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This blog is created to give you a central location to answer any questions you have about my current and upcoming treatments and reactions. It is also created to help me make Lemonade out of the Lemons I have been given, so I will keep this as positive as I can.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A New Year... A New Chemo...

I can't believe it has been so long since I have updated.I am sorry... I will try to go back and fill in some blanks at some point, but for now I just want to get the here and now taken care of.
In February, I started to have new pain in my hip... not the Right one I had radiated before the Disney trip, the Left one. We had some x-rays done to make sure I didn't break anything. Thankfully there were no breaks. But there also wasn't enough evidence in that scan to say that it was from worsening Cancer in the area. So we decided to stay the course hoping it wasn't anything to worry about, unfortunately, it never got better, and has only been being a royal pain in my butt... quite literally. In March, my doc and I came to the conclusion that we needed to change our course of action regarding Chemo. Normally, with Metastatic Breast Cancer, the main goal is to keep a good quality of life, since this is not considered curable, the Dr's job is to make it so you are not miserable while they are trying to remove or control any tumor growth. Because of this, they generally don't want to take you out with the "tough" chemo's if they don't have to. Well, when it got to the point that I was not really able to walk without excruciating pain and even sitting or standing were too demanding for me to do daily we had to make a quick decision. We changed our Chemo and decided to start Adriamycin, or as some people so lovingly call it, The Red Devil. This is an "old" Chemo that has been around for a long time, but isn't as widely used because of it's harshness and it's tendencies to cause Heart problems. Since my original Chemo regimen did not include this I was free to start it now. I am SOOOO very grateful for this drug! Within the first treatment I noticed a difference, and within three treatments I was able to walk without my cane, and I could almost walk without a limp. And NOW, I can walk unassisted, I almost wouldn't know that I even had the issue at all if it wasn't such a short time ago.

I was very worried that the Chemo would be something that I wouldn't tolerate very well. Some say it is a "harder" Chemo than I had before, but my Doc just said it was "different" than the other one. I have to agree with that very much. I kept the same Schedule as before, Chemo by infusion every 3 weeks. I was afraid that I would be taken out of commission for a couple of weeks when starting this... Well my firs treatment put me to sleep. I slept for about 5 days, then once I woke up I was fine. I didn't get any nausea, I just slept. the next few were almost the exact same, except the length of time that I slept was shrinking. I still didn't have any Nausea, but I just didn't have any real appetite. I did not want any food in my mouth. Nothing sounded good, and if it sounded ok, it didn't really have enough flavor to make it worth eating, so I just didn't eat much, but I learned that Dr Pepper was something that always tasted good, especially from the Gas Station up the street. So I started going even more religiously to get my soda. Not only did I get some Calories in me, but I also was getting more energy so I didn't have to sleep as much, and could spend more time being mommy. Eventually I did get some nausea, but it was only in the morning. I was baffled by it for a while, but last week it finally clicked that it always happened shortly after taking my morning medicine. None of them said that they should be taken with food, but I learned that if I forced myself to eat something or at least get my Dr Pepper before taking my meds that I wasn't sick in the morning. So Now that is gone too and I just really feel like I have it super lucky with this Chemo, I can totally deal with some tiredness (I am the mother of 3 that has had insomnia for several years, tired is something I can definitely deal with) and a lack of appetite. It helps me not devour my emergency stash of Thin Mints before I have the new order on it's way.

Now I am coming to the end of the usefulness of this Chemo, so I will be getting a new plan. In order to do this there is a lot of testing to go though. In the next few weeks I will have an updated PET Scan, and an Echo cardiogram so that the Docs will know what I need and what I can handle. I will meet with my Doc the first week in August to set up a new plan and then will start said plan the following week. Unfortunately this will be my last dealings with my Doc. Unfortunately, she has reached the end of her Career and is going to retire. I feared this some since she was not a super young Doctor, but she was still young enough that I thought it would be a little bit longer than I have had with her, but it seems that Hospital politics are just not worth it anymore. It is really too bad that we have to change to a new Doc because of Politics, but I can definitely understand her views. I am hoping that the New Doc that replaces her will be an together as she is, and that we can still keep the care the same or better than I am getting at this point. I have been LOVING the location. I LOVE the nurses and other staff there that I really don't want to move from there, but if I hate my doc my hand may be forced. Praying that I will be taken care of in this respect. The timing will be ok though since we will have just set up a complete plan and it will be something that the new doc will just have to be able to follow until we need to make changes again. So in reality once I know what my current Doc and I feel good about it won't really matter who signs the orders, as long as they get done.

Before my current treatment, I was worried that I would not be able to have fun with the kids anymore because it hurt to have them on my lap, and there was no way for me to get down on the floor to help them with crafts, or play a game, and wrestling or tickling was pretty much out of the question. Now I am a brand new Mommy! I love to be able to do all of these things with them. I am actually thinking of reviving my other Blog to post the things that we are up to. Including my Loom fun and other crazy things we are up to. If you would be interested in such things, let me know. I will think more seriously about the addition.

I hope everyone's Summer is going great and that they are keeping busy enough with fun to forget a little about the stress. I know that is what I have been doing... In other words... Don't look at my house... we are having fun, so you will likely be attacked by Looms and Rubber Bands if you walk too far into our house and while Alex keeps us on a cleaning schedule that works really well, cleaning each room at least once per week, we don't always have all of the rooms clean at the same time.

I am updating this on my new Laptop, so my pictures aren't here yet, I will get them updated and make a post with just pictures, this may help me to fill in the gaps a little quicker for the times that I went "missing" here.