Lirasgirl33's Journey with Adenocarcinoma, Cervical Cancer

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Patient: Cervical Cancer > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 8 years ago, Female, Age: 41, Stage IVB

  1. 1
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    1/17/12- I was diagnosed mid January of this year. This after a 2011 filled with trips to the doctors and not knowing what was wrong with me. I had been experiencing abnormally heavy menstrual periods. So much that I became anemic. My primary care physician and nurse practitioner originally thought it was a "hormonal imbalance". I was given Provera then put on Loestrin FE to stop bleeding but it only minimized it. My pap smear came back at "high risk" HPV and notes said to schedule another pap in a year... The ultrasound came back normal, no masses. I was still not diagnosed and that caused me more stress and sleepless nights. After breaking down in tears at the docs office....after being told by the nurse practitioner "Honey, it's ok, this is common, you're fine"......this was something I wasn't willing to accept until I knew for a fact what was going on. They scheduled me with the gynocologist that would be back from holiday vacation "sooner".....and my response to this was...." I guess I'll see you all then, if I'm still alive." You should have seen their faces! I was just so frustrated. I finally met with the gynocologist and he said a D & C with a hysteroscopy and a possible cervical biopsy would be performed. After the procedure I was told I would be called in 2 weeks with results.....then received a call from the Nurse saying come to see the doc in 2 days....and one last call saying " The doc needs to see you today....can you come in?" I prepared for the worst....still.....you never really expect to hear the words " You have cancer". I was in shock...relieved to finally know to some degree...and all I could think was "What's next? How advanced is it? Is there treatment? Tell me what we need to do...." My doc said they didn't have to perform the D&C since once they viewed inside my cervix, he saw a 5 cm tumor and knew. The pathology results came back positive for adenocarcinoma of the cervix.

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Abdominal hysterectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    2/2/12- (2 Weeks later) Waiting for surgery...now those were the longest 2 weeks ever. Any little pain I felt I would think.."Oh no...is it the cancer spreading?". CT/PET Scans confirmed the cancer in the cervix and 2 possible lymph nodes. Surgery came and went. I was at the hospital for 6 days and learned that I have a really bad reaction to narcotic pain killers (ex Dilaudid, Vicodin). They give me severe nausea, vomiting, it suppresses my breathing, and makes me extremely dizzy to the point I can't stand up. Once I found out which med was making me sick I asked for a non narcotic pain med. Dry heaving after having 45 staples placed on your abdomen was so not a good thing. LOL :D I laugh thinking back on this because I almost had to kick out a couple of friends that visited me in the hospital for making me laugh too much. Coughing, laughing, sneezing....I was afraid of all that. I'm fortunate enough to have a boyfriend of 4 years who is an LVN and he taught me all about pillows and splinting. It helped. He took such good care of me, I love him with all my heart. He was with me 5 of those hospital days...24 hrs a day making sure the nurses, doc, everyone was doing their job. :) Go baby! I didn't feel alone a single day in the hospital. Also because I had family and friends visiting me almost every day. Amazingly I didn't lose sleep either. I took my iPod with a sleep mix I had made for my kids a long time ago and put my headphones on each night. I was awaken every 2 hrs by the nurses but it only took a couple of minutes and I was out to dream land again. The food at the hospital was horrible....but only because they had me on a liquid diet. My digestive system was in trauma from the surgery and I was just bloated and gassy and in so much pain. I think this was the worst part about the surgery and recovery. Just trying to get my digestive system back to normal. I had been in so much pain from all the gas accumulating that it literally had me in tears. I walked, moved around, tried everything but it seemed nothing would work. I felt like I was going to explode. That sucked! Once I started soft foods, I ate some applesauce and that did the trick! It relieved some of the bloated feeling and pain. :) My family, friends and I have never been so excited about me passing gas before. LOL During the procedure they ended up removing all my reproductive organs (except my VJ) plus 14 lymph nodes that came back positive. Stage T1b2N1M0....I had to look it up for it to make sense. It pretty much falls under stage III because of lymph node involvement. My Oncologist said I'd start radiation and chemo in 4-6 weeks, they just need me to heal from my surgery first.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    2 Comments
  3. 3
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    3/5/12 Got my first dose of Cisplatin via IV since my port won't be put in until this coming Friday. I read the port is surgically placed on your chest under the skin with direct access to the vein. Well, hearing this had me wondering what it looks like. While at the chemo clinic a really sweet lady was kind enough to show me hers. Fortunately one day later I haven't felt too many side effects. Mainly just tired, a little dizzy and slightly constipated...but this has been a minimal issue since after surgery. I change my diet to help with this. Thinking about asking the doc if a stool softener is ok. I was also scheduled to receive radiation treatment same day, but due to issues with the machine, it wasn't possible. Hopefully this problem has been resolved as I'm scheduled for treatment again today 3/6/12.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  4. 4
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/6/12 - Well...just got back from my first radiation therapy. It was painless and comfortable....even while laying on a hard flat surface, they did provide a pillow, warm sheet and something to cradle my feet. It was also nice that I was able to give them my iPod to play some music during the treatment. I listened to my laid back mix full of Adele, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson....etc. :) I have playlists for every ocassion. Haha! Amazing how music can transport you to another place mentally. I'm making sure to bump the inspirational and happy songs. :) I got there at 5 PM was out of there by 5:35 PM. Took my anti nausea meds at 6 and just got home a little while ago, so far no major side effects. Just mild constipation since Chemo. TMI? LOL :) Oh, and I also visited the American Cancer Society website and found this lovely website with lots of helpful info. I registered. I also visited the National Cancer Institute site and ordered so many publications on Chemo, radiation, side effects, info for caregivers, children of, sisters of, nutrition...everything that applied to my life and treatment. I believe that knowledge is power and can better prepare you to what is ahead. Now I know that side effects and personal, emotional effects all vary from person to person but still...I'd rather be well informed and armed for whatever comes my way. I know it's humanly impossible to be prepared for "everything" but I sure as heck will try my best. :) There are so many resources out there....this does not have to be a lonely road. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with a caring loving family and small but close circle of friends who have my back and I have theirs. They know this. I love them. I'm here too for anyone whether I know you personally or not. I'm letting you know right now. Sometimes, just being heard...take a ton of weight off your back....believe me. Sending love and healing to everyone out there affected by this....We can do this!! Let's get through this. :)

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/7/12- My 2nd radiation appt done :) Just got a little tired after getting home so had to take a nap. Earlier during the day I had a bit of mild nausea and bit of metallic taste/flavor to food but it went away quickly. I was able to eat good for the most part so I'm happy. Oh and I also received a call telling me someone had cancelled and so I'm going in to have my port placed in tomorrow morning at 9 am instead of Friday. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous about the procedure but it should be fine. I heard it's painless but I still don't look forward to getting poked with needles. Who does? I'm sure I'll get used to it. Whatever it takes. :)

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  6. 6
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    3/8/12- A Power Port was implanted under my skin on the right hand side of my upper chest. The procedure was not painful, other than the pokes for local anesthesia and the IV. I went in there knowing a little bit about the procedure but I pretended to not know and asked them to explain everything to me since all of this was new to me. The nurses and doctor that were involved in the procedure were very informative and made sure to make me as comfortable as possible. This helped ease my mind a lot. This port will make it easier to receive Cisplatin and any other IV fluids I need. It feels a little weird having the port in me but I'm sure I'll get used to it. :)

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/8/12- Radiation along with morphine given during the port procedure left me a bit wiped out. Nausea didn't allow me to eat much for dinner. I had 1/4 of a turkey sandwich and a nutrition shake. The port incision was a little sore so I took some Tylenol. Managed to get some sleep, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  8. 8
    almost 8 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/9/12-First week of treatment DONE! WOOHOO! Looking forward to the weekend with no trips to the hospital. Still only mild nausea and constipation. I almost went out to buy stool softeners but decided to go the natural way. What with all these anti nausea pills I'm taking I wanted to give my body a break from more pills. Prune juice, prunes, cream of wheat and lots of fruit have been my friends. :) Ginger root tea, ginger ale and ginger candy have been around for times when I felt I needed a little more help with the nausea. Also getting up, moving around, listening to my fave Jack Johnson radio station on Pandora, and going to the back yard for a breath of fresh air has helped. :) I haven't watched too much TV lately....it tires my eyes a bit and if I'm feeling nauseous I stay away completely...that and the computer.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    1 Comment
  9. 9
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    3/12/12 - I spent an absolutely wonderful weekend with family and friends. Hung out, good laughs, watched "Colombiana"....watched "Walking Dead"....I had fun! Ok...now Monday was a little bit more challenging. My day at the hospital for Chemo went by quickly and painlessly. Especially since I got to use my new port! Yay! They numbed the area and voila! Took out some blood and then got my fluids and everything else in me. :) I spent the day chatting with a couple of co workers via facebook and text. :) All while listening to my Sugar Ray radio on Pandora. The kindle fire my baby got me for Valentines Day has been a great companion. :) After chemo I went straight to radiation. My dad picked me up and we went straight to Rite Aid to pick up my anti nausea med "Emend". Once we got there they told us they didn't have it until after 3 pm the next day...oh boy....here we go. To make a long story short...lol...the next hour was spent waiting to see if they had my med in stock at another Rite Aid. Thank God they did. :) Called the other Rite Aid to find out my copay for this med went from $40 to $219.00! Wowzaaa! And this is meds I have to buy for each chemo treatment. Pharmacist told me she was on the phone with the insurance co to find out why the extreme hike in payment and she'd call me back. I got on the phone with the ins co myself and got the breakdown, my medical plan through work had changed. Fortunately found out future co pay would be only $109....whew! While waiting for dad to come back with the Emend I had to visit my old porcelain friend cause either treatment or something else had me hacking away. Only lasted about 2 mins...got it out of my system. I had to then call the doctor to see if I could still take the Emend since I had vomited an hour ago. I didn't want to throw $219 down the drain. He said go ahead and take it.....so I did. Yay! I ate 2 grapes and slowly sipped on a nutrition shake.....brushed my teeth and called it a day.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  10. 10
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/13/12- I don't go to my radiation treatments until 5 pm so I spent the day without any side effects. After radiation I was a bit tired so hung out in my daughter's room while she did her homework. Which consisted of testing the PH balance of various things like milk, water, her mouth...lol. Learned that PH levels in soil have a lot to do with what color our Hydrangeas come out! Wow! I take my anti nausea meds on the hour as recomended not as needed. I figure why wait to feel crappy. Anyways, after taking anti nausea med I felt a little dizzy. Had dinner, signed permission slips and homework for my babies. I love how my son loves to read me a story or 2 from his children's Bible book before sleep.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  11. 11
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/14/12- Spent a day without any side effects. :) Got to meet up with a nutritionist prior to my radiation appointment. It was very helpful. She gave me a lot of good tips and told the amount of calories, fluids, and protein to consume to maintain my body healthy during treatment. Radiation was quick, they took me in earlier since I was already there since my meeting with the nutritionist. :) Got home a bit tired and ready to knock out for the day. Got visits from my aunt and uncle and loved it. I've always been close to my family and since all of this treatment has gone on....our bond with each other has grown stronger. Thank you God. Got some home made spaghetti,lots of salad and fruit in my belly for dinner. End of my day and excited cause I'm halfway through week 2! Yay! :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  12. 12
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/15/12- Yesterday was a good day. I did have mild nausea/queasiness throughout the day but kept myself listening to music, organizing much needed paperwork and doing small chores around the house. After radiation the nausea and feeling of being tired started taking over a bit. I didn't feel like eating and just wanted to roll in to bed and sleep. My son (10 yrs) came in to my room and started playing a silly faces game with me. I love him so much for making me laugh. :) I sucked on some ginger candy and was able to manage to eat dinner. 1/2 slice of wheat toast, a bit of spaghetti, cauliflower in egg batter (mom made) and side of fruit.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  13. 13
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/16/12- Spent the day resting. Was feeling tired and like I could nap all day if I really wanted to. I've been eating my small meals in my room. The kitchen becomes too infused with the smell of food and that just makes me not want to eat. I met up with Bonnie at WeSpark to go over different support groups and classes available to me. I figure I'm in this, why go at it alone? The more positive energy I can surround myself with....the better. Radiation left me beyond tired. As soon as I got home I took a 1 hr nap. I had a light dinner and just rested in bed. My body really needed that. End of week 2!! :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  14. 14
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemo followed by Radiation

