Nails

My nails are disgusting! I don’t know how long they will take to recover from the Taxol.

In other news, I actually left town and took my kids on a mini-vacation. This is a big deal for me – to be further away from my doctors. However, this is a sign of normality so I’m happy about that.

It is August now, so I need to return to work and I hope that goes well. This week I have my PET scan and ultrasound. Should be interesting.

Struggles

I am still struggling with how to manage my new health situation, work, and family. I’ve been to the office this week roughly 9-4 and I am so tired. I know that I still have the effects of chemo and that I should not expect to return to my previous energy levels right away. It is still hard though. It makes me nervous for the upcoming semester when I will have much more work to do. I suppose it will be whatever it is and that somehow the work will get done. Other than feeling tired my fingers and toes hurt. I’m certain that several nails will fall off. That has never happened to me even with years of running. Yuck. It will take time to grow new nails.

I did manage to run/walk 4.25 today. Progress.

Next up – PET and ultrasound on Aug. 6th. We will use that data to decide about radiation.

Tired

This week was my last treatment of taxol! I have felt pretty good until today. Today I am tired and down. It is that same feeling – just wanting this to be over with. On some level I know that my feeling tired is the medicine working which is a good thing. But when you are really too tired to carry on a conversation with your son – and your son notices this – it doesn’t feel good. It makes me feel like a bad mom. Ugh. I know that I should get up and walk because that will help my mood but I’m waiting on someone to come and work on the AC. Nothing is wrong, just a service check. So, I’m stuck, feeling down and tired with my head covered. I am so tired of covering my head.

Almost There

I met with my oncologist this week and my blood work still looks good. I have one more TH treatment to do this coming Monday. One more! I can’t believe it. My oncologist said that she was proud of me for how well I have gone through this. We talked about changes that I needed to make in life (basically she indicated that she has aged me by 10 years). I told her that I had started meditating and she was delighted. I mentioned an online cite that I use and she asked me to write it down because she wanted to tell her other patients – patients that won’t join a yoga studio, etc. I was proud of some of these changes that I have made. Although, I think that I ate fairly well before all of this. I’ve added green tea everyday and I’m trying to eat more foods that may fight cancer growth (garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, raspberries). I’m also trying to be more active and I signed up for a summer yoga challenge at my yoga studio.

The next move is a PET scan and ultrasound on the lymph nodes on the left side scheduled for August 6th. These tests will help us make a decision on radiation.

I have come far but I still have a lot left to do. But things are looking bright.

Sweets

It turns out that I am not enjoying sweets right now. I feel like a disappointment to my family… a party pooper. They all made ice cream sundaes tonight and we sat down to watch the World Cup. But I just don’t want the ice cream. I had some watermelon instead. Is my body telling me something? I think so. More veggies and fruit…. do everything that you can to strengthen your body.

Lost

Sometimes I feel lost, trapped between worlds.  One world is my old world – where I thought that I was happy and healthy.  I was a bit wrong about that.  One world is my “sick” world where I don’t feel well and I don’t feel like doing anything.  The heat and humidity is not helping with that.  And the last world is, hopefully, my new world.  My new world is a place where I am as healthy as I can be and happy. I want to be in that world.  I struggle on exactly how I will get to that world.  I can’t really go back to doing things they way I used to do them – I was clearly too stressed and unnecessarily so.  Balancing work and family still seems hard to me. Although, I have decided to make some specific changes.  For example, I plan to meditate at work.  This is something that I would have never done before but I don’t see why I can’t take 15 minutes in my day, perhaps right after I teach, to chill and re-group. I’m actually really excited about this new plan.  I have my own quiet office, so why not.  I hope to get more yoga sessions in at work and I hope to just be more relaxed.  Some things are not worth that amount of attention that I have them, negative attention that is.  I will spend more time focused on my children and less on work.  Work will always be there.  My children will grow and I want to be there to watch them.  Well, I started my post feeling quite tired. I think that I’ll head off for a walk now.

Tumor Board

I received a call yesterday regarding the Tumor Board meeting.  They have decided to order a new PET scan and an ultrasound of the lymph nodes on the left side following my final chemo infusion.  This is all interesting to me but it again makes me anxious.  I want to do everything that I can to remain cancer free.  However, I’m tired and I’m not really interested in 6 1/2 weeks of radiation to my lymph nodes. The radiation will be hard on me, my family, and work.  I like the idea of having more information so that I can be more involved in the decision. If the PET scan is not clean – that would be quite bad since it was clean before chemo.  The ultrasound will be useful to clarify why the lymph nodes on the left side were hypermetabolic the first time (cancer or a reaction to the mastectomy that I had just had).  Regardless, I will have to wait a few weeks for the new information.

I did manage to run 3 actual miles yesterday although it was incredibly hard. But it felt good.  I have a little bit of Taxal flush face today but no bone pain yet. That might show up later today.