MRI Results and A New Treatment Plan

What a week!  I’m exhausted, mentally and physically.  I had an IV steroid treatment last week to reduce the swelling in my head.  I was then put on an oral steroid that I am taking two times a day.  I’m not a fan of steroids.  I hate not feeling like myself.  They make me irritable and nauseous.  They make my blood glucose out of control.  They have relieved my headache, but I have decided I’d rather deal with a headache.  I quit taking the steroids yesterday.  Today I slept until 1 p.m. and I’m feeling a little better.

I saw my radiology oncologist, Dr. Smather’s, last week.  I really love her!  We went over the results of my Brain MRI.   She is confident that this is something we caught early and can control.  There are tiny spots all over the cerebellum (the back of my brain).  It’s almost as if someone has taken a Clorox bottle and sprayed it on my brain from behind.  Because these spots are scattered our course of treatment will be WBR (whole brain radiation).  I have always known I didn’t want to do WBR.  However, this is the plan.  This is what I will do.  My youngest son is 13.  I cannot discount any treatment.   I will do whatever I have to for the chance to see him graduate high school.  So, here’s the plan…

15 days of WBR starting this Thursday.  The following Friday I will leave radiation and then go over to the hospital to have my ovaries removed.  While all this is happening I will also be adjusting to the new chemo I will be starting this week.  When WBR is completed we will do a new MRI and decide if we can do targeted radiation to the tumor behind my eye or if we will gamma knife it.  Geez!   I believe this is going to be a hard month!! (understatement of the year!)

My doctors are confident, as am I.  I have so much left to do and so many more memories to make!  I am hopeful that this is just a temporary setback.

Thank you all for your love and support.  I will do my best to keep you updated.💕💕

image

Here’s a picture of my Javiee and I on our latest road trip.  I’m focusing on a family cruise when this mess is over!  Take time to make memories!💕

Advertisements

Back to Cancerland

The past two years have been fantastic.  Zoladex and Femara have served me well, until now.  I ended up in the emergency room on our beach trip with a massive headache.  I was treated for a migraine.  My headache never went away.  I had blood work done at the cancer center when we returned home.  My tumor marker was on the rise.  Scans showed a tumor in my ovary, two on my hip, on my ribs and on my spine. A brain MRI showed it had also metastasized to my brain.

There are no words that can begin to express how devasting this news is to us!  What a change in only three months!  We have cried, screamed and cried some more.  There is nothing left to do but fight this.  My big girl panties are back on. (Thanks to words of wisdom from a dear friend, Anya)

So, what’s next?  Tomorrow I will see a radiation oncologist.  I will find out exactly what the brain scans show and get ready for radiation.  I will be starting a new chemo (Ibrance and Faslodex) next week.  Three weeks on and one week off.  I will be getting xgeva monthly for my bones.  I will also be having surgery to remove my ovaries.  Wow!  This is not what I had planned for this summer!  I will keep you updated.  I’m grateful to have all your support!  You all make my life brighter!💕💕💕

I have so much to share about our Little Pink Houses Of Hope trip.  Life has been crazy!  I will share pictures from our trip soon!

 

Just busy living!

Just busy living!

My mindset lately has been I’m not in chemo so let’s forget this cancer business!  I’m feeling so good!  I don’t even think about cancer until it’s Zoladex day.  We’re still watching a small spot on my left kidney.  I have scans at the end of the month.  My tumor marker is sitting at 21.5.  I’m not worried about my upcoming scans.  I will not put that negative vibe into my universe!  I feel good.  I am good!  I’m so grateful to be able to enjoy this summer with my family! So here’s what I’ve been up to!

Spending time with this little blessing!  I love being a grandma! You all know there was a time when I didn’t think I’d ever live to be a grandma!  I am so in love with this little man!  He is the greatest gift!

image image image

Tubing in Helen, Georgia with Kori and Emily!  I was the babysitter!! So much more fun for me!

imageimage

Tubing in Cherokee N.C. with my guys!

image image image

Dollywood!  I walked around all day with only two pain pills!  Those of you living with stage IV know what a big deal that is!

image imageimage image image

As as I write this it’s Saturday night.  Sunday is our family adventure day.  Who knows what adventure lies ahead for tomorrow!  I’m just excited for another day of feeling good and spending time with my guys!  Get out and make some memories!  They are the only thing that will outlive you!

Please send your prayers to one of the strongest and most inspirational women I know. https://saraelhassani.wordpress.com/   She’s dealing with a lot right now and she is as graceful as ever!  All my love to you guys!!! Your love and prayers make my life a thousand times brighter!

Happy Early Holidays!

image

My Scans came black clean!  I’m still dancing with NED!  I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I feel today!  I was seriously worried!  I am every time I have scans.  Zoladex and Femara seem to be working for me.  My tumor markers are down to 20.  Now I’m going to forget about all this cancer business and enjoy the holidays with my family.  They seem so much more precious these days.  I know life is busy, but stop and take time to enjoy it.  Memories last forever.