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    3/19/12- No major side effects....other than what seemed like endless trips to the BR during chemo. I seriously felt like I had the bladder of a pigeon. My sister was kind enough to stop by to bring me lunch and a second time with a snack. Radiation was quick and by 6:30 ish I was home. Yay. :) Not before stopping first to pick up some Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt w/lots of fruit on top. My best friend treated me to this little treat. At home my other best friend waited for me with a yummy salad from Firewood Grill. Yummy! :) I had that plus some left over fettuccine for dinner. So far into my treatment I've had some change in appetite but I've been able to cope with the changes by eating what my body can take. Fruit is my best friend. Even when feeling slightly queasy I can always eat fresh strawberries, grapes, watermelon, apples, etc. I've also started adding cottage cheese for added protein. No bad side effects from that so far. Nutritional shakes have been used but not so often. I'm eating well and even healthier that before. Hopefully not too much changes but only time will tell. I'm trying to stay positive and know that my nutrition is very important during this whole process and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get through it. Of course with God's help, always.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    4 Comments
  15. 15
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/20/12- Spent the day organizing paperwork into file folders and was able to start organizing tons of photos I had laying around in a box. Went for radiation. Was tired and ate dinner early. For some reason I was craving middle eastern food. Ate some yummy beef kebabs with rice, salad, hummus and pita bread. Went to sleep early....10:30 pm....believe it or not that's super early for me. :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  16. 16
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/21/12- Another day of photo organizing. I'm glad I didn't have a digital camera when my son and daughter were babies or I would have lost all of their pictures when my computer crashed. Looking through all the pictures brought back so many good memories. Time does sure fly by and we shouldn't waste a single moment....no matter what life throws at you. Love without holding back. Anyways :) I made a visit to my daughter's future High School, El Camino Real Charter. I had to drop off an open enrollment application. Hopefully she gets picked in the lottery this coming Wednesday. I also went to the office to pay my employer for my health insurance and managed to stop by to chat and visit with co-workers. Then on to radiation, got there 15 mins late but they were ok. I met a new friend at the Cancer Center. Her name is Trish and we just gravitated towards one another and began chatting about our experiences so far. We were chatterboxes and would have continued talking away if it wasn't for me being called in. I really enjoyed our chat and hope we'll get a chance to chat again. :) I ate some bad stuff from Costco.....their famous pizza and hot dogs. I haven't really cared for this kind of food since my surgery but my goodness, I inhaled that hot dog! :D I only ate half the pizza slice. Got home, helped my son with research for his Paul Revere 5th grade project and fatigue just took over. I was out by 8:30 pm. I woke up at around 2:30 am but managed to go back to sleep. It was a challenge to go back to sleep. My brain just wouldn't stop thinking! LOL! I put my sleepy time mix on my iPod and made it a goal to not think...and voila! I was out catching more zzzzz's. :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  17. 17
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/22/12- Mild nausea during the day bu it didn't stop me from eating. My ginger candy has come in handy. :) After radiation I am just so tired. I get home and just want to sleep, which I did. I took a 2 hr nap. I woke up and had a light dinner. 1 hr later it was bedtime again. The days seem like they're just flying by. I still can't believe we're almost into April....amazing! It seems like just yesterday I was finding out my diagnosis and now I'm finishing week 3 of treatment.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  18. 18
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/24/12- I started the day off visiting my porcelain friend in the BR. Ugh, not a good feeling. It only lasted a few minutes. I've noticed the nausea and vomiting affects me early in the morning after I wake up. I'm thinking it's because I don't take my anti nausea meds during the night while I'm asleep and I wake up with not much in my stomach as far as food goes. I'm going to try to wake up to take the meds to avoid this. Radiation was cancelled yesterday so I had to go in today at 9 am this morning. I had also planned to go out with the kids but the weather is not looking too good for a day out. It's pretty chilly and looks like it might rain. I really need to get out of the house though....even if just for a little bit. I'm tired of feeling tired and sleepy. Maybe a Monster will do the trick? LOL Just kidding! I know all that sugar is no bueno for me right now. What to do, what to do? So I decided to go to Irvine to the Easter Eggstravaganza at Irvine Regional Park. We had so much fun. A day out of the house did me good. The kids enjoyed it. Lots of fun and no rain. No side effects while out and about either. I was able to drive there and back. :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  19. 19
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    3/25/12- Woke up kind of late, I usually start my day at 7 am during the week. I took one of my anti nausea/vomiting meds and had a nutrition shake and some fruit. The anti nausea med did not do anything for me. I felt queasy and blah most of the morning. Then I had to pay my porcelain friend a visit. Bleh. I finally took my other med (Zofran) and that worked better. My boyfriend took the kids and I out to lunch at IHOP. I didn't think I was going to eat much but wow, I did! I had a Philly cheese steak sandwich with fries and a strawberry lemonade. Yum! The rest of the day we spent inside the house. It was pouring cats and dogs outside and was so cold. Just spent the rest of the day watching movies, shows, listening to music and even doing some karaoke. :)

    0 Comments
  20. 20
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Radiation and chemotherapy together

    Radiation

    3/26/12- So...first of all let me say this.." I love my port!". Seriously, makes the whole visit to the chemo infusion center so painless. :P You don't understand...needles are not my best friend. LOL Especially IV needles...ugh. :D Haha! Anyways, I got to use my port, and it felt like a tiny little poke and then I just sat...for hours...and made tons of trips to the BR as always. Made new friends while at the center. It was a full house....just insane to think how many people are going through this. But we're all there....fighters....ready for battle and ready to keep living our lives. :) My sister whom I love with all my heart dropped by during lunch time with some yummy Baja Fresh steak tacos. :) I ate good!! I've been experiencing a certain kind of embarrassing sort of side effect. I first told my chemo Nurse Lulu....then Chemo Dr Kim....then my radiation Dr Safa. After my radiation treatment the radiation doc said it's due to radiation....surprise surprise..not really. I had read up on this and just needed him to see it....yes see it...and say it. The only way to get peace of mind and to make sure no infection or anything else going on. My b.u.m (seriously...those XXX's keep making me sound like a potty mouth LOL) is irritated. Now I know what diaper rash feels like...ugh. It's not a rash it's more of skin abrasion in the area. Ok I'll say it. It hurts to wipe darnit. LOL Anyways, after my afternoon radiation session, I got sent home with gifts....gloves, peri bottle, some aloe foaming perineal wash and a prescription for a numbing cream to apply to the affected area and an instruction sheet on how to aleviate discomfort from this side effect. I've resorted to unscented, alcohol free baby wipes as well...and super fluffy toilet paper. A trip to the BR takes me like 15 to 20 mins now, sheesh! LOL It's a process. Oh well, whatever it takes to take the discomfort away or minimize it at least. :) I've also noticed that on Day 1 of chemo, along with day 2 and 3....I'm super hyper, energetic, talkative....you get what I mean. I read from someone it's due to steroids? Well I asked nurse Lulu at chemo and she said yes, there are steroids in the anti nausea med they give me....Decadron..sp? I'm on Emend with Dexamethasone on those days as well. Anyways, that explains it and I love those days! Prior to surgery and treatment I was always active, working, doing stuff, going on outings,keeping busy, enjoying life and I rarely stayed home and did...well....nothing. So on these days I feel more like myself. :) I've also noticed days 4 & 5 are my down time. Radiation hits me harder on these days and I just tend to feel tired and sleepy after treatment. My weekends are usually pretty good, days 6 & 7. I had been having vomiting episodes maybe once each day on weekends only...which only lasted less than 3-4 mins....but this was partially my fault. Like I said, I did not take my anti nausea meds in a timely fashion since I slept in and let the side effect take over. I'm changing that. After radiation one of my BFF's picked me up from the treatment center and we went to Tutti Frutti for some frozen soy yogurt w/fresh yummy fruit!! Such a treat for me. I love it. :) Then I threw out the healthy and had two slices of pizza for dinner. LOL :D I'm in to my 4th week now, and by the end of this week, I'll be at the half way mark!! Hoooray! I'm also looking forward to going to an Art Walk at The Brewery in LA with my bf, bff, sister, her boyfriend and the kiddos. Can't wait!! Weekends are my fun days still, so I'm so happy I can still do that. Of course I know it all depends how I feel. So I plan on keeping on feeling good! Hahaha! :D

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    4 Comments
  21. 21
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/27/12- I spent the day side effect free for the most part. I had a friend visit whom I hadn't seen in years and it was great. I enjoyed catching up on each others lives and can't wait to build on that friendship again. Life happens and sometimes we lose touch with important people. We talked for a few hours...I talked a mile a minute. LOL :D I went out for lunch with my sister once she got back from school. We went to Maria's Italian Kitchen and had the yummy San Marcos, yummy linguine with basil, sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts and I sprinkle in some red wine vinegar. YUMMY!! For appetizer we had Calimari Fritti and Bruschetta, and the yummiest bread ever dipped in red wine vinegar and olive oil. I can't believe I ordered the full dinner portion and almost ate it all. I thought I was going to take lots home but boy was I wrong! :) Ok, now after my radiation session, I felt kinda blah, and just thinking of it turns my stomach. I seriously thought I was going to have to have my dad pull over on the side of the street.....but I relaxed, opened the windows to let some air in....closed my eyes and tried to picture myself at my fave place in the world....the beach. Lounging in my beach chair or blanket under a nice beach umbrella listening to my Beach Mix on my iHome. :) It worked! At least until we drove by this huge Budweiser industrial factory and all I smelled was what seemed like burned tortillas...Ack!!!...I had to hold my breath! LOL....Whew! What a relief once we got out of there. I got home.....watched my son play some Wii since homework was done, chatted with him, sucked on some ginger candy, took my anti nausea med, had some fruit and a light dinner of rice and potatoes in moms special sauce. I had to set aside the chicken...it tasted too salty to me and I just couldn't eat it. We watched a Knight's Tale with my son after dinner....I played with my daughters hair using the cute beaded double comb hair accessory I bought her a long time ago at the mall....the ones that look like beaded butterflies. We had fun styling her hair. I find that when I'm feeling nauseous....keeping myself, my mind busy is better....being up and about....cause if I lay there in bed I'm just concentrated on the feeling of icky and well....that just won't do.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  22. 22
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/28/12- Mild nausea off and on but manageable. I have still been able to eat normally for the most part. My morning breakfast starts at 8 am and usually consists of a bowl of cream of wheat or healthy fiber grain cereal with soy milk and a side of fruit (apples, strawberries, grapes, melon,bananas, etc....a combo of whatever is in the house). I was told I'm not getting as much protein in my diet which is why I'm adding cottage cheese. I can't smell or look at eggs right now...or chicken. I can eat beef but it has to be cooked a certain way or I just can't look at it. Seriously, I've never been such a picky eater in my life. These changes in appetite and overall flavor to food are insane. I just eat what my body can take. I'm concentrated more on eating stuff that's healthier and that will provide more benefits to my body as opposed to just empty calories. I find that when I let hunger take over because I just don't want to or don't feel like eating. That's when the nausea hurls it's ugly face the most. Also, I've noticed if I see so much food in front of me...I end up feeling overwhelmed and I lose my appetite. I try to take my anti nausea meds before I even need them...still at the recommended time...like every 8-10 hours or so. Sometimes I've waited a little longer and I end up feeling blah...so I've learned my lesson. Anyways...lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day from what I've experienced so far. I eat and eat. My appetite is at it's highest for the most part. I do have days when I can only handle a light meal but it's rare for lunch. Today I craved some Mediterranean food so went for beef kebabs, hummus, rice and greek salad. Dinner, which is after radiation treatment is usually my lightest meal of the day. I am usually just so tired and without any appetite I just don't want to look at food but I always try to put something in my belly. :) So after radiation today my bff took me for some frozen yogurt, yum! For dinner I just had a light meal. Another one of my best friends came by to pay me a visit, which was nice. I spent the evening with my kids just hanging out while they did homework. We also watched some episodes of "Once Upon A Time" on Hulu. Then bedtime, the end of another day. Before treatment both my kids would sleep with me. I had a California king sized bed before so there was plenty of room and we just got used to it. Even though they both had their own rooms to sleep in. :) Well now, I only let one of them sleep with me since my bed is a queen....so they take turns. They are so cute! Haha, and I tell them in order to sleep with me they have to be squeaky clean! That means showered, teeth brushed, etc....:) It's always been a battle with my 10 yr old little man to get him in the shower so this will motivate him....hahahaha!

