Tuesday, April 17, 2007

From Donna on her last chemo treatment.

Before I had my mastectomy in December, my daughter, Misty set up this blogspot for me and asked me to write some thoughts; and for my first blog I wrote some things that I know for sure. So, with my last chemo treatment looming in the very near future, I thought I would tell you what I now know for sure.

- Even though I know I said I could not do this anymore, I will have my last treatment - sometimes emotions just get the better of me.

- I know that I am not superwoman and no matter what I thought about how things were going to be in my life or how I thought I could control what was happening to me, I was wrong. It is what it is and it's definitely out of my hands.

- In the name of Jesus, I am healed. Thank you Anita for reminding me.

- There has been a small group of women: Misty, Lisa, Jane, Susan, Hope, Anita and Debora who have been there with me from the beginning of my journey. I am so blessed to have them all in my life and I thank God for them.

- As I complete this step in my journey with breast cancer, I know that by the grace of God go I and He will guide me and walk with me through the next step.

- I know what is important. I once told my boss that people on their death beds don't say that they wish they had spent more time at work. You have one family and it could all be gone in a moment - don't lose sight of what is important and always say I love you.

- I do know that I will have to get radiation treatments but I will cross that bridge in about a month. At least I will be off the steroids. So if I babble, I have no excuse.

- Writing this blog has been good for me and I plan to continue until.....


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another note from Donna

I am finally starting to feel human again - of course, it's a week before chemo! Anyway, my husband has a new tattoo and I wanted to share a picture of it with you. The ribbon has my initials on it - wasn't that sweet?

Also, my daughter, Lisa sent me flowers this week and I told her that I would put a picture of them on my blog so that she could see what they look like. What a nice surprise.

I will update everyone just before I go in for my final treatment. Take Care.

Friday, April 06, 2007

From Donna...

Just a quick update to let you all know what I did last night. So, I was looking for something to do and found a few things to occupy my time. I made a sandwich for Jim's lunch, washed a few dishes, got back online and printed out several recipes from FoodTV - love those chefs, made some organic popcorn (YUCK), and watched a Steve Martin movie. Jim got up at 4:00 A.M. and asked me if I had made it to bed at all. So, I decided to go to bed. I was still awake at 5:00 A.M. but fell in and out of sleep somewhere during 5 and 6 and slept like that until about 9:30 A.M. So, I have been in my pjs all day doing other stuff and napping (or trying to) from time to time.

Have a Blessed Easter.


Another note from Donna

It's been suggested that I provide more information in my blog regarding my experiences with chemo. It's not that I haven't been honest but I probably do hold back on some things - was saving it for the book! ;)

And, since I am starting to feel better from my last go-around, this is your lucky day. All you inquiring minds who really want to know the truth - here goes. But, let me tell ya', you are all sick!

-Ok, I hate chemo even though I get a snoopy or bugs bunny band aid on my port after treatment. After the last treatment I sat in my living room, knowing full well that I have one more treatment, telling my husband, "I can't do this anymore." It's not pleasant, I do not look forward to diarrhea, weakness, killer heartburn, the incredible painful sensitiveness all over my body, especially in the area of my mastectomy scars, the feeling of uselessness during the "after effects" time, etc. etc. etc. The good news is no projectile vomiting (other than words) and no constipation - Yippee.

-And, yes I do think about dying. I can't help it, it is what it is.

-Then just when I start feeling better (about six days later), I start three days of steroids, which I also hate. Steroids are NOT my friend. How do athletes take those things? Maybe if they were building muscle or toning my arms - nah, I still wouldn't like them. I know that they help with the bone pain but they also increase my sugar level (Type II Diabetic), keep me awake (sleeping pills don't help), and they make me a babbling idiot for 3 - 5 days; like right now as I am on my second day. Picture a "flat, bald, crazy woman projectile vomiting about 50,000 words per minute. Here's an example. One Friday night Jim got home from work and I never shut up from the time he hit the front door until I got a little upset because I was not getting the response that I expected (this is about two hours later). He finally told me that he was just tired and it was just too much information coming at him at one time. Go figure!

-The good news is that I have not become anemic. I continue to hold my own thanks to Neulasta shots and incorporating more fish and other protein into my diet. Speaking of diet; I have hovered between a 15 - 20 pound weight loss - I lose weight right after chemo and gain back some weight the week before chemo because I feel so good. And, yes I do have a slight metallic taste in my mouth after treatment but it seems to lessen during my three week intervals.

-But, let's talk about the sores in my mouth - another side effect. My mouth bleeds from the sores in the back of my mouth and my teeth hurt. I wake up some mornings with the taste of blood and spitting blood. I who dislike the dentist almost as much as chemo am actually looking forward to seeing the dentist when this is over.

-I have had some swelling in my right arm. It was my fault. I know that I have to be careful because I am at risk for lymphedema. I decided to throw a ball for my dog and after throwing it several times I felt a pulling in my arm. The swelling was not major but it was uncomfortable. My doctor says that I have to be patient and that it's not yet time to strengthen my arms but, to keep doing my range of motion exercises.

-Prescriptions - I have an 8 X 10 sheet of paper listing all the medications that I take. I cannot wait until I am done with my last treatment so I can gather them all up and do whatever. Some of the side effects from these drugs are very bothersome. Enough said about that!

-I think what frustrates me the most is that the spirit is willing but the flesh ain't able. I have laid in bed or on the couch knowing that I should pay the bills, check emails, or just make a sandwich and I just can't do it because my body is weak and I just don't care. I have always been able to take care of myself and for once I have encountered something that I have no control over and I have to depend on others for my care, yes, even my survival - from the doctors, to my family, to my friends, and yes, even strangers. I am humbled by the compassion, love, support and prayers that I have received from everyone.

-Well, I am rambling (gotta love those steroids - NOT) although it is 1:00 A.M. in the morning. I hope that you have experienced a little more of my journey. I do not intentionally hold back - I am the type of person who just "deals with it" and goes on and I don't always commit everything to print. Nothing Like Spilling Your Guts! :)

I'm finished for now but I'm still wide awake. Have to find something to do - but what? I'll let you know later what I did. See ya!