Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The deepest, most extreme tiredness a body can feel.

Hello friends,

I'm not certain what is going on with my today. I'm at the beginning of cycle 9 of xeloda. It has given me such terrible tummy troubles. Last Thursday I was afraid to leave the house and not be near a restroom. I didn't want to embarrass myself. I am taking prescription anti diarrhea medicine. It has helped some what, but has left me with the most uncomfortable cramps. Now I am sitting with a heating pad on my stomach. Of course that only heats my stomach and does nothing for me internally. This is not a blog about complaining. This is just what is going on with my body right now. I'm sure that how I am feeling today is just the effects of having had tummy troubles these past 5 days. It left me feeling tired, weak and droopy. I have zero energy. Somehow, I managed to pack a box with nicknacks today. I am also managing to stay ontop of my household chores. YAY! Go ME!

I'm hoping to gain my energy back by Friday. Friday is closing and moving day!!!! Mo will paint the kitchen ceiling right after closing and I will clean up the fridge and drawers and cupboards to prep for moving in our kitchen stuff. I'm so excited. I've been dreaming about it at night. Do you ever dream of your life's current events? Weird stuff eh?

I have received my lymphedema sleeve and glove. Here is what it looks like:



It seems to be working well. I "get to" wear this any time I use my arm. Which is all the time. It is very fashionable and trendy. It is a beautiful accessory to any outfit (hahaha) and is very sexy to wear to bed. LOL! Not sexy AT ALL,

Sorry this is such a short update. I am spacing out even as I write this.

Thanks for stopping by,

Leslie

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Personal value, moving, and all the puppy you can handle.

Hello my friends,

How are you enjoying Spring so far? It has been cold and then warm here in Tn. Schizophrenic weather to say the least. But it looks as if we may be in for a long term warm up in the week ahead. Spring is the best part of the year for me. I LOVE warm weather. I could live in a year of warm weather and be such a happy happy girl. So tell me, what is your favorite season? Are you a warm or cold weather sort of person? Leave your comments. I really enjoy reading them.

Now on to talking about personal value. A hotly debated topic. When I worked, I envied stay at home moms. When I was a stay at home mom, working moms had issue with me. Working from home and being a stay at home mom put me in a minority with other moms who were either a worker or a mom. Being a stay at home/homeschooling/home business mom really made me a odd one. We all tend to value one life type over another. Now I am a forced to not work mom. I can't lift more than 10 pounds. That made working at target, for the short time I was there, pretty miserable. But I did it, because I had to. Fatigue is another thing that keeps me away from the 9-5. Also days like the past two, would make it impossible to be responsible to an employer because, Let's just say I needed to stay close to the rest room. Enough said? One of the lovely side affects of xeloda is intestinal distress. Lovely words! LOL. Anyway, back to the personal value. We all judge each other so harshly. We should be encouraging and supporting one another. It can be truly soul crushing to have a terminal disease, and then to not be able to do what you wish you could to help your family out financially. OIJ! It just sucks sometimes. My family values my contributions. I knoow that they do, but I do wish, (and I think they do too secretly) that I were able to enrich our lives with a financial contribution. When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them "I'm retired." Often then look impressed, and say "you must have done very well financially" Nope, I was just forced to spend this part of my life, using all my minutes to stay alive. Yesterday I did some math:

In the past three years I've had

12 PET scan

6 MRI's

36 chest x-rays

108 cbc's

54 tumor marker tests

6 plural effusions (sticking a needle into the lung to drain fluid)

3 cat scans

I am not at all complaining. First of all because I am super grateful that I have insurance to cover a big chunk of the costs.(thanks to Mo and his hard work and dedication at his job) Second because all these diagnostic tests have kept my care team in the know about my cancers progression and remissions. Finally, 3rd, these tests are protocol. They determine the course of my care. With out these tests, we couldn't create the road map of my treatment.

Could you imagine being an employer who had an employee like me? here is the conversation:

ME: "Excuse me boss, could I have tomorrow of to get a Pet scan?"

Boss: "Sure, this is a one time thing right?"

Me: "no, I need one every three months for the rest of my life, or until metastatic breast cancer is cured."


Boss: "You expect me to give you a day off every three months, indefinitely?"

Me: " not just a day off, there will be occasions where my chemo makes me barf uncontrollably for days at a time, and I will have to use sick time for that as well"

Boss: "ummmm.....

Me: " plus my chemo could change from oral meds to infusions, which would mean I'd have to take time off for treatment days. Some treatments are a day a week for three weeks, and some are three days a week for three weeks" Plus, I shouldn't be exposed to sick people during treatment (like that's avoidable)"

Boss: I think it would be better for our company if we allow you to quit" (which is what target told me, because they didn't want to fire me for health reasons)

So, I can't change it. I have to live with it. That's my life now. I love life, so I will fight for it. Like the fight is a full time job. I guess that means, "I'm retired"

Now about the move. One more week and we close on the new house. I am so excited to settle down here in Tennessee. I can barely contain myself. I am having day dreams about where I am going to put things. Thinking about the things that are currently trapped in storage, and how they will get a new home soon. Remembering viewing the house and seeing all the different types of birds that flew in from the woods that will be behind our house. About a quarter of our land is wooded. Oh, we are going to have soooo much fun, hiking through our own yard. Also, I think about how happy the pups will be to have a yard. They are going to have so many smells to smell. There are wild turkeys, possum, skunk (yikes!) deer, bunnies, and other assorted small wild life. The dogs will go crazy! I can't wait. I'll keep you all posted about the move, and show you the house tour after we settle a bit.