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  23. 23
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/29/12- Seriously.....having the nose of a bloodhound isn't all that great! Especially when smells have the awesome effect of making your stomach turn....Ack! Goodness! LOL My dad jokes around with me and says my nose looks for smells....I tell him I don't...lol....they find me! :D I received good news today. My daughter got into the High School we wanted her to go to! Yay! One less thing to worry about. :) So I spent my day mildly nauseous. I was still able to have breakfast, a light lunch....which is why I drank a strawberry Ensure with ice to supplement. After radiation I was super hungry...took some anti nausea meds and stopped by California Chicken Cafe with my bff for dinner. 2 pieces of chicken, herb roasted potatoes and broccoli pasta...delicious. After dinner I was so tired and once I got home I took a nap. My daughter got out of school early today and I gave her permission to go watch The Hunger Games with a couple of her best friends after school. They also went to Sky High....some indoor trampouline jumping play area. I went to pick her up. I drove my car for the first time since my hysterectomy. I drive a stick shift and in LA bumper to bumper traffic it can get tireing. Not much traffic tonight though so it was good. My dad went with me in case I got tired or didn't feel like driving back. I did good. I did notice my vision has gotten a little worse at night. Could it be due to treatment? I'm going to need glasses to drive.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    4 Comments
  24. 24
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    3/30/12- My kids are out for Spring Break so I pretty much spent the whole day with them here at home. My best friend came and hung out with me as well. Nausea throughout the day but I was still able to eat. The feeling of being tired and exhausted has been taking over a bit so I've been resting...taking naps here and there. I honestly didn't want to go to radiation today just cause I felt so exhausted. I did go though and just keep reminding myself that I'm half way done through treatment. Yes! After radiation I was kind of zombified. I ate dinner and then just rested. I've noticed I've either been experiencing night sweats or hot flashes at night. I'll be laying there and wake up sweating....take the sheets off....then wake up cold.....put my blanket back on.....and wake up sweating again. It just goes back and forth like that at night. I still manage to get sleep though...guess it's just a little annoying. :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  25. 25
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/2/12- I went in for Chemo (aka My Spa Day) LOL :) I call it that because I've never been to the spa...I kind of always did my own manicures, pedicures, facials....etc. Anyways, after my chemo doc reviewed the results of my latest blood tests he advised I would not be able to receive chemo due to my white blood cells were too low. Giving me chemo would bring my WBC count lower and could possibly delay my radiation treatment. My chemo and radiation doc decided to give my body a break from chemo but keep my radiation treatments constant. I will need to have my blood re-tested on Wednesday to see if my WBC keep going down. I was also given a prescription for Neupogen, which is medication I need to inject myself with to bring my WBC count up. Needles?!?! Noooooooo! LOL....seriously....needles will be my best friends after I'm done with all this. :'D I asked my bf (Who is an LVN) to do the favor of torturing me with needles this weekend. My fun weekend days have been compromised! LOL It's ok...my body needs it...and without it, fun days might not happen so....whatever it takes. They took me in for radiation earlier which was good. I wasn't looking forward to having to go back for treatment in the afternoon. After radiation I got to see the doctor and nurse and go over any side effects etc. The nurse also managed to scare me a bit. She asked me if I had been informed about the internal radiation (Brachytherapy) I would be getting after external radiation. I told her yes but I wasn't too sure of how Brachytherapy worked...well...she explained alright. I'm not looking forward to it!! OMGoodness.....she said all three holes down there would be connected to something the first time...for like 2-3 hours! I didn't even know what to say to that. She just kept telling me it won't hurt, it will just be uncomfortable and she will be with me through all of it. She said the 2nd and 3rd treatments I'd only have the cylinder for radiation in me for about 1 hour or so. Wow....well....at least now I know what to expect. Sheesh! LOL :D I spent my afternoon fighting off nausea. My appetite was no where to be found. I still managed fruit, nutrition shake and Ensure. It sux to be hungry but not feel or want to eat anything cause the mere thought of it turns your stomach. Few hours later after ginger candy, walking, and music with some fresh air....I was able to manage eating dinner. Sigh of relief. The evening was much better. Spent it helping my kids with school projects, and chatting with my best friend who came over to visit. My friend and I had a close encounter with a hummingbird in our garden...LOL It was hilarious! Hahahahaaha! It went from...."Awwwww! How cute! How beautiful!" to "OMG! We almost got our eyes pecked out!" Hahaahahaaha! You had to be there to understand...lol. :D

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  26. 26
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/4/12- Not such a hot day for me today. It was definitely challenging. Since no chemo and one missed radiation treatment I had figured maybe less side effects?....NOPE. It was like my body was mad at me...lol....or maybe it was the lack of the additional anti nausea (steroid) med they give me for chemo and anti nausea (Emend) that I usually take on days 1, 2 & 3 after chemo? Whatever it was, oh boy...it was a constant mental fight against nausea. Even having taken my regular anti nausea meds all I had to do was think of something or smell something, and my body wanted to run to see my porcelain friend John. I was like "No way! That ain't happenin' buddy!" LOL I had my normal breakfast of cereal w/soy milk and fruit since the nausea didn't kick in until later in the morning. I made the trip to the Lab at about 12:00 noon and was out of there in less than half an hour. They said they would send the results of my blood count to my radiation doctor in 3-4 hours. According to the radiation doc, if the WBC count was lower than Monday's (1.6)...then they'd have to hold off on the radiation treatment. Lunch was almost impossible. I was sooooo hungry, my stomach was aching for food but I couldn't even stand the thought of food. I managed to sip and finish and iced Ensure. Finally around 3 pm I was able to eat some noodles w/steamed veggies and lemonade. I got a call around 4:30 pm from the radiation department. They said to go ahead and go in for treatment since my WBC was at 1.8. Yay! :) I was happy to hear this. The docs have a treatment plan for me and with yesterday's delay, which was my fault....I didn't want another delay to occur. So I happily went in for radiation and was out of there in 30 mins. Dinner didn't happen until 9pm. Some home made chicken chow mein with veggies made by mom. :) One of my fave dishes ever but I couldn't stand the smell of it. I had to eat in my room since the kitchen was a smell challenge for me. My sister was like "It smells so yummy!"....LOL...I knew it smelled good....just not to me, in my current condition! :D Hahahaha! I was finally able to type out all my updates on here. :) Looking at the computer this morning was impossible. Watching TV or working on the computer with nausea is a no-no for me. Good thing is...this day is over and tomorrow is a new day! Yay! Almost at the end of 5 weeks of treatment! Woooohoooo! :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  27. 27
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/5/12- Today was a good day. I spent most of it side effect free. Just mild nausea. I was able to eat ok. My radiation therapist called me and asked me to go to my treatment early, since she wanted me to take advantage of the massage therapists that provide massages to cancer patients going through treatment. I went and oh my goodness that was so nice. It totally relaxed me, and afterwards, while on the treatment table, I almost fell asleep! LOL. :D Today I also found out my health insurance has a cap on my anti nausea meds. I was out of the Zofran which works for me but my insurance wouldn't pay for it. They cap it at 24 pills every 30 days! I had to pay for it out of pocket....oh well. After radiation, I got home, ate, and an hour later, fell asleep.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  28. 28
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/6/12- Spent the day almost side effect free! Yay! I'm also happy that I still have the hair on my head and everywhere else for the most part. I've noticed that the hair on my head has been thinning out a bit. When I wash it or comb it, the amount of hair falling out is more than usual and I know it's because of treatment. I still haven't bought a wig though. I do have a couple of hats...more like beanies. I guess I'm holding off on the wig in case I don't end up needing it after all. If I do end up losing my hair, then I'll buy one. :) I had cut my hair short but it seems to still be growing so I might end up cutting it again. I haven't gone to church in a long time, but my Pastor, Connie, came by to visit me. At first I thought she was going to have a full sermon ready for me....but she didn't. She came with a nice fruit salad! YUM! She came just like any of my close friends do. She asked how I was and was sincerely interested in my treatment and how I was coping with the changes. We talked about my kids, my life, and time just flew by! :) She was happy to see that I have a very positive attitude about everything and said I'm a "Fighter". Oh yes I am! With God's help of course! He is my strength, my guide, and has always been here with me my entire life, no matter what. We then prayed and thanked god for all I've been blessed with in my life. For him being here with me through all this. It always feels good to pray and give thanks to God. My radiation treatment was scheduled for an earlier time today. I had to be there at 2:30 pm. I guess they scheduled earlier since this lovely weekend my boyfriend has to inject me with Neupogen (to boost my WBC count) twice. Once on Saturday and once on Sunday. This will hopefully work and that way I can get my dose of Cisplatin on Monday. I've only driven once since my Hysterectomy. So I've been getting rides to and from the Cancer Center. Fortunately I live only 15 mins away. After radiation I asked my dad to take me to the office where I work so I could pay for my medical insurance and also visit my co-workers. It's always nice to see them. :) After visiting the office I went to Walmart to purchase supplies for my son's Paul Revere Midnight Ride diorama. We found almost everything but I gotta say....this little trip drained most of the energy out of me. When I got home, my 3 best friends were waiting for me with all the supplies for a nice relaxing foot soak...oh my goodness!!! This is so what I needed after such a busy day! :) It was wonderful spending time with my girls, soaking my feet, chatting and watching a movie "Crazy Stupid Love". When all my girl pals left....my boyfriend arrived and I got to hang out with him for a little bit. He was so tired since he worked a 12 hour shift and drove about 45 miles to get home from work and then another 40 miles to drive to my house to spend the weekend with me. I love him so much for everything he does and everything he is. I feel that I have finally found my soul mate. :) Life is good!!!! <3

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  29. 29
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2 shots of Neupogen over the weekend worked! Yay!

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    3 Comments
  30. 30
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Radiation and chemotherapy together

    Radiation

    4/9/12- So first comes my chemo...and then the radiation in the afternoon. Chemo (aka Spa Day) was kind of tiring today. Maybe because I only got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night, I think so. Before I could get my chemo, the doc had to make sure my WBC was within a good range. I had to wait for approx 1 hour until we got the results of the blood they drew from me, using my port. :) Fortunately I was sitting in my comfy chemo infusion room recliner and my dad was keeping me company. :) The results came back and yay! I went from 1.8 to 5.0!! Wohoooo! So the "clear" was given and I got my full dose (65) ml of Cisplatin today. My dad left for work. I took a 1 1/2 hour nap in my chair. My wonderful sister woke me up with lunch, tacos from Baja Fresh. Last time I devoured these!! Amazing, this time I had to force myself to eat them. This appetite change and change in taste is crazy. I only managed to eat 2 of the 3 tacos. I had been drinking Powerade, but once the Cisplat went into me.....the Powerade made my mouth start tasting like poo....well not exactly....it just seemed to enhance this weird metal taste in my mouth. I quickly put that away and switched to regular water. I got to exercise today yay! With my many (13) trips to the bathroom. LOL I put that bathroom to use!! LOL Oh and also...update, I haven't had the wiping issues I had before. The baby wipes, perineal wash and ointment worked. Within 3-4 days I was back to normal. Yay me!!! :) After Chemo I went straight to radiation. Treatment went by quick. I fell asleep partially into treatment. Afterwards I got to speak to a lovely nurse who announced to me that I will have Interstitial Brachy Therapy in 2-3 weeks. Last day of external radiation is this Friday! Woohoo! From what she mentioned, she said Interstitial brachy therapy is differen than regular brachy therapy because I will have to be "admitted" to the hospital. She said I will be laying down, highly medicated, with the cylinder that emits radiation in me for 36 hours straight. I will have a catheter for peeing and some other rod in my anus.....wow. I can truly say I am not looking forward to this. especially since I have to have to do this 2-3 times. Oh well, we do what we have to do. I had tons of questions which she said she'd rather I speak with the doctor about. She said she would schedule me to see the doctor to go over the treatment. The rest of the evening I was nauseated and I wasn't feeling like myself. I just rested, in bed. I managed to eat some fruit and drank an Ensure for dinner. My sister and her bf came by and I chatted with them a while, then my parents. My daddy I love him, he raised my spirits a bit...just giving me advice and reminding me about how lucky I am to have medical insurance and that whatever it is I have to go through, that thank God I'm in treatment. Things could be worse and I could not be getting the treatment I need. That made me look at things a different way and yes, I am very grateful. Thank you Lord. :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  31. 31
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/10/12- Today I spent most of my morning updating my Whatnext account before I forgot what happened on what days...lol. I've noticed I've been a bit more forgetful than usual lately. I also had to fight the mental war with nausea. If I let nausea take over then I will definitely be visiting my friend John for a round of vomiting. I am thankful this has only happened to me 4-5 times since my treatment started. I managed to eat a small bowl of cheerios and some fruit. Lunch was also ok. I had to force myself to eat. Time for radiation came. I had to be there earlier, at 4pm since they wanted me to meet with my radio oncologist Dr Safa. Once I got there I went in for treatment. After treatment I spoke with the Dr. I have to say one thing, I love love love my treatment team. They have all been there for me supporting me not only by informing me and walking me through everything but also by being there for me emotionally. Thank you God. Ok anyways, the Dr sat down and informed me I only have 3 treatments of external radiation left. These will be lower abdominal only. My usual treatments covered all the way up to the start of my ribcage. So less treatment area. I did ask him if this was good or bad. He said they were treating lymph nodes just in case on my upper abdomen and that the maximum treatment was given. He then advised my last chemo would be this Monday with a possible chemo right before my Interstitial Brachytherapy treatments (internal radiation). The internal radiation will take place in about 3-4 weeks. He also did explain I will be admitted to the hospital for about 2 days. I will then be checked by my gyno oncologist and my radio oncologist. That the lower half of my body will be put to sleep/completely numbed and I will be on morphine sedatives. I will have catheters placed in all 3 holes down there. The main one with some radiation giving contraption. He said it wouldn't hurt so I trust him. He said the total time of treatment would be about two to three hours total and that it would be given in intervals of 10-15 mins each. I would be rolled out of my room and taken to the treatment room each time. After treatment I would get to rest in my room but not able to get up since I'd still have all 3 catheters in me the entire time. He said it is possible I have to do this twice but not sure just yet. I know all this doesn't sound too comfortable...lol...but all I have to say is...BRING IT ON! I CAN DO THIS! :) After all this is done, they will schedule me for scans approx 3 months after treatment ends. Then hopefully all is well. After leaving the cancer center I was still mildly nauseous but I was hungry...so I drank my anti nausea pill and I craved Maria's Italian Kitchen! Yum! I had my half serving of The San Marcos and lots of yummy bread, calimari friti, strawberry lemonade, and even apple pie a la mode! Woot! Biggest meal in days. After meeting with the doc I felt more relaxed, at ease since I more or less know what to expect. Better to know than be wondering. I also found out I can even have visitors in the evening while at the hospital. So that's good. At home we caught the most recent episode of "Once Upon A Time" with my kids. Then time for sleep. :) Good night/morning everyone! :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    2 Comments
  32. 32
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/11/12- I wasn't able to eat my regular breakfast today. Managed to drink a nutrition shake with banana from herbalife. My radiation treatment had been scheduled tod 12:30 so my friend did the favor of taking me. Once we got there they were surprised to see me. I guess I got confused and the early schedule was for tomorrow not today. Good thing is they were able to squeeze me in for treatment. :) After treatment my sister picked me up and although I was nauseous, I was starving. First thing that popped into my head was Thai BBQ Chicken. We picked up some to go. I ate! Yay! Two pieces of chicken w/salad and rice. :) My dad took me to pick up my meds and the bank. Once I got home I had a fairly light dinner. I had no appetite and had to force myself to eat. The mental and physical battle with nausea is a bit more frequent now but still manageable. My chemo doc gave me prescription for Ativan. I finally tried it last night and it really relaxed me, no nausea, and I slept like a baby. :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  33. 33
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/12/12- Friday! Wooooooooooooot wooooooooooot! Last day of external radiation for moi! :) It honestly couldn't have come any sooner. This week has been a bit challenging but I REFUSE to let the side effects kick my bootie. I'll be honest and say YES, the overall feeling of being tired, weak, lack of appetite, nausea, and feeling of the void in the pit of my gut is exhausting, but I know if I give in.....it could be so much worse. Therefore I will sit here and tell my body "NO! NO WAY!"....anytime it feels like giving in. Eating was a challenge and I know my mom probably gets frustrated and worried because she doesn't know what to feed me. Before, she could still ask me what I felt like eating and I'd tell her. Now, that's not possible....my reply is usually "I don't know" or "I don't feel like eating"....or "Mom, I'm sorry I can't even think about food right now" followed by a nauseous teary eyed look. Oy vey! Seriously!...How she's able to deal with me right now....I'm amazed! I love her so much!! Fortunately....even if I can't stomach food or don't feel like eating....I can always sip down a smoothie, nutrition shake or Ensure. My last session of external radiation was over. :) Just need to get chemo done this Monday. Then I get a break from treatment for about 3-4 weeks. Then comes internal (interstitial brachytherapy) radiation. On our way home after radiation, my sister and I decided to stop by a no kill rescue shelter....to look at kittens. It has been a year since our 12 year old Kitty "Catcheetah" passed away. Not much convincing had to be done with mom and dad. :) We are ready for a new member of the family. We took the kids to the rescue shelter and picked out a cute 2 month old white Calico kitten. We named her "Lily". :) We are all so excited to have her. The rest of my day I spent resting...in bed. I'm glad my bed is comfy or I'd really hate my bed right now. LOL :D

