An Update

I’ve  had so much going on lately!  I feel like I just can’t keep up.  I didn’t even mail Christmas cards this year!

I finish my second cycle of Xeloda tomorrow.  I can’t really complain with the side effects, I’ve dealt with worse.  I’m exhausted and my feet and legs hurt.  It’s like walking on pins and needles.  I’m handling it and praying it works.  After my first cycle of Xeloda (14 days) my tumor markers jumped from 263 to 968.  They’ve never been so high.  I have new blood work next Friday and I’m hoping to see a drop.

I had a tumor removed from my neck two days after Christmas.  My doctor was concerned that it was lymphoma.  It turned out to be breast cancer.  That was good news.  Now I have two new tumors in my neck and one on my jawbone.  The one on my jaw bone has caused numb chin syndrome.  It’s just like it sounds.  My chin and botttom lip are numb.

Last week I woke up vomiting.  It turned to blood and I ended up staying in the hospital for a few days.  They sent me home saying it was diabetes.  The truth was the vomiting is what made my blood glucose rise.  They sent me home and then called and said I wasn’t supposed to be released because my oncologist had ordered scans.  I told them to just schedule me for the scans and I would come in for them. I’m home now and resting.  I have three different scans scheduled for next Monday.  I will get the results of the brain scan on Wednesday and the throat and body MRI results will be Friday.  Until then it’s another wait and see.

I want to thank you all for the love and prayers sent my way.  You all make my life a little brighter!  💕💕

Get out and make some memories!

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The Cantin Ketogenic Diet…How I went from 70 units of insulin a day to 0!

I will start with a link to a previous post I did last summer when I ended up in the hospital with type 1 treatment induced diabetes.

Treatment Induced Diabetes-The price I pay for my dances with Ned.

Since then I’ve been doing 40 units of long acting insulin every morning and about 10 units of fast acting insulin with every meal.  Even with that amount of insulin my last A1C was 10.6.  For those of you that don’t have a good understanding of diabetes, that’s a really bad A1C!  Injecting this much insulin into my body was frightening to me.  My research leads me to believe that insulin and cancer don’t go well together.  Seeing an A1C of 10.6 was even more frightening.  I decided to try and do something to get myself off insulin and get my blood glucose levels to where they needed to be.  My research led me to this book:

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I read the book in one night.  All the research I had done matched everything I was reading in this book. It was impressive and gave me the push I needed to give it a try.  Living with metastatic breast cancer has made me a skeptic when it comes to simple cures.  I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of a diet allowing me to be insulin free as a type 1 diabetic.   I found the author, Elaine Cantin, on Facebook and accumulated a wealth of information from her and her past posts.  I went shopping for “yes” foods and supplements from her book and began a three day fast.  I love food!  I was concerned about my ability to not eat for three days.  My Javiee was afraid he may not make it out alive! 😀  It was surprisingly easy!  My blood glucose was better than it had ever been.  I was extatic with the results but figured I would still need insulin once I started eating again.  Wrong!  I followed Elaine’s food recommendations and 15 days later I am still off insulin!  Not only am I off insulin, my blood glucose has never been better! I never saw 90 when I was on insulin!  The change in the way I feel is amazing!   My energy level is high and my pain pill count is at 1 a day.  That’s down from 5!  I am amazed and so glad that I found this book!  If your having issues with diabetes you owe it to yourself to read this book and give it a try!

As far as cancer goes, I can’t really say much about that right now.  Here’s where I’m at with that…

My last scan showed active cancer in my hip.  Scary and not what I wanted to hear!  I haven’t had “active” cancer in 2 years.  I still consider them good scans because the cancer hasn’t spread anywhere else ( this is life with metastatic cancer).  Our plan is to stay on the treatment I’m on (Zoladex and Femara) and do new scans in 3 months.  With those results we will make a decision on treatment.  It will be interesting to see the new scans and what kind of impact my diet has on them.  I will update you with the results.

Of course I have to end with pictures!  We’ve been living life and making memories! I am so blessed to be feeling good!

imageSnow Day with my Javiee!  You don’t work in North Carolina when it snows!

imageAt The Panther Stadium with my Javiee and T.J.  T.J. is bigger than my Javiee now!

imageMy precious little Jax! He will be 1 next month!  I love being a Glamma!

imageBecause I’m not a Grandma, I’m a Glamma!

 

Thank you all for your prayers and messages!  You make my heart smile!

It Is What It Is!

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We had this sign made for our house recently.  It is what it is.  This seems to be our family motto.  We don’t look at it in a negative way.  To us it means exactly what it says….it is what it is!  I live with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and all the side effects from treatment.   Now, I also live with treatment induced diabetes.  The key word here is live.  As long as I’m living, there is nothing I can’t handle.  There is nothing that will break me or take away my smile.  I go with the flow and keep on keeping on.  Because it is what it is, there’s no changing the hand I’ve been dealt.

I’ve spent the last few weeks finding my new normal.  I’m feeling good again!  My diabetes is now under control.  I’m taking Levemir, a long acting insulin, every morning.  I’m also taking 8 units of Humalog for every 10 carbs I eat during the day.  My diet is still very strict.  The only day I really use the Humalog is on Sunday, my cheat day.  I really use it on Sunday!  There’s no denying how much I love my cheat day!