Okay, on the the puppy. I have received a couple comments chastising me for not including any puppy footage in the last video. So here is a lot of puppy for those who missed Sadie last time;



So, whew, that was a really wordy blog. I hope that you found something useful in it. Enjoy the all the Sadie you can get this blog!

Thanks for stopping by. Take a moment to like, follow, or subscribe.

Leslie

Friday, March 28, 2014

3rd year cancerversary!

Oh my gosh friends,

I can't even believe that 3 whole years have passed. I have moved from Tx to Colorado, back to Texas, and from Texas to Tennessee, 3 huge moves in 3 yrs, We are about to move a 4th time within Knoxville. This is really that final move for me. Too dang tiring. I have a fantastic oncologist here. My family is thriving. I look back in time 3 years to how poorly I was doing back then, and how great I am doing now. I've walked my share of valleys these past three years. But I can definitely see the trail that has been blazed looking backwards. Hopefully I have left a wide enough path for those who are going through what I have been through to walk their valley with a smoother journey. Does that even make sense? I hope so. You may be blazing your own trails, but if you choose to follow any of the advice I have left along my journey, I hope that it makes your trip smoother.

Thank you all so much for following me on youtube, facebook, and blogger. It blows my mind that people will read my blog and watch my videos. You guys have become great friends. Your support and encouragement has been amazing. Thank you.... you guys are the BEST!

Here is a little video update on my day.



Thanks for stopping by,

Lesllie

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lymphatic massage, and weird latex allergy on my arm.

Hello my friends,

Boy has this been a crazy, and busy week. First off, I spent a lot of time running to and from appointments for the physical therapist. Then I had this freaky rash on my arm from the bandage. So, for now, I am just dealing with the swelling in my arm by doing massage and arm exercises. I think it is starting to drain. But my hand is still super numb and very swollen. We also spent a bit of time exploring our turf here in Tennessee this past weekend. We drove through the hills looking for the exit for a state park called frozen head. We took a wrong turn and got sort of trapped on a road that I strongly suspect was filled with backwood stills for hillbilly moonshiners. No, really, it wasn't quite like that. But it was extremely out of the way, and I will always remember the adventure of it. Also, we took a very long hike in the ijams nature center. It was a beautiful and awesome day. I can't even believe I walked as long and as far as I did. A year ago, I wouldn't have made it out of the parking lot! It was a memorable day! I'll share some photos here:


There is a lovely photo of my thumb! Have you ever done that? It is too funny not to share. The rest of the photos are my family, Sadie and Oscar, and the view along the hike on the boardwalk trail of the ijams nature center. One of my new favorite places here in Tn.

Below you will find a video of the steps my physical therapist walked me through to lymphatic massage:



Thank you for stopping by. It is so awesome that you stop by to view these videos, and read this blog. you guys are awesome and amazing!

Leslie



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lymphedema wrap.

Hello my friends!

This weeks video blog is different for me. The voice you will hear will mainly be that of my new physical therapist as she demonstrates how to wrap the many layers of bandage that are used to compress the lymphedema in my arm. I have her permission to use this video as well as the permission of the facility I use for physical therapy. She in fact, had her assistant film the footage from my iphone. I hope the video is clear and not shaky. It is a bit on the lengthy side. If you have an interest in knowing what treating this lymph edema is about then please view the video all way through. Especially if you are going through something similar.I truly hope that this video is helpful and informative. There is more to come showing how to do lymphatic massage on the arm, to encourage drainage. As well as some photos. Please take a moment to let me know if you like this difference in format. Like, subscribe or follow! Please and thank you.

Also since Sadie normally appears in my videos, I have added a photo of her below to keep with tradition.




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lymphedema, and how they plan to treat it.

Hello People!


I'm so glad you're here my friends! Yesterday I had my appointment with the physical therapist who will treat me for the swelling in my arm and hand. It is a truly long process. Apparently, first we need to wrap it in an ace type bandage to reduce the swelling. This will be done until the swelling reduces and the bandage loosens. Then it will be wrapped again tighter. Repeating this process over days until my right arm measures the same as my left. At that point I will be measured for a compression sleeve. I will wear the sleeve an time I am doing any work that uses my arm. I'm sure it's a real fashion statement. Haha! In the course of three visits a week to shrink my arm, I will also learn how to massage the lymph to drain, learn some exercises to strengthen my arm and hand. Sounds fun. It has been an ongoing problem over the past three years with the swelling in my right arm and hand. Only recently has it been uber swollen. It is going to be so nice have a normal sized arm and even maybe a bit stronger.

So, have any of you gone through physical therapy for lymphedema? I would really be interested to know what your process was, and how it turned out for you. Any tipes, advice or suggestions? I'd love to hear them. Please post in the comments or put it on google plus. Or feel free to email me.

That is the update for now,
Thanks for stopping by,

Leslie

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Check up before cycle 7 of xeloda, crazy shrek hand, and utlra sound to find blood clot.

Hello Friends,

I apologize for this going up on a Saturday instead of on Wednesday or Thursday. I started it uploading on Thursday night, and it got stuck! Then Friday I went for an ultra sound in the early morning. I began getting sick just before the test. I knew I wasn't feeling well, but wasn't expecting to vomit! Grrrr, I even had to have Mo pull over on the way home so I could avoid being sick in the car. Not fun! I spent all day Friday in bed. I am better this morning. It seems like it is a virus. I totally missed day one of cycle 7 of my xeloda. So, maybe today will get me back on track.

Here is the video.



The update is that there were no blood clots found. So, the next step will be going to a specialist to get the swelling in my arm uncontrol. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by,

Please take a moment to hit thumbs up, like, subscribe or follow.

Leslie