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  34. 34
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/13/12- Oh wow! I totally skipped Friday the 13th Or Thursday...I lost a day somewhere. Guessing Thursday was probably uneventful. LMAO! :D My 4/12/12 post happened on Friday 4/13/12. LOL! Another thing I forgot is that it rained and thundered most of the day. The highlight of the day was going to get our little Lily. :) Ok...seriously...I'm losing my mind. My kids are telling me we got our Kitty on Thursday 4/12....so my post is a combination of both days....sheesh! LOL!

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  35. 35
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/16/12- Last day of chemo....at least for the next 3-4 weeks until brachytherapy. :) I gotta say...I could have been cast for a zombie in The Walking Dead this morning...LOL. Not only did I feel like one...I looked the part too! Hahahaha! Only cause I had no motivation to put on the makeup this morning. People kept looking at me concerned, saying "Not feeling too good huh?"....or "Tough weekend?"....Haha...I was like "Yeah" *pout* :[ Not wanting to say..."Nah...just no makeup on" HAHAHAHA! :D The whole thing about you feeling as good as you look...truth to that cause after I saw myself in the bathroom mirror...bring on the nausea! LOL! ACK! Fortunately, I finally took my Emend and they gave me more anti-nausea meds and that went away. Got back to my Chemo Monday exercise routine of stand up, walk over rolling your IV stand/pole to the bathroom, walk back, sit down and do it all over again.....many, many times. LOL. My wonderful sister brought some Panda Express for lunch and I ate pretty good! Breakfast this morning wasn't bad either. I had my usual cream of wheat and side of fruit. :) Oh and while at chemo I was also told I'd have to give myself one shot of Nupogen for the next 4 days! Ahh! Oh well. *insert lots of whining here* LOL Good thing is....this time I didn't have to pay for the meds. Thank you God. :) I had a normalish dinner of steak, rice and a tortilla. :) Updated Whatnext and watched Kitty act like a wind up toy the rest of the evening.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  36. 36
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/17/12- Spent the day "almost" side effect free. Just tired, so rested. A little bit of nausea in the morning but subsided after taking the Emend, then Zofran and finally the Compazine. Thank God for meds. I rested in bed...and my little "Lily" played by my side like a little wind up toy. Then she slept...then she played some more...then slept...then she ate...drank water and pooped. Oh to be a kitten! LOL...aside from all her running around my life is that of a cat these days...sleep, try to eat, poop....LOL.....I wish she'd give me some of her energy. LOL!! Hahahaha! She's gassy too! OMG, I'm so glad I'm not gassy anymore....this was after my hysterectomy and probably stopped for the most part within the last couple of weeks or so. This kitten can clear a room!! OMG, I tried to fan her stink away from me furiously and she attacked the piece of paper I was using! Bad kitty!!! LOL :D Eating was a challenge today, just overall lack of appetite. Ate fruit most of the day. Finally got some rice and steak in my belly for dinner. Also had and Ensure. I need to start taking my iron pills or eat more iron rich food cause if not I'll be needing to get a blood transfusion....which I kind of don't want. So today was also day #1 of getting my Neupogen shot....*whine*....*whine* ....*whine*....I refused to poke myself...so my cousin who has had experience giving shots since he worked at a medical clinic, came over and did the honor of poking me in the arm....OUCH!...I still don't like needles. GOOD NIGHT EVERYONE. :)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  37. 37
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/18/12- The morning was a bit challenging but after a nice shower and taken all my anti nausea meds and some food in my belly I felt better. Today was Neupogen shot #2. My wonderful cousin whom I love so very much came over and did the favor of giving me the shot. I couldn't do it myself. So far no serious side effects. Just mild soreness in my body...bones, but nothing debilitating or to the point where I have to take pain meds.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  38. 38
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/19/12- Neupogen shot #3 done. Getting used to getting poked. Aside from this...although no radiation since last Friday...and with chemo this past Monday...the nausea has persisted. Anti nausea meds zofran, compazine and ativan keep me sleepy and lethargic....I don't like that, but at this point I'd rather nap than constantly be fighting nausea. Eating has been challenging too but I'm doing it. I just can't wait till I'm done with treatment and onto the next phase of my life, one where I can continue living life to the fullest! :) I'm still hoping to go on our annual camping trip, Yosemite, an unforgettable birthday celebration in June, lots of beach days by the ocean with family and friends....so much!

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  39. 39
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    4/20/12- Pulsating pain in my lower back. :( Started at 2 am this morning. Feels like my pelvic bones and lower back are contracting....ugh. I finally had to take some extra strength tylenol...waiting for it to kick in. Almost 4 am now. Will try to get some rest. I'm thinking the culprit might be Neupogen....? 5 am...no relief...I had to take another tylenol. I'm at 1000 mgs of tylenol....hopefully that will do the trick. Pain at a level 6....it comes and goes kind of like labor contractions.....slow pulsating pain. I want it to go away. Now. Poo.

    0 Comments
  40. 40
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/20/12- Neupogen shot #4. Bit of a tough day both mentally and physically but it's over. The pulsating pain went away thank goodness. I rested.....a lot. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm almost done with this.....that there is an end to all this madness.....that I need to remain strong. I have my moments of weakness....but I thank God for the strength he gives me to get right back up.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  41. 41
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pre Op Tests

    Other Care

    4/26/12- What I am about to share next is like something out of a nightmare. I've said previously that I love my cancer treatment team of nurses and doctors...and I honestly do, all of them....except my PCP. Being in a Blue Cross HMO I of course had to go through a PCP (Primary Care Physician) before getting to meet my cancer team. I will take the time to say he is the worst doctor I've ever met. Every time I have to go see him I always end up stressed, mad and in tears. This time I was sent to him for my pre-op tests for brachytherapy. I had mentioned to Jennifer, my radiation nurse, how much I disliked going to this doc and the crape he has previously put me through. She came up with this idea to personally call my PCP's office to explain to them what tests were needed. She even faxed them the test orders so all I needed to do was to make the appointment and show up. I wish it had been that easy. I arrived at 3 pm and was made to wait almost two hours. Once the doc came in he seemed to think he knew better than my radiation doc and said I "Didn't need pre-op tests for the procedure" and was refusing to do the tests. Oh man! Seriously?! He asked me what tests I needed and I told him the nurse at the cancer center had faxed them the orders. He said he didn't know anything about orders being received. OMG. It turned out whoever received the faxed orders, lost them. I was so frustrated with these people. I called my radiation nurse and told her what was going on. I had her talk to one of the nurses and tell her why I needed these tests (blood, chest x ray, ekg, etc). She had to re-fax the orders to these incompetent people. After receiving the orders via fax, a nurse came in to draw blood. He seemed to not know what he was doing. He asked me what kind of needle was used to draw my blood. I told him I didn't know, because I honestly don't. After a failed first attempt he asked me if my veins "roll"? I told him again that I didn't know. I have never been asked that before. Afterwards a chest x-ray was done. The doctor came in and asked me if I "knew I had a plastic tube in my chest?" LOL Wow! I said yes...of course...it's part of my power port, where I get chemo through. Sheesh! Does this doc have a brain? I'm a cancer patient!! Does he not know what we go through as part of treatment? I was then taken to another room for an EKG. After putting on the paper gown top, a female nurse came in to do the EKG. She then proceeds to ask "Have you lost weight?" LOL I said yes. I guess I figured they were aware I was going through treatment and that weight loss is one of the things caused by side effects. Once done, the doc came in again and told me the EKG was normal and that he still didn't know why I needed one. I didn't say anything. He wanted me to "explain" to him in detail what kind of procedure I'd be having. I did not have the energy to do that and asked him if anything else was needed and if I could go. I was out of there finally....3 1/2 hours later.

    1 Comment
  42. 42
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

    Side Effects

    4/30/12- Scheduled for a blood transfusion tomorrow.

    0 Comments
  43. 43
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Blood Transfusion

    Other Care

    5/1/12- Laid in a bed for 6 hours getting two units of blood via IV. Only pain I felt was when they inserted the IV needle. I was not able to eat anything since I'm on a bowel prep for my brachytherapy tomorrow. Clear liquids only. I've also had to take Dulcolax and Magnesium Citrate (yuck). I've taken my Zofran but still nauseous and I'm starving. I'm kind of glad I didn't have chemo yesterday...or I'd be feeling much worse. I've managed to drink some beef and chicken broth. Also had some jello and all kinds of juices. I'm still hungry. I hate that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I feel so tired.....I just want to sleep. I want this whole week to be over.

    0 Comments
  44. 44
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    5/1/12- At 1.9...Radiation doc said Brachytherapy is still a go.

    0 Comments
  45. 45
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Internal radiation (Brachytherapy)

    Radiation

    5/2/12-5/4/12- (High Dose Radiation-Interstitial Brachytherapy) I was admitted to the hospital at 6am on 5/2. I asked my radiation doc and my anesthesiologist to please put me to sleep since I did not want to be awake, see or feel anything when they implanted the catheters and device inside me. I woke up at about noon feeling itchy all over....no pain just itchy. They gave me Benadryl. I was also completely numb from my waist down. I tried to move my feet but I couldn't. I laid in a stretcher/gurney and was rolled over to the room I'd be staying in. I was told I couldn't move or sit up since the "device" was in me. So I just laid there for hours. I was on a liquid diet and so I had to spoon jello and sip broth through straws while laying down. I was still heavily medicated so I was in and out of consciousness. At around 3 pm someone came and rolled me down to the radiation oncology department for my first dose of internal radiation. I was not moved from my gurney, instead the device that was implanted in my vagina was connected through little tubes or wires to another machine that had tubes/ wires. They were all numbered so had to be connected to the same numbered tube. After this was done, I was left in the room alone, radiation began. I didn't feel any pain, just heard and felt small "clicks" inside me along with the common "bzzzzzz" during treatment. :) This lasted maybe 10-15 mins and was over. I was relieved that it wasn't painful. I was then rolled back to my room. I could move my arms, hands, and head side to side and also slightly tilt my feet to the left or right. I laid in my gurney thinking to myself "Wow, that wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be". My Mom, dad, little sister and best friend came by to visit around 6pm. It was nice to see familiar faces. Then a little after 6pm I felt the unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach...nausea. It didn't even give me a chance to fight a mental fight with it. Nope! No dry heaving here...just vomiting. I couldn't get up...or move...just turned my face to the side while my best friend kindly held a plastic bin by my mouth. It seemend endless! Fortunately I had been on a liquid diet for the past couple of days so nothing extremely gross came out. LOL Oh man! I felt so helpless for the first time of my whole treatment. I hated having my family see me like this. I asked the nurse for Zofran 8mg, Compazine 10mg and also Ativan. They couldn't give me Ativan until bedtime. Vomiting occurred two more times that evening. It took so much out of me that they had to put me on a higher dose of IV fluids. I was exhausted. I was also still on a liquid diet so that didn't help with the hunger pains. Finally they were able to give me Ativan. The Ativan took me to sleep.......day one.....OVER. Day #2...went like this....rolled on stretcher downstairs at 8 am for treatment......half sedated....rolled back upstairs....bring on the vomiting....then excruciating lower back pain from the position I was in. I wasn't laying flat on my back. I was laying at an angle where my head was lower than the rest of my body. There was a gap towards my upper back. Unfortunately there was nothing the nurses could do....other than give me more pain meds which would contribute to more nausea and vomiting. I am extremely sensitive to narcotic pain meds. Then more vomiting. 3 pm treatment again......then more vomiting. The anti nausea meds helped a bit but not enough. At around 5 pm the doc and about 3 nurses came in to the room to remove the "device" that was attached to me and inside me. He said..."You will feel sharp pain so take a deep breath when I tell you". Dear God it felt like I gave birth to my third child! They were able to finally put the gurney in a sitting position.....I just sat there...like a zombie....half sedated....not wanting to move....in and out of consciousness from the medication I was given. I was finally transferred over to the bed...oh that was so comfy! I just laid there holding on tight to a pillow in the fetal position.....missing my own warm blanket and my sock monkey that was at home. My family and friends came by but unfortunately I was too loopy, tired...and just plain out of it to interact with them. Another dose of Ativan took me to dreamland. Day #3....just waited to be picked up from the hospital. Had a continental breakfast. So far not much pain. I'm on antibiotics, stool softeners, pain killers, and anti nausea meds for a while. *SIGH OF RELIEF* At least this part is over. I'm so thankful to God for getting me through this. We all think we can do things without God sometimes...but no...it's impossible. I felt so helpless...and he gave me strength. Through tears...he was there holding my hand. Thank you Lord for never leaving my side.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    2 Comments
  46. 46
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Finished Radiation Treatment

