Thursday, December 4, 2014

Xeloda cycle 16, how I advocate for myself as a cancer patient

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A boy, a girl and a snowball




Friday, November 14, 2014

Thoracentisis, cycle 16 Xeloda, and pneumothorax. All in a days work.

Good evening Friends,
We are official into the weekend.  It is late afternoon Friday.  Soon Mo will be done with work for the day, Anna will be done with her classes for the week and we can just enjoy being together as a family!  What have you got planned for the weekend ahead?  Let me know in the on the guest book in the comments!  I really enjoy hearing what is up in your world. 
This afternoon, I went to Turkey creek hospital to have my thoracentisis done.  They managed to pull about 400 ml out of the right lung.  That isn't as much they removed three years ago.  This is an image of the giant bottle they used three years ago when I was diagnosed with the mets.

That was one honkin big bottle of yuck.  It looked a whole lot less today. 
My happy face before getting marker and numbed

X markes the spot where the radiologist entered to drain the fluid

This is what it looked like once the drain had been inserted.

This is sooooooo much less fluid than I had in past thoracentisis procedures                                                                                                                 .
This is what I looked like when I almost passed out from the pain  

 Thanks to Mo for taking doing the photo journalism of this procedure.  

After they got me back to a normal blood pressure, they did a chest x-ray to make sure my lung re-expanded. It had not.  Instead, the area that is between the lung and lining has filled with air.  This is called a pneumothorax.  It isn't a good thing to have.  My lung hasn't expanded as it should because I have a thickening or a banding of scar tissue from it being compressed by the fluid all these years.  I will hear from Mo oncologist to decide how to proceed.  The radiologist was mentioning a thoracic surgeon may be my next step. In the mean time, I am a bit achy and still breathless.  Sort of feel like I have been through battle today.  

I hope that this doesn't scare anyone who might have to have this done.  The results I have had are not typical at all.  It is generally a very simple outpatient procedure that goes easily.  But, as Mo says, I am that one in a million that will get the rare side effect or have the unusual result.  

In addition to the whole thoracentisis, today was also the start of cycle 16 of Xeloda.  So far, so good.  It does have me feeling a bit tired.  My hands and feet are still recovering from the last cycle.  I'm sure they will continue to be dry and itchy.  That is mild to deal with.  I will be happy with the lesser of the side affects, in favor of a more energetic and full life. 

I'll let you all know how things progress with the pneumothorax, and what steps happen next

Thanks for stopping by,

Leslie

A few updates on my health, and new woodpecker named Needlenose

How are you all doing today?  It is semi cod here in TN.  I have been awake for about two hours.  I got to see the sun come up and listen to a very early rising woodpecker out in our woods.  He had great determination to get inside the tree he was working on.  I've decided to name the woodpecker "needle nose" because "Woody" is too common for this woodpecker.  I have seen this little guy before.  He is much prettier than I had pictured a woodpecker to be.  He is red and has a white stomach with black spots on it.  And he is smaller than I pictured as well.  Maybe I can catch a photo of him sometime.  If I mention Needle nose again, I hope you know who I am talking about.

I had promised you and update on all the tests I have been having to determine why I am not breathing well and have pain in my lungs and chest.  I have had a chest xray, LOTS of blood work, pet scan and a second ct scan.  I went to the cardiologist for an ekg, and was told that he suspected I had a cardiac effusion.  (fluid around my heart) or at the very least heart muscle damage from the three years plus of chemo.  I left his office feeling very scared.  He had order additional blood work and for me to come back next week for an elctrocardiiogram. (He actually wanted to do more invasive tests-but I would only agree to this test as a springing off of point)  I told him that I was seeing my Oncologist that afternoon to get the results of my pet/ct scans and if they showed fluid around my heart he could then order the more invasive tests he wanted.  I did see my Oncologist that afternoon( I just really love Dr Shu.) He confirmed NED. No evidence of disease.  I have a more pronounced fracture on one of my micro fractures in my right hip, NO fluid, clots or scar tissue around my heart muscle.  BUT I do have a greater amount of fluid in both of lungs than I had even two weeks ago.  It is even greater than the amount I had in January of last yr.  So this is why I am short of breath and having sharp stabbing pains in my lower back lung area.  Also the pain in between my shoulder blades in not heart related.  It is what is called differed pain.  When I take a deep breath and my lungs cannot expand, the pain signal shoots to the middle of my back.  Mystery solved.  It is what Mo and I have suspected all along.  After all I have been living with this fluid in my lungs for three years now.  So what will be done?  Today I go and have a thoracentisis on the right lung since it has the greater amount of fluid.  The hope is that the fluid will not return.  The truth is it probably will.  If it does, I will have a more permanent procedure done called -






