CDC Symptom Diary Card

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update from Oncologist

I met with Dr. Gray today, what a joy.  She shared good news, and I am relieved.  I am still NED and my CA125 is now 10. She said the CT scan showed no new tumors and looked good, so I am relieved.  Recurrence is my biggest fear.

I talked with her about my lingering issues with abdominal pain, fatigue, nystagmus, vomiting etc.  She reinforced that the body can take up to a year to heal from the chemotherapy and surgery.  But overall, I am improving.  I see the Oncologist again in three months.

I need to watch my food intake probably forever, being careful with fiber.  Haven't decided on an allergy test yet, but will just avoid peanuts for now at all costs.

This good news frees my mind and helps me to be more hopeful for the future.  I meet with Dept of Vocational Rehabilitation in a few weeks and need to see if I qualify for any of their services.  I can earn some money in addition to the small disability income I currently receive.  If it is at all possible, my dream would be to have a part time job that is homebased, in advocacy or some form of computer work that has a mild training program.

So off I go to the next step while I continue to rebuild my strength, endurance and digestive health.  Thank you God for blessing me with my mom, sister,brother-in-law, brother, aunts, and uncles who have been so supportive.  Thank you God for giving me friends who have offered laughs, kind words and support from day one.  Thank you God for blessing me with an amazing health team here in Seattle.  God Bless everyone who has touched my life.

Be Love

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update on Breast Health

Today I went in for my mammogram and breast ultrasound.  The nurse practitioner had recommended the ultrasound due to her locating some enlarged dense tissue on my right breast.  Well hallalua and thanks Be to God, no lumps or abnormal tissue was detected today.

Because I am BRCA 1 mutation positive, I need to see the NP in three months for a follow up breast exam, just so she can determine if the area changes ins shape or size.


If I must have a mastectomy, I will have one.  But for now, since the monitoring is going well, it is so so nice not to have to be so worried about breast cancer.  I have enough to worry about with ovarian cancer recurrance rate issues.

So thank you all for your prayers.  Thank you God for watching over me and giving me something to smile about. 

Be Love and God Bless!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Qigong and update

I am really pleased with the Qigong dvd I rented from netflix.  Giam sells this dvd, and I decided that I need to buy it, as an investment in my health.  My internal organs are so screwed up, so touchy, and unpredictable, that I am frozen sometimes unable to leave the house.

Qigong is a series of ancient Chinese postures and movement patterns that help to energize and release your bodies negative energies ( so far as I know).  I have done the exercises a couple of times, and feel more balanced for a bit of time.  It was suggested by one of my OVC sisters to try Qigong, and this seems to be a good fit for me. I am grateful for my OVC sisters.

Had my pelvic CT scan, bloodwork, and breast exam last Thursday.  LONG day.  Reminder, I'm also BRCA1 mutation positive, so I also have 6 month checkups.  Next week I have breast ultrasound and mammogram and also a meeting with my gyno-oncologist.  I've never had anyone give me a breast work-up like that before.  Pulling, poking, stretching, pinching, pushing, gosh.  The good news is she found no "lumps" but did find some abnormal dense tissue on the right wall of my right breast, hence the ultrasound.

I am praying for clear pelvic CT and good CA 125/bloodwork.  I will also be praying for a normal mammogram and ultrasound.

I just set up a future appointment with the state Voc Rehab center.  I need to earn more than $600 per month to get my own place.  So I need to find a part time job that pays fairly well and try to focus on what my future can be. 

For now my mom is so gracious and allows me to stay with her, but she needs her space.  She needs a life, so as long as I am not on chemo, I should be striving for a more independent and meaningful life.

I still sleep 12 hours per day though.  I wish I knew why.  Am I still depressed or is that side effects of all my meds????  Not sure, but I must return to a more reasonable sleep-wake pattern.  Maybe I need help.  I don't know, I just have to try harder to get up earlier.

Wish me luck on all my test results.  Love you all.  Be Love and God Bless YOU 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

battling with peanuts

On Sunday evening I was happy to have an opportunity to house sit and watch Paul, my sister and her family's kitty.  He's a gem, real bright and fun, it's something I enjoy.