    Celebration

    5/3/12- HDR Interstitial Brachytherapy finished!! Radiation doc said no need for more radiation. Yay!! Got my certificate of completion and little bell as part of the ceremony. :)

    0 Comments
  47. 47
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Constipation

    Side Effects

    5/20/12- and blood in stools. Painful, uncomfortable and just plain scary. I asked my radiation doc about this and he told me to eat a lot of FIBER. A LOT. So I went out and bought Metamucil (powder), started eating black beans, whole wheat/grain bread, ate chicken, baked potatoes and VOILA! Side effect gone :) Yay!

    0 Comments
  48. 48
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Joint and muscle soreness

    Side Effects

    6/2/12- At first I thought I had just slept in the wrong position or that I had maybe overdone it with physical activities....but no, the soreness has continued after a few weeks. I asked my doctor and he said it's due to my body not producing any more estrogen. I had a radical hysterectomy where even my ovaries were removed. I was advised to take vitamin D and Calcium. It hasn't been too painful but it definitely makes getting up from sitting positions, walking up or down stairs, etc a bit harder and takes me longer. What can I say? I'm slow...lol. Hopefully the vitamins help. Oh, and I did ask the doctor about hormone therapy and he said not right now while I'm going through chemo and that we'll talk more about it after I finish treatment.

    0 Comments
  49. 49
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    6/11/12- I went in for chemo. Back to the usual ritual of sitting and having chemicals being injected into my body. Not painful at all but just hoping that the side effects won't be too hard on me. Especially since now, from what I was told, I'm getting a higher dose of Cisplatin and added to that is the Gemzar. I'll just take it one day at a time. I was able to drive myself to and from treatment so that was good. :) As I was driving home I did start having that all too familiar feeling of "yuck" in the pit of my tummy. I picked up my kids from school and went straight home to eat something. I ate ok. My uncle wanted me to go to church with him and also invited me to dinner but I was feeling tired and just wanted to rest.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  50. 50
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    6/12/12- Woke up with mild nausea. Took all my anti nausea meds and they helped. It was still a bit of a mental fight. I was able to go watch my son perform at his elementary school musical. He was amazing! I am so proud of him. :) Later in the evening I went to my cousins graduation from High School and also graduation dinner. I had a great time with family. :) So far so good! :)

    0 Comments
  51. 51
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    6/18/12- Hope everyone had a very Happy Father's Day weekend! :) Mine was a bit challenging but I made it through. Today I went in for only 2 1/2 hrs of chemo (Gemzar) and it went by fast. I was totally constipated this morning but as the day progressed, the constipation started going away. I'm thinking it's due to all the stuff I ingested yesterday. I'm just glad I got some relief today. Short and sweet treatment today. I drove myself to and from treatment. Went to eat some chicken and potatoes at California Chicken Cafe with my best friend. :) My spirits are much higher and I'm feeling much better today! Yay! :) 1st cycle of Chemo done.....3 more to go. I can't wait to be done with all this.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  52. 52
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    7/5/12- I went in to get blood drawn since my WBC were too low a few days ago. Turns out they were still too low and I'll be needing Neupogen shots to increase my count. I was stressing out a bit because my co-pay for Neupogen is at $150.00 and I don't know how many of these shots I"ll be needing. Hoping not too many.

    0 Comments
  53. 53
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    7/6/12- Lots and lots of thinning. I'm shedding worst than a cat. Not sure if I'll have any hair left on my head by the time I'm done with chemo. I started getting a bit annoyed by hair constantly falling off or being stuck to my shirt so now I prefer to keep my hair tied up in a pony tail. :) Works for me!

    0 Comments
  54. 54
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    7/12/12- After another blood test my WBC's came up at 3.0 which meant it was safe for me to get chemo. Yay! I'm just happy to get back on track with treatment. I know delays are unpredictable but I just really can't wait to get all this over with. My day at the chemo infusion room was pretty much the same as it was before. I started watching "Much Ado About Nothing" on my Kindle Fire but ended up falling asleep. My best friend came by with lunch, Thai BBQ chicken, YUM! The rest of the afternoon we spent talking and playing checkers. Nausea started hitting me in the afternoon. Once chemo was over, I drove home, had my anti nausea meds and rested the rest of the day.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  55. 55
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    7/19/12 - Was scheduled for chemo today but due to all my blood counts being low I wasn't able to receive treatment. My WBC's were at 1.1...way too low.. I have to take Neupogen for the next 4 days to bring up my white blood cells. Another delay in treatment. I just want to finish cycle 2 already.

    0 Comments
  56. 56
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    7/19/12- 7/22/12- Total of 4 Neupogen shots. I started feeling mild pulsating bone pain the day of the 4th shot but it went away. I didn't have to take pain meds.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  57. 57
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    7/24/12-My bloodwork showed my WBC's at 7.7. Neupogen worked. I was able to get chemo treatment today (Gemzar). Finally able to finish cycle 2. YAY! :) My chemo doctor came over to talk to me like he always does. He asked me how I had been feeling and I told him ok. I haven't been experiencing many side effects. Mild constipation, mild nausea every now and then, and then of course all the low RBC, WBC and platelet counts, but aside from that, nothing else. He adviced that he didn't think it would be good to continue with cycle 3 & 4 of chemo. I asked why. He said seeing how my blood counts have been and how my body is taking these past two cycles of adjuvant chemo, that he feels we'd be taking a risk of damaging my stem cells if we continue. My stem cells which produce my white blood cells. He told me to start taking Neupogen starting tomorrow, for the next 4 days. Next week I have to go to Quest lab for blood tests and the doc will review the results with me and we'll decide whether to continue or not. Guess we'll see what happens.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  58. 58
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    To continue or stop adjuvant chemotherapy

    Decision Point

    7/26/12- I called my chemo doctor to ask him what would happen if we continued with the last 2 cycles of chemo. He said there was a risk of developing Myelodysplasia. Looked it up and it's some scary stuff! I'm meeting up with both radiation and chemo doctors in 2 weeks to decide if I'm done with chemo or not. I didn't want to stop short on the treatments being as my type of cancer is aggressive and has a higher chance of recurrence, but at the same time I don't want to damage my body and possibly end up permanently damaging stem cells and developing something just as life threatening.

    0 Comments
  59. 59
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    8/7/12- Went in to see my doctor this morning. Today we decided if I would continue the last two cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy or not. Dr. Kim told me we would not continue after blood work showed my blood counts were still really low even after Neupogen and no treatment for two weeks. He said there is a risk of developing Myelodysplasia. We both agreed to not take that risk. He also said adjuvant therapy works best when there is no interruption in treatment. Unfortunately it looks like my body has had enough of radiation and chemo and it is showing in my blood counts. I completed 8 weeks of chemo (Cisplatin) and external radiation, interstitial brachytherapy, and 2 additional cycles of adjuvant chemo (Cisplatin & Gemzar). I am officially done! Wohooooo! :) I honestly couldn't have gotten through this process without my faith in God, my family and my friends. I feel so blessed and eternally grateful. The next step is an appointment in September for a CT/PET Scan to see if any cancer is present after all the treatment. That same week I'm meeting with both my radiation doctor and my chemo doctor for a follow up and to discuss the scan results.

    0 Comments
  60. 60
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    8/8/12- Muscle, bone, & joint soreness - arms, legs, knees, soles of my feet hurt when walking sometimes. The pain is not constant so I'm thankful for that. It's weird because I feel pain when I make certain movements, like getting up from a sitting position. Kneeling is horrible, it hurts! Sleeping on my right side isn't comfortable any more. Getting out of my car has been challenging too. The motion of sweeping my legs around to get out of the car hurts, mainly my legs. I'm hoping all this is temporary and that it doesn't get worse. I've started taking extra calcium along with the rest of my vitamins.

    0 Comments
  61. 61
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CAT (CT) Scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    9/4/12- My chemo doctor requested a CT and PET scan for me. Unfortunately it took my insurance longer to authorize the PET scan. I ended up having to get the CT scan first. I had hoped to be able to do both at the same time but it didn't work out that way. Oh well. I've had a CT/PET scan once before prior to my hysterectomy and my experience was a little bit different this time around. I think maybe since I only got the CT this time? Anyways, I went to Liberty Pacific Imaging center and was given a container full of some stuff that looked like white yogurt that I had to drink. It didn't taste "bad"....slightly like coconut...but still was kinda gross. I drank that and then was made to wait about 1 hour so the stuff I drank circulates in my body. After that, they called me in to change into a gown. I made sure to tie all the little strings nice and tight. I hate those gowns, I'm always worried my rear end will be on display for everyone to see! LOL :D I then walked into the room with the CAT/CT scan machine in it. I was made to lay down, they connected me to an IV which they said would release the contrast into my system. They then scanned my upper and lower abdomen without contrast, and had me hold my breath a few times for only a few seconds. The man operating the machine came in and told me I would start feeling a "warm" sensation since he was now releasing the contrast into my system. As he was saying that, I started feeling warm sensations in both my hands and my rear! LOL! They scanned me some more and I was done. No pain, yay! The scanning process took maybe 7-10 minutes. Now I have the PET scan to look forward to. :) I just hope and pray to God that the scans show everything good, clear and no more cancer.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  62. 62
    over 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    PET scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    9/6/12- Went in for a PET scan today. Whole process took about 2 hours. After they injected the radioactive glucose I had to wait an hour before they could scan me.The scanning took about 25-30 mins.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  63. 63
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    9/12/12- Results of my scans came in. The cancer has spread to my lungs and lymph nodes in my chest. The doctor said he wants me to start chemo as soon as possible. I'm scheduled to start Cisplatin and Taxol next week on Tuesday. He said he will also schedule me for a lymph node biopsy of lymph nodes on my neck. The doc wants me to go in for another scan but this time of my brain. They want to make sure cancer hasn't travelled to my brain. The doc said I am now stage 4. He said he can't cure me but the chemo will help prolong my life by slowing down cancer advancement. I am numb....from the bad news. It feels like the day I was first diagnosed. At least the emotional side of it. I am being strong but I'm still an emotional wreck sometimes. I have to continue to be strong for those I love. I realized I'm not scared about going through chemotherapy again. I know what to expect for the most part. Whatever I need to do, I will do it, if it means I will get to spend more time here on earth with the people I've been blessed to have in my life. I have come to accept and am at peace with my mortality. However this does not by any means mean that I will not fight this disease. I will fight with all my might. I know God has a purpose for me, he always has, he's never left my side. I see him in the rays of the sun, in my garden, in the smiling faces of my kids. He's everywhere. I know I'm not on this journey alone.....not a single second. Let's do this!! Cancer, you better be shaking in your boots, cause I'm not going down without a fight!! Heck no!!