Pleurodesis is a procedure that adheres the outside of the lung to the inside of the ... into the chest cavity using a bulb syringe, a method called talc poudrage. ... doctors use one of the following two procedures to gain access to your lungs.

If it comes to that, I will be happy to not have my lung fill up again and be able to breath more fully.  My hope is that it won't come to that.  I hope that today's thoracentisis will take care of the problem.  Then I will only have to deal with the left side having fluid in it.  I just want to breath!

Well that is the update on the health side of things.  I will let you know how today's procedure goes.  
Thanks for stopping by,

Leslie

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Unplanned for medical tests


 

  Hello friends,

Today was eventful.  I started a bit earlier than I usually do.  Sadie stated that it was time to wake up for the day and didn't care too much that it was 5 am.  After doing the usual morning routine, I got myself onto the treadmill.  After the first 5 minutes (I usually walk 40 minutes) it was clear I wasn't breathing normally, and I was sweating WAY more than I should have been for only 5 minutes on the treadmill.  I called the oncologist, and then ended up going in to see him.  I had a chest x-ray that showed the same amount of fluid I had 2 weeks ago on my cat scan.  But my blood pressure was way too low.  Normally it is 110 over 80 but today it was 90 over 60.  No wonder I feel so dang tired.  After a lengthy discussion we went to the hospital for bloodwork, and based on those results we will do further testing.  I explain that and more in this little video.  Thanks for stopping by,
I will keep you posted!
Leslie

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sweater weather

Hello my friends,

First off let me ask, did this time change mess up anyone else?  Oh my gosh it turned me into a mess.  I woke earlier than normal because poor little Sadie got ill.  Cleaning barf is not a great way to start the day.  I ended up feeling tired and out of it for most of the day.  Little Sadie is feeling better, but has been off her game all day.  Sort of lazy.

It became quite cold over night.  It is totally sweater weather.  It is the perfect day for hot drinks, bundling in sweaters and having a nice fire in the fire place.  That is my plan for this evening.  Sunday nights my family and I look forward to finding out what is going on with Rick, and Carl.  Tonite we are eager to find out where the heck Beth is.  Yes, that's right, I have become a dead head!  I totally binge watched three seasons over the course of a year to get caught up to the recent season (season four) and now we are watching season five.  It is a really interesting series if you are into sci fi.  Watching the cast fight zombies, and other people, has become a great metaphor and distraction from myself fighting cancer.  Also a great reminder that no matter how bad I have it, it could be worse.  I could be smack in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.  But I'm not!  So, I guess I have it pretty good, right!?!  Lol!

That is what is up here.  What do YOU do during sweater weather?

Leslie

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Please visit my new website

Hello my friends!

I am so excited to share something new with you.  I have received a wonderful gift.  A new Website!!
I am still Leslie's Cancer confessions.  Only now I am on a .com instead of being hosted on blogspot.  The past three years here have been wonderful.  The content won't be drastically different, but it will be able to stretch and grow more.  I am so so pleased that we will  share this adventure together.  Please follow this link to see what has happened so far.  You will find all that we have shared over this past few years in the archived posts page.  It will be an awesome journey creating new content for you as we walk this path of cancer together.
The support, and encouragement you have given over these past three years has been just wonderful.  I am thankful beyond what word can express for all you lovely women and men who are going through this all with me.  I'll be looking for you on this new domain!  How exciting!
http://lesliescancerconfessions.com/

Thank you so much for stopping by,
Please bookmark the new link and be sure to follow me on the social media platforms that you are already subscribe to!

Leslie