That’s a picture of my tree!  Tis the season at my house.  Happy Holidays!  I love you all!

Living On Vicodin

I’m serious about the title! Lately, I can’t accomplish anything without my pain meds.  My hands are still numb 60% of the time.  They are so swollen that I can no longer wear my rings.  I didn’t think it was possible, but my body aches have also increased.  Forget ninety!  I feel like I’m one hundred!  I’m honestly not sure what’s worse, the cancer or the treatment.   Having said that, I must tell you my tumor marker is now down to 58!  Fantastic news!  It was over 300 before I started Zoladex and Femara.  So for now I’m going to stick to my treatment plan and keep my Vicodin prescription filled.

image

That’s my Javiee and I.  We celebrated our one year anniversary this month.  We’ve been together for close to seven years.  We didn’t actually get married until last June.  I have to share a picture with you from that day because I was bald.  Now I have a little hair.  Brown hair!

image

No matter how many pain pills I have to take.  I’m still smiling and living life!  You never know what’s in store for you tomorrow, so enjoy today!

I Love you guys!

Life with Zoladex

I’ve been on Zoladex and Femara for almost three months now.  I’m already a pro when it comes to the Zoladex injection.  I ice my stomach to the point of numbness and I don’t feel a thing.  I’m finally over the menopausal craziness that came with Zoladex.  Now I’m left with the side effects.  I’m honestly not sure if the side effects are from Zoladex or Femara.  I thought my hot flashes were bad when I was on Tamoxifen.  Now they are just ridiculous!  One minute I’m fine and the next minute sweat is dripping from my forehead.  It’s like a furnace has been lit inside me.  I take a shower and 15 minutes later I’m sweating again.

When I was on tamoxifen I would take a pain pill at night to ease my leg cramps.  Now I take one the minute I get out of bed.  I feel like a ninety year old woman.  My back and legs are unbearably stiff.  That’s the only way I know to describe it.  I’m taking pain meds four times a day just to do my normal activities.  On top of that I’m waking up in the middle of the night now with numb hands and feet.  Numb to the point of painful!

So that’s the down side of my life with Zoladex and Femara.  Here’s the bright side, my tumor markers are dropping!  They had climbed to over 300.  Last week they were down to 100!  I’ll test again next Friday.  I guess you just have to take the good with the bad.  Whatever works!  I have a lot to live for!

This week I’m going to get my tail in gear and do a post on my reconstruction.  I just love being able to wear tank tops again!  A big thank you to Dr. Swelstad at ReGenesis Plastic Surgery. Love him!

I have to end by saying I’m so proud of my little T.J.  He’s now in The National Honor Society.  He’ll be starting middle school this year!  I want to cry just thinking about it!  Last year I didn’t think I’d be here to see him start middle school.  It’s a big deal for me!

image

Hello Menopause

I made it through my first Zoladex injection.  I iced my stomach for thirty minutes before the shot.  I didn’t feel a thing!  A few hours later I had a horrible migraine.  It lasted for two days.  About a week after the shot I became so hormonal!  This has been a hard month for me!  Zoladex put me right into menopause.  I don’t believe I’ve ever felt this bad.  There have been a few days when I had to make myself get out of bed.  I just felt overwhelmed with sadness.  I bet I’ve cried twenty times these past few weeks and I can’t even tell you why.  Good news is I think it’s passed.  More good news, my family made it through unscathed!  I smile as I write that because my tv remote didn’t fair so well.  It flew across the room one hormonal night when my dvr decided not to work for me. 🙂 Oh the joys of menopause!  

I go today for my second Zoladex injection.  My body should already be adjusted to my new meds.  I’m hoping I have a good month!  It’s hard to feel down when I know I have so much to be thankful for!

My New treatment plan begins today.

I know it’s been a few weeks!  I took a trip South to visit family and look at houses.  I’m home now and about to start a new chapter on the cancer front.  

Unfortunately, Tamoxifen didn’t work for me.  My tumor marker seems to be rising about 40 points a month.  I’m in the 180’s now.  Today I go for my first Zoladex injection.  I’m not looking forward to it!  That hollow needle looks painful!  If it works I should be going through menopause very soon.  Geez! Can a girl catch a break?  Next week I will start taking Femara and I will continue to get Xgeva and Zoladex shots every four weeks.  I am praying this brings my tumor marker back down.  If not I’ll be back in that chemo chair way sooner than I had hoped!  

Image

Here’s a picture of the Zoladex injection.  

I’ve gotten so many messages since I’ve been away and I’m reading them now.  Most are wondering about my reconstruction.  I will tell you I am healed and so very happy with the results!  I will do a post on it this week.