After 7pm mass, I went over to their house and was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm because I had let him out earlier to play.  He was ready for warmth and food.  I settled in and fed him dinner anticipating a fairly relaxing night in.

I was hungry for a tiny snack, so I grabbed a small handful (10 pieces) of Puffin cereal to have with my tea.  I was tired by 11pm, and was probably asleep by 11:30.  At midnight I was awakened with terrible tummy pain and found myself hurling into the trash can.  That, along with other unpleasantries lasted until almost 4am. 

I was dumbfounded because I couldn't figure it out.  Well, in the morning I took another look at the cereal box and it had the words "peanut butter" blasted across the front of the box, and I missed it.  I haven't really been paying attention like I should and now realize I must be an avid label reader.

Today is Wednesday, and I am finally having some oatmeal.  I've had terrible headaches, down to 104 lbs, waist now 28.5.  Mom's at the store and offered to get some chicken noodle soup.

The nurse at the SCCA said it can take a full week for your digestive tract to get back to normal after server episodes of vomiting and diahrea, because they stay slightly inflamed for a while.  So I am slowly integrating food and rehydrating. 

This totally blew my little holiday weekend.  I had wanted to stick around to see how Mandy's trip was at Ocean Shores.  Haven't had a chance to talk to her.  Today was the first day back to school for my nieces, so hopefully I'll get to learn how their day went later.

Anyway, Paul was so sweet, and napped with me the whole time, which helped me feel better.

To better days.

Be Love

Saturday, September 04, 2010

lunch with mom

Yesterday I had a wonderful time with mom.  I wore my teal T-shirt, and we walked a few blocks to a little restaurant for a late lunch.  It was sunny and fresh outside, a rare treat for Seattle.

It was so nice to sit outside and laugh, enjoy goat cheese pizza and an iced tea.  Events like this are enormous jumps in recovery for me because my abdomen will never be normal again.  The food was good and I had no pain, such a relief.  Such a joy.  I thank God for giving me the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasure of lunch with mom.

Waist still 29"

God Bless and Be Love

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tomorrow wear Teal

Today I wanted to remind you all that tomorrow is national wear Teal Day in support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  Do you have anything teal?

I went to the dermatologist today for a skin check up.  Thanks be to God all my freckles and moles are of no concern at this time.  Yay!  I am so relieved that I went because once you have cancer, you tend to be hyper-aware of potential sources of cancer in other areas of your body.  I was instructed on how to monitor my own skin, and contact them if I noticed a problem.  What a relief.

Last night I had nightmares that I was bleeding internally.  Probably all weird because I had watched the movie "The Lovely Bones" with my mom that evening.  It was surreal, creepy, but had a strange sweetness to it.  I makes you face death and confront your views on the here-after.  I'd recommend it.

Since it has been such a beautiful day here in Seattle, I have been so happy today.  I love it when the sun shines.  You can see the harbor much more clearly and people seem more content.

When I was on chemo, I remember feeling literally "afraid" of everyone.  Almost paranoid.  I would take extra measures to lock my car doors when driving, and saw everything as a threat.  I don't feel that gloomy fear anymore, thank God.  I just wish we could be graced with the sun a little longer.

My waist is 29 today.

Be Love.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

First day of OVC Awareness Month

Have spent most of the day online responding to women asking for help on the "inspire" blog sponsored by the National Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

I am going to daily/regular measurements my waist just under my rib.  Today I am at 30" (35-30-35) to be exact.  I want to monitor for fluid retention, because I STILL have ongoing abdominal pain.  Because I don't know if the pain is scar tissue, digestive, missing omentum, or tumor, I want to do all I can to track my progress.  Tomorrow I see a dermatologist for skin screening.

Michael Douglas was diagnosed with "throat" cancer, stage IV, just a few weeks ago.  He also suffered through physician incompetence, missing the cancer in it's early stages while most likely to heal.  I feel bad for him and his family, and my prayers go out to them.  This is his first week of chemo and radiation, and seeming well on David Letterman, the general public has no idea how much he will suffer.  Chemo and radiation get more and more toxic with each dose.  I pray God stays with him and gives him the strength to tolerate the treatment regimine, to rid him of his cancer.  God Bless Micheal Douglas and his family.

Be Love