T.J will turn 13 the first week in October!  I am absolutely extatic!  I don’t take these milestones for granted!  Speaking of T.J., I have to tell you all that he went to Camp Kesem this summer.  It was such a great experience for him.  Camp Kesem is a summer camp for children that have a parent with cancer.  It’s funded by donations and no child has to pay to go.  It’s a week long camp.  It was so good for T.J. to spend time and bond with children that have to deal with some of the same things he does.  He will go back for a reunion in November and return to camp next summer.  If you need a tax write off or just want to help a child dealing with a parents cancer, donate to Camp Kesem North Carolina.  They are doing wonderful things for children!  Of course I have to show pictures!

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That’s my mom and I the day we picked T.J. up from camp.  The next one is T.J.  He’s bigger than me now!

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I can’t end without including my sweet Javiee.  I can do anything with this man by my side.  He is my rock!

I love you guys!

Treatment Induced Diabetes-The price I pay for my dances with Ned.

Treatment Induced Diabetes-The price I pay for my dances with Ned.

Now you all know my scans were good! Something to celebrate! I love road trips, so time to hit the beach!

We were packed and ready to go.  Usually I would be so happy and excited to leave for a road trip.  I was excited but I felt so bad!  I was thirsty, so thirsty!  I drank gallons of water that day and I felt so irritable.  Even after napping half the day I was so tired.  You know me, nothing is going to get in the way of family time!  So off we went.  We stopped for water 10 minutes down the road.  I gulped it down and was still so thirsty.  T.J. has type 1 diabetes and always has his supplies with him.  He insisted that I let him check my blood glucose.  I did and it was so high it wouldn’t register on his meter.  He then insisted we find a hospital.  He said I don’t care about the beach, I care about you.  So we stopped at the next emergency room.  My blood glucose was 627.  They gave me insulin, fluids and put me on Metformin.  Then they sent me on my merry way saying enjoy the beach and follow up with your doctor when you get back.  We drove two more hours and I realized I was feeling bad again.  We turned around and ended up at our local emergency room. They admitted me and started insulin, fluids and other tests.  After two nights there I got the diagnosis, Treatment Induced Diabetes.  My pancreas was no longer working and I was lucky to have not ended up in a coma.  I was in a state of keto acidosis.

I was seriously confused.  My diet is so good. No sugar and everything that is supposed to be good for me. This isn’t about my diet.  This was caused by the steroids I was given during chemo.  I couldn’t believe the doctor told me the truth.  These are the things they don’t want to talk about.  I was given a long list of side effects and treatment induced diabetes was not one of them.  Still, if I were told about it I would have made the same treatment decisions. I mean what other choice did I have?

I’m home now on insulin.  My blood glucose is still all over the place.  I will see a specialist soon and get it under control.  I still feel really weak and sick to my stomach.  This should pass when we get my insulin amounts perfected.  I’m so frustrated that we didn’t make it to the beach, but I’m grateful to be able to plan another trip later.  I’m also so blessed to have my little T.J. as my at home doctor. 😀 I can’t begin to tell you how special he is!

Here are the biggest side effects of treatment induced diabetes (a.k.a steriod diabetes):

Dry mouth
Blurred vision
Increased thirst
Increased need to urinate
Tiredness and lethargy

I had all of these.  The blurred vision was the last symptom I had.  The increased thirst was the first symptom I had. I was thirsty for a week before the other symptoms started.  If your feeling this way, don’t ignore it.

This is what the pamphlet my doctor gave me says:

Steroid Diabetes
Steroid diabetes is listed here as a different type although it is sometimes classed with type 1 and at other times with type 2.

The confusion arises because it is not an autoimmune disease and yet it can sometimes have total beta cell failure.

It comes about from the taking of steroids over a long period of time. Not the steroids used by weight lifters but those often medically prescribed, the corticosteroids or glucocorticoids, such as hydrocortisone, prednisone or dexamethasone.

They are used to suppress inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, cancer, to treat asthma, immune system diseases like Lupus or pemphigus (a rare autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin) down to skin problems like eczema and poison ivy and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Another area where steroid induced diabetes is commonly seen is in patients who have had kidney transplants. The amount of steroids necessary to suppress the immune system and lessen the chance of organ rejection can lead to diabetes.

How does the taking of steroids cause diabetes?
Corticosteroids counteract the effect of insulin, which makes your pancreas work harder pumping out more insulin to keep your blood sugar normal. Normal pancreases do this quite happily but if you pancreas works a bit ‘on the edge’ so to speak, it cannot cope with this demand for extra insulin and your blood sugars go up. In other words your pancreas is okay normally but cannot handle the stress of the steroids.

Not all people treated with steroids will get steroid – induced diabetes.

I had 8 months of chemo.  That’s a lot of steroids.  He said it had slowly shut down my pancreas. My A1C was 10.6. (5.6 is what it should be) that means this had been going on for a while.  I was diagnosed at a critical stage.  I guess the lesson here is to listen to your body.  I thought I was good because my scans were good.  That was not the case!

So what now? Rest!! I’m exhausted! My muscles are still so sore from dehydration.  That should go away soon.  Then it’s learning a new normal. I should be good at that by now!  Then, road trip!! T.J. goes to camp Monday.  So I’m finding a nice hotel room near camp and we are hanging out by the pool Sunday!  You know it’s the memories that will outlive us!  As bad as this is, it could always be worse!  I’m thankful to be here and I will be back to myself soon!

I love you all! Thanks for always being there for me!! You all make my world brighter!

I have to end with pictures!

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That’s Dr. T.J.  He gave me his jacket because I was freezing. Check out those chemo curls!

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Family selfie while waiting in the ER. These two kept that smile on my face! ❤️

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Another hospital gown, I should start a collection!