wondering what was wrong with us. No damage for us but Scott’s brother lives on the other side of the city and was really close to the epicenter. We were able to email his brother and one of our nephews was pretty upset and scared. This was his first earthquake and it was a shaker for them.

It is pretty interesting stuff to see where quakes occur around the states.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsus/

Take care and I write soon.

Posted by: pamseattle | October 18, 2007

The Final Stretch

Last chemotherapy treatment is pretty much like the other Taxol treatments. Not much new happening, that is a good thing! I just feel so weak that getting my strength back is a big concern. I have started Yoga at home to stretch out the sore muscles and maybe help build some strength back. I have signed up for a program designed for cancer patients to help them build muscle mass and strength back. That does not start until January and I need to get some strength back before heading back to work.

Recently met with the Radiation Oncologist to set up the plan. I will have my fitting on Nov 5 and treatment starts on Nov 11. I will have a total of 30 shots of radiation that will last six weeks. I do not look forward to the sunburn. My sentinel node was fully infused with the cancer and there is suggestion that it was traveling in my lymphatic channel to the other nodes. I decided to treat the lymph node area, which will increase my risk for Lymphedema. I do not want to wear one of those compression sleeves. My risk is small and I have not had any symptoms so I hope to be in the clear.

I have been so tired of being in the house that I just had to get out, just for one night. I had yet to visit Yosemite National Park so check lodging and there was a room available. One night, I could handle one night and a half day in the car. The ride was easy but the rainy season has started early here in CA. We had rain coming into the park but still incredible views and color changes in the leaves(still nothing like the east coast). The hardest part was the sleepless night in a strange place. Still cannot sleep through the night but being in a less then comfortable bed made it difficult. I was exhausted the next day and was ready to get home to my pillow top bed.

Yosemite's National Park

Only one chemo treatment left!!!!!

Take care and I will post when the last treatment is done.

Posted by: pamseattle | October 2, 2007

Only Two Left

A video message.

A video message.

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