Kicking Breast Cancer's Butt

Monthly Archives: September 2013

So my hair is growing, which is good.

However, a couple of weeks ago I got a bee in my bonnet to wear eye makeup, and found out just how much you NEED eyelashes, just to keep the powdered shadow out of your eyes.  Most frustrating, as I had about 3-5 lashes total on each upper eyelid. Yikes!  And don’t even get me started on how difficult it is to line up false eyelashes without the marker of your real eyelashes to guide you, or on how to know where to stop with the highlighting shade, when you have no eyebrows.  Freak show potential here!

Now, fast forward to today.  My upper eyelids, and I hope I’m not jinxing myself here, have a profusion of tiny, short lashes growing out and filling space.  Whoo, hoo!  Oh my gosh, I hope my whoo, hoos are not spoken too soon…

My eyebrows are a maybe, at least on the left.  Short dark hairs seem to be growing in.  Not so much on the right.  Did I tell you I got fed up with them and shaved the rest off?

Two more infusions to go, so I may yet lose all ground I have gained here in the last couple of weeks.  Sucker…

Its been quite a while since I have written here.  I think part of my coping system is to normalize as much as possible when there isn’t some kind of decision or change coming.

Once we hit chemo and Tina was doing well with it.  I just integrated it into the schedule.  Monday Work, Tuesday Work, Wednesday Work, Thursday Chemo and Italian Sub at SCCA cafeteria Yumm!, Friday work.  Weekend.. be mostly unproductive [Repeat].

I am close to caught up with work and we have a bit of a break from routine with the two week chemo pause.  I want to have the discussion of what is the benefit of the next 5 treatments vs the long-term risk.  I had painful planters warts that I thought were calluses this last spring and for a few weeks walking more than a hundred yards would become very painful.  Once I realized they were warts and used the Freeze stuff. They were easy to treat and go away.  But now I worry about Tina’s hand and feet and the real live affect of pain and numbness.

Walks in Paris and London, Exploring Yellowstone and Manhattan all the things I would like to get back on to to-do list for the coming years.  Then there are hands, for beading, writing and knitting.   The things that bring joy and relaxing to Tina.  I worry that in a rush to just get it done…  Or throw the book at stray cancer cells that might not even exist.. will have costs that are pretty high.

So as this round has brought on increasing pain and affects I have been falling out of the routine more and back into worry and crisis.  As Tina mentioned I have have more nights of poor sleep.

Understand we love our current oncologist.  The moment she walked in I saw it, she was a Geek.. that is compliment… I read her bio before we chose her and meeting her I got that vibe of someone who is immersed in her field of expertise and cares about getting it right and learning more for the patient.  Not just BEING RIGHT.. Geeks know their stuff BUT are constantly learning and adapting to new info.  Geeks take knowledge and turn it into a living art no matter the subject.

So I want to have the conversation about value vs. risk this week when we go back in to start the last five infusions of TAXOL. but once I frame the conversation.. I totally trust the Geek magic and her passion for this medicine to make the final call.

Rant On:

This is one of those things that you really don’t notice much, until it’s part of your life.   If you take even an hour to study what is going on around cancer and the medicine, the vast majority of people are kicking its butt and surviving.  The average 5 year survival rate is over 60% across ALL CANCERS.  Lung being one of the worst but, breast is 90%+ and prostate is at 100%.  There are some really bad cancers and stage IV is always a fight.. but people are winning those fights too.

However, anytime a lazy TV writer even on shows we love that usually have great writing like “Suits” on USA.  [This may be the best show on TV right now.*]  The plot device for killing off-screen characters with pathos is to have them die with cancer.  Really people?.. Those of us out here fighting the beast are winning.  But you wouldn’t know it from the mass casualties of fictitious off-screen wives, brothers etc. who just die from cancer to create a moment of pain to show how the characters can feel.

I have to say when I hear “My BLANK is dying of cancer” then see a hug to create emotion between two characters, its starting to piss me off.

So you have a tough character with a hard emotional shell,  like a Harvey Spector (Suits) you need to show some emotion, really is it cancer, death or nothing?  Get creative people surprise us!!

Yes, I want to get through one season of one drama or even ”a very special” episode of a sit-com.. without the LAZY ASS writers killing someone with cancer.

Rant Off:

 *If you haven’t watched Suits (USA Network), get on-line, rent the DVDs, whatever and start with season one and watch.  This show has the best cast chemistry and writing IMHO since West Wing but is a lot more fun with some real solid emotional moments.  

Feet feel a LOT better today.  Nail beds of the fingers still a little touchy, makes it not fun to type this.

Toe nail beds feeling better.  Still don’t want to clean my house, though. :P

 

Taking another week off from Taxol.

Nail beds in my fingers and toes still tender.  Feet are still numb, and sometimes hurt.

Next week I have an appointment with the doctor anyway, so we’ll reassess, but I assume I will be back in the taxol saddle again that day.

Ugh, that will be a loooonnnngggg day for more reasons than one.