    3 Comments
  64. 64
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    9/18/12- My first of 6 cycles of Cisplatin and Taxol. Every 3 weeks I'll get a dose, the next day I will get a shot of Neulasta to bump up my white blood cells. My dad dropped me off at the hospital at 8:15 am. I picked a seat but was later asked to move to another one that had access to oxygen? Holy cow! The nurses said it was because it was somewhat common for people to have allergic reactions to Taxol. They said I could experience shortness of breath, redness and feeling flushed. Way to scare me! Better to know and be ready I guess. The only out of the ordinary thing I felt was a pulsing tightness on my throat, but that went away. My sister dropped by with lunch at around 1pm. We chatted for a bit. I spent the day surfing the web, listening to music, and reading a book. Time went by pretty quick. The good news the doc gave me was that my bloodwork showed that all my counts had bounced back to normal. This was great since there had been a bit of worry that my body was having issues recovering from all the previous treatment. Thank God this wasn't the case. My chemo was done by 4:35 pm. My best friend came to pick me up and took me home. Once home I took Zofran. Not because I was feeling nauseous but because I want to take as directed, every 8 hours. I've learned my lesson. So far no bad side effects. I had to take 5 Decadron pills at 10pm the night before chemo and 5 more at 4 am.....so total of 10 pills before chemo plus Emend, Benadryl and other anti nausea stuff I can't remember right now. All the steroids in my system made me real chatty. :D Lots and lots of energy! I wish this would last. :) Anyways, my sister told me my cousin invited us for a birthday dinner for her son, so we went. I had such a big appetite! I served myself twice, also had fruit and cake. I was stuffed. I had no problem going to sleep but woke up super early.... 4 am! I haven't gone to sleep since then and it's already 6 am. Maybe I'll try going back to sleep. Good night/ morning. :)

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    2 Comments
  65. 65
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    MRI

    Procedure or Surgery

    9/19/12-Went in for an MRI, just to make sure no brain metastasis. When I went in, the staff there warned me that the machine was extremely loud and gave me earplugs. I laid down on the table facing up and asked them for a blanket because it was extremely cold in there. I remember a little bit of shaking as the machine pulled me in, but not much. As I was being pulled in a few strands of hair got caught somewhere in the machine and I did feel a little pull that scared me. I got a little nervous when I was inside because I had never been inside a tube-like machine for more than 10-15 minutes. Once inside, the loud clicking noise began. The earplugs muffled the sound so it wasn't too bad. I guess my ears are used to loud noise from years of listening to loud house/techno music. LOL :D I had to relax because I started feeling a bit of anxiety being inside this small tube, so I imagined myself at my favorite place in the world, the beach. I think I dozed off for a few minutes. My MRI was requested with and without contrast. After the first scan, I was pulled out and given the contrast via injection and pulled back into the machine. I kind of lost track of time and dozed off again. I left the place thinking they needed to buy a new machine because it was probably old. LOL Thanks to other whatnexters now I know the noise and shaking was normal. :) Fatigue took over in the afternoon. I got home, ate and went to lay down. My eyes needed the rest. One of my best friends came by and hung out with me. That was really nice. I've told my friends that I might not be much company but just having them here with me and knowing they are there is very comforting. We chatted a bit. We helped our kids study for tests and just hung out in bed. I fell asleep and didn't even notice when they left. I slept pretty ok. I started feeling a bit more muscle soreness but from the info my doctor gave me on Taxol, it's expected.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  66. 66
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    9/20/12 & 9/21/12- None of the anti nausea meds were helping.

    0 Comments
  67. 67
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    9/20/12- Shot of Neulasta. Bone pain and muscle soreness was horrible.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    1 Comment
  68. 68
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    9/21/12- Along with fatigue, hot flashes, nausea, dizziness, pressure/swelling in my throat, taste change/loss, no appetite and bone/muscle pain/soreness made this day pretty rough. I spent most of the day laying in bed trying to sleep it off. For breakfast I did have a bit of cream of wheat and side of fruit. I couldn't hold anything down for lunch. I tried eating fruit and drinking Ensure but my body rejected it. For dinner my best friend made me a noodle/potato soup, so I had some of that along with 1/4 of a sandwich. By night time my nausea had gone away so I also had a small piece of chicken and ate a pear. I had family and friends come by to keep me company, it felt good to have them near.

    0 Comments
  69. 69
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    MRI Results, no brain mets!

    Celebration

    9/27/12- Wooohooo! No brain mets! Finally some good news. I met up with my doctor earlier today to go over the results. I also needed to get some stuff off my chest to him. I had to write down everything before meeting with him so I wouldn't forget anything. I had asked myself, "How are you feeling?" and answered... "I feel like my doctor thinks there is no hope for me. Like I am buying my time here. Like there are no options for me. I don't feel confident that the treatment I am receiving is the best treatment possible for my type of cancer /diagnosis. I NEED that confidence. I need to feel and know that everything that can be done, is being done". I told my doctor all this. When I first met with him to review scan results and was told metastasis to lungs he had asked me "How much do you want to know?". Having thought about this I wondered why anyone would want to be in the dark about anything having to do with their diagnosis, treatment and progress? I told him I want to know EVERYTHING. I told him how our last meeting (when PET scan/CT scan results were discussed) left me feeling uncertain and even wanting a second opinion. He said if I needed a second opinion that was perfectly ok. He would check with my insurance if this is covered (It really sucks to be limited by insurance as out of pocket would probably be expensive). All in all he apologized and said he never meant to make me feel all this uncertainty. He explained why he chose the current chemo treatment, why it was the best treatment for me, he explained about clinical trials, why he didn't feel surgery was an option and answered other questions I had. I requested result copies of all the scans that were done and those were given to me. I told him I always want to be in the loop about what's going on and why and what the plan of attack (aka treatment) is and why. We are now on the same page with my doctor, he knows what I expect from him and I feel much better about all this. *SIGH OF RELIEF* Upon getting home I reviewed the copies of CT/PET scans that I had requested. I noticed that the lump I saw on the left side of my belly button is a hernia. Another thing to add to the list. Sheesh! I did research on the web and plan on speaking to my doctor about it during my next chemo visit. Having this hernia can become dangerous if it becomes obstructed. I knew that bump was something!! My tummy just didn't look normal, not that it looks normal with a big ol' incision on it but it just looked weird and lopsided. Next...the neck & lymph node biopsy scheduled for tomorrow. Praying all results are good.

    0 Comments
  70. 70
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Needle Biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    9/28/12- Needle biopsy of lymph nodes in my neck. This procedure was a lot more painful than expected. They first used ultrasound to find the affected lymph nodes. The ultrasound on my neck didn't hurt but when they did it in the armpit it did. I had the urge to scream out in a combination of laughter (since I'm extremely ticklish) and pain (the pressure they applied hurt so much), but I didn't. After locating the lymph nodes they decided which ones were easier to reach with the needle. They had to make sure it wasn't one with too many vessels around. Then they numbed the area with Novocaine (local anesthesia). I felt a pinch and a burning sensation followed. They did this a few times. Afterwards they inserted the biopsy needle. Each time I would feel a lot of pressure applied to my neck. Lot's of clicking and cracking sounds and it felt like they were pushing more stuff on my neck. The first two samples taken were relatively painless. Fortunately the pathologist was in the room so he said he would let them know when he had enough tissue samples. The third time they went in for a sample I felt excruciating pain on my left shoulder/chest that traveled down my arm and to my fingers. It hurt so much, I cried from the pain but tried to hold it together. The doctor performing the procedure apologized and said I shouldn't have been able to feel any pain. They injected more novocaine. After the third sample, I was scared to feel pain like that again. They took a fourth sample since the pathologist said the last sample was no good. The pathologist said he had good enough samples and the results would be sent to my doctor this coming Tuesday. WHEW!!! *Sigh of relief* I got through this. The only evidence of the biopsy was a little small round band-aid on my neck. You would have never imagined such a tiny little hole caused so much pain! Sheesh!! The whole procedure lasted an hour and a half. Before leaving, they gave me an ice pack to apply to the area and some tylenol since I was feeling pain. Any small movement I made with my neck hurt so much. My dad picked me up and took me home. I went to lay down and rested the rest of the afternoon with the ice pack on my neck. I woke up around 5 pm and noticed that getting up from bed was a challenge. You never know how much of your neck muscles you use until the tiniest movement hurts so much. I had to get help getting up and out of bed. I was starving since I hadn't had anything to eat since yesterday at dinner. I called one of my friends to see if he could pick up some Mediterranean food for me. He came by with the food around 6:30 pm and I ate. My aunt, uncle and another friend of mine stopped by to see how I was doing. After dinner I didn't feel too good. My stomach wasn't agreeing with the food I ate. I felt nauseous. I scrambled and went to get my Zofran. 5 minutes after taking the Zofran my body decided it did not want the food I had fed it. I threw up in the backyard as I couldn't make it to the bathroom in time. Oh man, that sucked because my neck hurt so much from all the vomiting. I felt queasy and just blah. Two other of my friends came by so I had a full house of people coming to visit. They were all taking care of me. I spent the rest of the afternoon laying in bed chatting with friends and making trips to the bathroom (diarrhea). The trips to the bathroom finally stopped. What a relief! Also, the neck pain subsided. I went to sleep and called it a day. I slept like a baby. Even if I did have to use two huge pillow to support my head and neck for the night. Thank you Lord for getting me through this day.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  71. 71
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    10/6/12- I said I would shave my hair off when the time came. Since Tuesday my hair wasn't just thinning, it was falling off in clumps. The actual falling off of my hair wasn't painful, my scalp was a little bit sensitive and sore to the touch. I would have preferred to let it all fall off on it's own, but I've decided not to do this because I'm just tired and annoyed of having hair all over the place. Hair on my pillow, my shoulders, my clothes, the floor, in the shower....everywhere. Today, Saturday, we planned to go to Universal Studios for their Halloween Horror Nights since one of my best friends treated me. : My bf, friends and myself, are big fans of The Walking Dead show and they had some themed mazes themed after the show. I had some bald spots on my head so I decided to wear a head wrap to the event. Unfortunately, the material wasn't cotton and the back of my head started itching a lot. I had scratched my head so much that evening that I actually thought I had a rash or something. I had balls of matted hair on the back of my head from scratching. Once we got out of Universal Studios and back to the car I took the wrap off. I felt the back of my head and the hair just came right off my head. Once we got back home I brushed the remaining hair to try to take off whatever was loose. My boyfriend did me the favor of cutting off all the long strands as short as possible. As he was cutting my hair I began to cry. I didn't cry because I was losing my hair and I have an attachment to it, I cried because it is a reminder of the stuff (to say it nicely) I have to go through. It is now a reminder, every time I look in the mirror and every time anyone sees me, that I have cancer and that I'm going through treatment. I guess I just have to get used to it.

    0 Comments
  72. 72
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    10/10/12- Went in for chemo today. My platelets were coming up extremely low on the blood tests due to the blood they took from me coagulated in the tube so the count was inaccurate. While at the center they did another test which came back the same. They finally realized the blood had to be collected in a blue top tube, the nurse said it contains an anticoagulant which would allow for a correct counting of my platelets. My platelet count was normal, whew! I was not liking the idea of a delay in treatment. I spent my morning chatting with another patient aged 22 who was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It's not very common I see young people at the cancer center I go to. After a while a massage therapist came in to the infusion room offering the patients foot massages. I am extremely weirded by anyone touching my feet so I asked her if she could do an arm and hand massage instead. She said yes. I really enjoyed the massage and the company. We talked and talked. It was nice. I also had a chance to talk to my old friend Winston, a much older gentleman that complimented me on my style. :) It was my first time appearing at the cancer center wearing a head covering, so the compliment was greatly appreciated. I didn't leave the cancer center until 5:30 pm since all the blood work that was done took up time. My treatment started late but at least it was done. Once I left the cancer center I headed to WeSpark in Sherman Oaks, which is a really nice support center for cancer patients and their families. They offer all kinds of support groups, workshops, classes, all at no cost. I attended their "Look Good, Feel Better" workshop. When I first arrived I noticed that all the women there were at least 20 years or more older than me, not that it matters but sometimes I wished I could meet more people around my age. Well, just as I was thinking that, a younger girl came in and sat next to me. She was really nice and we talked a lot. There were a total of nine of us but they only had 5 bags of cosmetics for 5 people. I didn't get one but they told me to go to the nearest ACS office and request one. I'll do that next week. My new friend shared her bag of cosmetics with me. That was very nice of her. :) I didn't leave WeSpark until 8:00 pm or so. I was supposed to visit my cousin and his family since today is his birthday but unfortunately it was too late. I'm hoping to be able to do something for him this weekend. Family and friends are most important to me in my life and I'm very grateful for every year, month,day, minute,second that God gives each one of us. I want to celebrate it. Once I got home I ate, I was so hungry being that lunch was at 1:00pm and it was now past 8pm. My mom served me a plate of chicken, brussel sprouts and steamed broccoli. :) Been trying to eat more veggies and healthier.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  73. 73
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    10/31/12- Happy Halloween! OMG! I got 40 minutes of sleep last night! How did that happen? Well let me tell you. With this new cocktail of chemo Taxol/Cisplatin, I'm required to take 5 pills of Dexamethasone at 10pm the night prior to chemo and then 5 pills again at 4am. Well, when 10pm came around, I kept thinking 10, so I popped 10 pills in my mouth. I didn't even realize that I had doubled up on my dose until after guzzling down half a bottle of water. I got so scared and ran to the bathroom to self induce vomiting. I don't know if this was good to do but I was freaking out. I managed to get 4pills out of me. Well, those steroids kept me up. At 4am I took the next 5 pills and I didn't go to sleep until 5am. My daughter woke me up at 5:40am to curl her hair since she was dressing up like a pirate to go to school. They take the school bus and so they have to be at the bus stop by 6:20am. By the time the kids left to school it was already time for me to get dressed and ready to go for my chemo day which would start at 8am. Busy morning! So my chemo day started, I dressed up in my Raggedy Ann costume and headed to the cancer center which thankfully is only 20 minutes away. Everyone smiled when they saw me. None of the other patients dressed up. I kinda wish I would have had someone take a picture of me in my costume rolling my IV pole to the bathroom. LOL :D I had planned on sleeping most of the day. The Benadryl made me drowsy which was good but then came nausea and was quickly followed by leg restlessness. It was so weird. I would try to sleep and then from my knees down I felt like I needed to move my feet and the feeling wouldn't leave me alone. I finally had to stand up and walk around. The feeling eventually went away. I slept 2 hours one time and then 1 1/2 hours another time. Even with all that sleep the day seemed to be going at the pace of a snail. I wanted to get out of there so bad. When 5:15 pm came around I was finally out of there. Yay! :) I drove home got the kids to eat something and left to meet up with one of my best friends to go trick or treating. We never go trick or treating by my house since the Halloween spirit doesn't exist here. I had to take them to Studio City which is a really nice area. There were so many people there and most of the houses were decorated. It was very lively and fun. We had a blast. I had previously done some research online on houses that have been decorated really good that people from all over go look at them. Some people even make their own haunted houses and let people visit for free. We took the kids to one called "Boney Island" which was decorated with skeletons everywhere. Skeletons dancing, singing, talking. They even had a water show set up to "This is Halloween" and other songs. Pretty cool! Afterwards we stopped and grabbed some burgers cause the munchies hit us. Then we headed to "The Forest of Mirrors". That was cool! They had a whole maze of little walkways in their backyard. It was of course all decorated with skulls and everything creepy. They had creepy music playing and there were mirrors set up so it looked like the walkways went on and on but they were just reflections. There were some people dressed up in foliage camo and jumped out at unexpected moments. So of course we screamed our little heads off. I was impressed. We all had so much fun. Finally time to go home! Whew! I survived Halloween! :)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  74. 74
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CAT (CT) Scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    11/14/12- Went in for a CT scan at 9:00 am. Had to drink that nasty contrast stuff the night prior to and also one hour prior to the scan. It's funny because the container says "Banana Smoothie"....no way does it taste like it. I was having such a hard time drinking it. I kept dry heaving. I had to resort to drinking it with a straw. This way the stuff goes directly to the back of my throat and doesn't swish around in my mouth. I asked the guy helping me with the scan how soon would the results be available. He said by tomorrow. I'm not seeing my doctor until next Wednesday when I'm scheduled for my next chemo. I'm hoping the results will show that the chemo is kicking this cancer's bootie.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  75. 75
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    11-21-12- Today was a pretty emotional day at the chemo infusion room. First of all I got my CT scan results which showed that the tumors on my lungs are gone and that overall the cancer is shrinking. Yay!! Thank you God. I cried tears of happiness. A couple of hours later I received a phone call letting me know my uncle in Guatemala (50 yrs old) had passed away. Six months ago he had started experiencing severe stomach aches when he ate. Doctors ran all sorts of tests and couldn't figure out what was wrong. They gave him medication which only helped a little. More tests, scans, x-rays, etc were performed but they still couldn't diagnose him. They finally said it had to be colitis. A colonoscopy had been performed and showed inflammation and blisters on the inside walls. My uncle had to change his diet and that only helped a little. He was still in a lot of pain and had lost so much weight. He was so weak and finally had to be taken to the emergency room. He was put on oxygen and docs finally decided the only hope would be to operate. Upon opening him up they found a tumor. Pathology results proved it was cancer. They stitched my uncle back up and we all prayed for his recovery. A few hours later, my uncle was gone. His body had been too weak plus with the operation....he didn't survive. I cried, I was so sad and just mad at the doctors. Six months my uncle endured so much pain. If only they had operated sooner, when he was stronger, maybe he'd still be with us? I finally had to just accept what had happened. He is now with God and has no more pain. He is finally resting. All we can do is pray for strength, courage, understanding, and keep his memory of better times in our hearts. My uncle was a great father, a husband, a brother, a grandfather, a friend, a person who was loved and will be greatly missed. My other uncle and aunt came over to the house this evening. Together with mom, dad and myself, we all prayed for God to fill that empty void with courage, strength, understanding and acceptance, for the whole family, here in the U.S. and in Guatemala.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  76. 76
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    11/21/12- CT scan shows no more tumors in my lungs and overall cancer is shrinking! Wooohoooo! :)

    1 Comment
  77. 77
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Lost loved one

    Loss

    11/21/12- My uncle passed away at 3:00 am. He was loved by everyone and will be missed. He is with God, resting, and no longer in pain.

    2 Comments
  78. 78
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    along with muscle, bone and joint pain, fatigue, hot flashes, cold sweats, constipation and lack of appetite. 11/23/12- My boyfriend and my twins came over in the morning. We had family staying with us from Arizona so it was a full house. I love it. We watched Expendables 2 together. I received some packages in the mail today. :) A few weeks ago my boyfriend had me make a wish list of things I had been wanting. I had put some chemo hats, scarves, board games, art supplies, wigs, etc on that list. I had absolutely no idea why he wanted me to make the wish list. Well, he shared my wishlist with internet pals on Google Plus. People, who have never met me, from around the country/world, that know of my journey, sent me items from my wish list. God bless every one of them. They definitely brightened my day, even when I wasn't feeling so bright. I really had hoped the side effects of chemo would stay away. No luck. I woke up feeling fine but as the day progressed, my body started feeling all of it. I fought it for as long as I could. I ended up having to spend the rest of the day in bed. Being unconscious in bed made the day go by faster for me. We had a second Thanksgiving dinner on Friday but unfortunately I wasn't able to be a part of it. :( I tried, but I had no want of food or anything. I ended up having an Ensure for dinner. Day #3 over, hoping day #4 will be better.

    0 Comments
  79. 79
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    12/10/12- Early, and I mean super early this morning, I was still awake. Why? Because I drank 5 pills of Dexamethasone at 10:30pm as I'm supposed to before every chemo treatment. The steroids didn't let me sleep! I was super wide awake. 5 am came along and it was time for another 5 pills of Dexamethasone. At 6 am I started getting ready to head out to the chemo infusion room. Once I got to the infusion room at 8am, I felt really queasy. I was dry heaving. I asked my nurse why, she said it was probably anticipatory nausea. I told her I started feeling nauseous after drinking the Dexamethasone. She asked if I had eaten anything when I drank the meds and I said no. She said that's why. I'm supposed to drink with food. Doh! My bad! Afterwards I guess I kind of passed out in a sitting position while sitting in my chemo chair. My nurse was kind enough to recline the chair for me and covered me with a blanket. I woke up around 12:15 noon. I still had almost 5 hours left to go. No more nausea so that was good. I snacked on a banana and drank water. My lovely sister came by and brought lunch for me. I was only able to eat part of it since it just tasted odd. It was the chemo messing with my taste buds. We chatted a bit with her and then she left. I chatted with other patients sitting near and next to me. It's really crazy how we can all talk about what we're going through and we all just get each other. Cause we've been there. The emotions, we've all experienced them. True, some to different degrees but regardless we've all felt similar things and thought about things that those without cancer just wouldn't understand. I'm just happy to be able to have people to talk to about those things, whether it's at the infusion room or here on Whatnext. :) The rest of my day went by quick, before I knew it I was out of there. I'm usually the last one to leave the infusion room. I see people come and go throughout the day. I'm stuck there for 8 hours. I went by the pharmacy to pick up Emend since I completely forgot to pick the med up prior to my chemo. My nurse told me I could take it in the evening. I got home and spent the rest of the evening feeling a little tired but ok. I stayed up kind of late again but finally went to sleep. I finally got a good night's rest. :) Day #1 over.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  80. 80
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Constipation

    Side Effects

    and nausea. Bleeding when I go #2, it's painful but just trying to eat high fiber and drink lots of water. I know this gets better after the 1st week so I know the pain won't last. The nausea has been mild because the meds have helped. I drank Emend, Dexamethasone, Zofran, Compazine. I almost resorted to Ativan but was able to manage without it. I ate some cream of wheat with cranraisins and soy milk this morning. I also had some ensure. I've only been able to snack on fruit through out the day. Ate bananas and grapes. For dinner I had some steamed white rice and orange chicken and an Ensure. I'll be going to sleep shortly so day #2 almost over. :)

    4 Comments
  81. 81
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Taste change/loss

    Side Effects

    and mild nausea, muscle/bone pain on legs. 12/13/12- My body is handling this latest chemo session a little better than the last ones. The side effects have been there but mild. I've been out of bed most of the day so that is a good sign. Could be that I'm just so excited about our trip to the mountains this weekend and maybe the adrenaline is pumping through my system and not letting me focus on the side effects. :) Which I'm grateful for, if that's the case. :) I didn't eat much today. Lack of appetite along with no taste in food all day. Fruit has always proven to still taste ok though. I tried to have some potato wedges with ketchup but the potato tasted like cardboard and the ketchup tasted like water. I tried some cheese and it tasted like nothing. The chicken tasted a little like chicken so I had two small pieces of that. Oh man...thank God it's not always like this or I'd be losing too much weight. Fortunately, I know things will get better so just gotta get through the harder days.

    1 Comment
  82. 82
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    12/21/12- I started experiencing some lower back pain since Wednesday. It's targeted on the left side of my lower back. So far it comes and goes. I've had to take extra strength Tylenol to help with the pain. It has worked but as soon as the meds wear off, the pain comes back. I really don't know if it's due to the Neulasta or the chemo or what. I called my chemo doc and told him about it. He asked me several other questions to try to determine what it could be. He first though a UTI, but I haven't really experienced any pain urinating. He told me to keep an eye on it and if it got worse I would go in for tests. I have pain meds he's prescribed me in the past in case it gets worse, but I'm just hoping the pain goes away.

    1 Comment
  83. 83
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Trip to the E.R.

    Other Care

    12/24/12- As recommended by my oncologist, I went in to the ER today for the abdominal and back pain I've been having. Blood work and urine tests were done. Also had a CT scan done. All tests came back normal. No UTI, no kidney stones, nothing. I was sent home and told to take pain meds. I have plenty of those. I will see my chemo doctor on Wednesday. So far the pain can be managed with pain meds. I'm thankful for that. Now time to wrap a few more gifts to place under the Christmas tree. :) The tamales are ready and family will start showing up at 7:00pm. Thank you God for everything you have blessed me with. :)

    2 Comments
  84. 84
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    1/7/13- Well, I got to my chemo appointment early. Which is a good thing! For me at least. I've never really been too punctual. One of my flaws which I'm still working on. I've also noticed lately I've been very forgetful. There are just so many things to do and remember and I just don't know why I'm not making to-do lists more often. My fault. For example, I know prior to every chemo I have to 1) Call the pharmacy to order Emend. 2) Call mail order pharmacy to send me Neulasta 3) Go get my blood work done at Quest 4) Drink my Dexamethasone at 10:00 pm and at 5:00 am. 5) Set my alarm to wake up to get ready for my appointment. It just seems I'm always forgetting to do one thing or another. It just feels so overwhelming sometimes. This is just for chemo, not to mention keeping up with insurance paperwork, bills, Medi-cal paperwork, school paperwork for my kids, disability paperwork. Keeping track can be a challenge. If I had the money for it I'd hire a secretary to handle all of it for me. LOL :D Like I keep telling myself, I might not be working/employed right now but this sure does feel like a job! Getting through this and getting better is my job right now. With all the experience I'm getting I should be able to put this in my resume, don't you think? Hahaha! :D Anyways, like I said, I got to the cancer center 5 minutes early! Wohooo! Prior to arriving, since I'd been feeling a bit melancholy and sad, I decided to wear one of the funny hats my boyfriend left here at my house. It's a silly hat and when I put it on I just feel goofy and silly. I even did my makeup to match. My eyeshadow was blue and pink! LOL I got a lot of smiles from people at the cancer center. Mainly the staff, nurses and doctors. I wish I could have gotten some smiles from the patients in the infusion room, but sadly everyone seemed tired and not feeling too good. Oh well, it was more therapeutic for me anyways. So.....since I didn't sleep all night long, once the nurses got the Benadryl in me, I was OUT. I slept from 10 am to until 2 pm. At about 2:30 I ate a sandwich and drank some water. I ate a pear also. I then started with the trips to the bathroom once they gave me Lasix. The day went by really quick. Once I got home, I didn't feel any nausea, just a bit tired. I ate a small dinner since my appetite was just not all there. At night I video chatted with my boyfriend for a while. End of day #1.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    3 Comments
  85. 85
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    1/8/13- No vomiting just nausea, lack of appetite, light headed (probably due to the meds), constipated, change in taste, bad medicine/chemical taste in mouth. I know this will pass, I just gotta hold out until then. I've spent my day at home, heavily medicated, which is why I wasn't able to go pick up my kids from the bus stop. Fortunately one of my cousins came by the house and was able to do the favor for me. I've spent my day listening to music, trying to get fluids into my system. Drinking water on it's own is just plain gross. I added a teaspoon of Kool-Aid (yes I know that's not the best but it's all I had in the house) to it. It made it easier to drink down the water that way. Having that gross taste in my mouth doesn't help with the nausea. I've also been doing Karaoke. LOL yes, I have a microphone and music and I love to sing. It distracts me from feeling all the "BLEH". :) Unfortunately I haven't been able to eat much. I had a nutrition shake in the morning, had an Ensure as well, and was able to hold down some grilled mushrooms. Now I'm getting ready to play a game of checkers with my 11 year old son. :) Day #2 almost over.

    2 Comments
  86. 86
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    1/9/13- Neulasta to the rescue! It's been doing it's job of bumping up those white blood cells. Along with it it brings joint pain and this time instead of leg pain it concentrated mainly on my feet.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  87. 87
    about 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    11/2/12- Just nausea, muscle and joint soreness, constipation, lack of appetite, fatigue, light headed. I'm sure tomorrow will be better. I have to go pick up Neulasta...not feeling the energy to drive. Will figure something out.

    3 Comments
  88. 88
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    1/14/13- I started having the same lower left back pain as a month ago. It starts early in the morning, 4am or 5am. Extra strength Tylenol has helped. I take 1000 mgs. Last time I had this pain it started 9 days after my chemo infusion. This time it started 7 days after.

    0 Comments
  89. 89
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    1/16/13- Boy was today bi-polar. That's the only way I can describe it. I woke up around 5 am and my back pain was pretty severe. I drank the Tylenol and it took about an hour for it to take effect. It was so darn painful and I tried to go back to sleep but the pain wouldn't let me. It was awful. I was finally able to fall asleep once the meds kicked in. I woke up at about 9am and was feeling good, no pain, yay! I actually had breakfast with my parents and listened to music. I played with my cat Lily. I was feeling great! Then around 2 pm I drank my normal shake and as soon as I finished I knew there was something wrong. My stomach felt queasy and I had to visit my porcelain friend. Not good. I felt weak and drained. I tried drinking water but my body was not wanting anything. The time came around for me to pick up my kids from school. Once we got home I thought the whole vomiting spell had passed, but nope. Again to the bathroom to visit my friend! I couldn't eat anything. I tried drinking water and my stomach hurt. I decided to take a nap. My kids asked if I was ok, I told them yes, just my tummy was hurting and I would take a nap. I told them to continue doing their homework. They like to do their homework here in the room with me so it's nice having them near. I fell asleep. I woke up at about 7pm. I was starving but scared to eat anything. My son brought me a banana and a bottle of water. My body was able to hold it down, yay! :) Half an hour later I had a good dinner. Chicken, beans and brocolli. :) I was back to feeling good! I'm so glad this day is over! Whew!!

    0 Comments
  90. 90
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CAT (CT) Scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    1/25/13- Scheduled for a scan today. I had to drink that gross Barium Sulfate "smoothie". They offered me two flavors, banana or berry. I went with the berry flavor this time since I've always had the banana and it makes me dry heave. I gotta say, the berry isn't that bad. Of course I always drink these things using a straw. I just can't stand feeling the drink in my mouth so a straw gets it to the back of my throat faster and easier. They scanned lower/upper abdomen, chest and neck, with and without contrast. I will be reviewing the results with my doctor this coming Monday. I'm hopeful for good results.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    5 Comments
  91. 91
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    1/28/13- CT scan results! Good news good news!! No masses found. Lymph nodes affected that were swollen have gone down to normal. Nodes affected have shrunk in size! Some by half! Some were not even detected. Thank you God. :) The Cisplatin/Taxol cocktail has been kicking this cancer's butt! Chemo treatment will continue for 3 cycles, one every 3 weeks and then another scan. Next chemo is this Wednesday. The doc is switching me to a cocktail of Carboplatin/Taxol. The fight continues. I haven't lost hope for news of NED (No Evidence of Disease)/remission. :) I believe in miracles. :)

    3 Comments
  92. 92
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2/4/13- Not too much going on at the infusion room today. All I know is I got there, they gave me Benadryl and I was OUT. I didn't wake up until 2:30 pm. Now that's a good way to make the day go by fast! LOL :D Today I got my first dose of Carboplatin instead of the Cisplatin. The doc said the side effects for this one shouldn't be too bad so I'm crossing my fingers he is right.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    3 Comments
  93. 93
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    Lack of appetite, fatigue, cold sweats, constipation, muscle/joint soreness. 2/6-2/7- Side effects not too severe. I've kinda just learned to live with the discomforts. I do my best to do anything I can in my power to lessen the discomforts of treatment. Sometimes the battle is more mental than physical but whichever it is I just have to get through the "tough" days. I know that once I'm past those, I'll feel more like myself. Wednesday, day #3 after chemo, I was fine for most of the day. I took all my anti nausea meds but sometimes I still had breakthrough nausea. I ate very little today. I had a shake, a banana, and Ensure. I tried to drink a lot of water but it was so hard to. I added a small teaspoon of Kool Aid powder to my water to give it a different flavor so I could drink it. I slept most of the afternoon. I just felt so tired. I woke up around 1:00 am and ate a banana. Then went right back to sleep. Thursday, day #4, went by pretty quick since I slept most of the day. In the evening I felt well rested and the side effects have dissipated. My diet the last couple of days have been nutrition shakes, fruit, cold cereal and Ensure. I can't wait to eat a good meal and actually enjoy it. I feel hungry but there's nothing nothing at all that I want...that I crave or that I want to put in my mouth that doesn't make my stomach turn. As always, I know this feeling is temporary. Looking forward to pigging out again! :D LOL!

    0 Comments
  94. 94
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2/25/13- I slept most of the time I was at the infusion room. I'm glad because that made the day go by quicker. I always get restless legs after they give me Benadryl. It's kind of annoying but it eventually goes away. Once I got home I fell asleep again. The fatigue just took over. Unable to eat much. Had some Ensure.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  95. 95
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    2/28/13- plus diarrhea, lack of appetite, change in taste, fatigue, bone pain. An overall feeling of being sick. Usually the side effects don't hit me until day #3 or 4 after chemo, not this time. Day #2,3, and 4 have been the hardest this week. Good news is it's end of day 4 and I'm feeling better. :) I hadn't been able to eat much because of the nausea and vomiting but managed to eat fruit, drink Ensure and take a few bites here and there. I really wish I could eat more but the nausea just wouldn't let me. I finally had an ok dinner tonight though! Yay! :) I'm looking forward to the weekend. It's my sister's 31st birthday and I want to celebrate with her. :)

    0 Comments
  96. 96
    almost 7 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2/27/13- Neaulasta to the rescue! :) My cousin came over and administered the shot. In the evening had bone pain in my legs and shoulders but thankfully it wasn't too severe. I managed without pain killers.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  97. 97
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    3/18/13- Got very little sleep last night due to the Dexamethasone. I fell asleep around 5 am and should have been up by 7:00 am to get ready to go to my chemo appointment but overslept. I called the docs office and told them the situation and they said it was ok and to go in. Fortunately I only live 15-20 mins away. I was up for most of the morning but after getting a bit of food in my system around lunchtime I fell asleep. I didn't wake up until 4:30 pm, when it was time to go home. Once home I took my anti nausea pills and was able to eat dinner. I had a hard time going to sleep because I slept during the day. My boyfriend stayed up with me video chatting via Facebook until the wee hours of the night. I'm talking like 3 am late. I managed to finally go to sleep around 4 am. Took my anti nausea meds before knocking out for the night.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    10 Comments
  98. 98
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CAT (CT) Scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    4/4/13- Scans of pelvis, chest, neck and tissues, with and without contrast. I took my berry smoothie the night before and 1 hour prior to my scan appointment. Once I arrived to my appointment, I was called in and immediately noticed that the lady that called me in was the same "new" lady that had helped me with my scan back in January. I wasn't too happy that she was going to help me because last time she had problems finding my vein to insert the IV for the contrast. Last time she hurt me so bad poking around with the needle looking for my vein. The guy that usually helps me came in to help her insert the needle. Anyways, I cut her some slack because she was new. However, this time around, I had a bad feeling from the get go. To make the story short, she "again" had a hard time locating my vein. Once she inserted the needle she didn't sound too confident about the needle placement so she kept telling me she would put lots of tape on it to make sure it wouldn't come out. Well, the needle did come out when the contrast was being released into my vein. At first I felt pressure on my arm and then a stinging burning pain. I told them my arm was hurting and yup, the needle had come out and the contrast was released under my skin by mistake. Another person came in and poked my other arm to get the contrast in correctly while the lady that made the mistake applied a hot compress on my other arm. At first I wasn't upset, but then the a doctor came in to check my arm and blamed it on my veins. The nerve! They blamed it on my veins saying they are hard to find.Truth is I have had lots of scans and it wasn't until this new lady arrived that I've had issues. The guy that usually helped me with my scans has never had a problem. Ugh. Anyways, I got sent home with a swollen arm, a hot compress and upset. Thankfully the pain subsided. My arm looked weird because of the swelling for a couple of days. It finally went away and I was back to normal. Lesson learned, I'm not letting that lady touch me again.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  99. 99
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Remission

    Celebration

    Good news!! The CT scans showed no evidence of disease. :) I am so happy! Thank you dear God.

    4 Comments
  100. 100
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/10/13- I went in for chemo around 9 am. This is chemo #1 of 3 of my last round, as my doctor recommended. I was awake most of the day at the chemo infusion room. Felt a little nauseous after all the pre chemo meds and taxol were in me but it wasn't too bad. I managed to eat a little for lunch. After lunch I slept until about 2:30 pm. I finally left the cancer center around 4:45 pm. My next chemo is scheduled for April 30th. Once home I just rested and went online for a while. I had a good dinner. Since I slept a little during the day I wasn't able to go to sleep until 1 am or so.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  101. 101
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/30/13- Chemo infusion day....Meh...wish I could hit the fast forward button to get me past today and the first week after chemo. Closed my eyes....made the wish....no luck. :D Ok, so today is my 2nd to last chemo as said by my doctor. I guess I may just be getting a little impatient. My day at the infusion room went like this...got there, IV's hooked up to my port, then the Benadryl kicks in, I pass out, wake up because someone asks if I'm going to eat lunch. I nod and say yes, I pick at the food to find something my body recognizes as food. I pass out every now and then while I eat. Food tray gone. Sleep more. Wake up. Time to leave. Get home. Sleep again. Day #1 over, thank goodness.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  102. 102
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    5/2/13- My wonderful cousin came over and gave me the shot of Neulasta.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  103. 103
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    5/3/13- I've been feeling a lot more of the burning pinching sensation at the tips of my fingers, toes and just random parts of my body. Muscle and joint stiffness. My vision at night is not the best. Makes it hard to drive. My hearing has been affected a bit too. I've experienced a "ringing" in my ears a few times before going to bed at night. The nausea after chemo lasts for about 4 days but thanks to the meds it's minimal. Constipation lasts the first 5-6 days. It gets a little painful but goes away after the first week. Loss of appetite, increased smell and change in taste also returns after the first week. Hot flashes and cold sweats are more frequent now that the warmer weather is here. This is really annoying more than anything but hoping it gets less frequent. I have to have the AC on 24/7 at a temperature of 74 degrees to be somewhat comfortable and to lessen the hot flashes. There are also times when I get really cold but sweating like crazy. So weird. One more chemo to go.

    0 Comments
  104. 104
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    5/20/13- Wohooo! My last cycle of chemo according to my doctor. :) I've honestly lost count of how many cycles I've had since starting treatment. I am physically and mentally exhausted. I almost told the doctor to forget about the last two cycles because I felt I didn't need them. I decided to finish, going through so much already I figured I'd brave through the last two. *sigh of relief* My day at the chemo infusion room was happy and sad. Happy because I hopefully won't have to return but sad because I've made friends there and they are still having to get treatment. One of my friends has been getting treatment since 2009. I will continue to pray for them. There was no celebration, no ringing of any bells, no certificate of completion given to me or anything. Just a "Goodbye, take care, hope we don't see you again" from one of the nurses. I'm just so thankful I was able to get treatment and I finished. I'm not looking forward to the next 5 days. I will try to sleep as much as I can.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
  105. 105
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    5/22/13- Received my Neulasta in the mail early this morning. My cousin came by to give me my shot. If it wasn't for this medication I probably wouldn't be able to continue with treatment. It has kept my WBC count within normal range to allow me to get chemo.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  106. 106
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    5/23/13- This week has been a bit tough. I took all my anti nausea meds but still had persistent breakthrough nausea. I just keep telling myself it's only like this for a few more days and then I'll be better. I relied on my Ensure so much this week. I really tried to eat but was only able to take small bites and then I couldn't any more. I snacked on fruit which for some reason I'm always able to eat even without appetite and while slightly nauseous. I slept a LOT. I'd wake up every now and then drenched in sweat. Hot flashes really kicking in. Cold sweats too. I am so thankful for my family. I rely on my parents so much this first week. They take care of my son and daughter. My cousin and her husband pick my kids up at the school bus stop and have been bringing them home. I am so thankful for all their support. All the anti nausea meds and steroids add to the constipation this first week. It's just painful. I'm so loopy and out of it from all the meds I feel like such a zombie. I just remind myself that it's only the first week like this and then things get better. I just want to get past Friday. I really want to feel better by Saturday. My twins will be 16 yrs old on Saturday and we have plans to visit a couple of art museums (MOCA-Museum of Contemporary Art) and then go to the Cheesecake Factory for their birthday dinner. I have to will my body into feeling better. Come on body, you can do it.

    0 Comments
  107. 107
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Bladder problems

    Side Effects

    5/30/13- Yesterday I noticed I was experiencing urgency to urinate. Just the sudden feeling to use the bathroom like if you've been holding it all day. The pressure is insane to the point that my eyes water. It hurts a bit too. I noticed as I wiped that there was red on the paper. Like a slight pink tone. The next trip to the bathroom, same urgency, and this time I noticed in the toilet bowl what looked to be small clots of blood....like a good dozen of them....small. Now this freaked me out. Now what? What the heck is going on in me? I tried to remain calm and told myself I would keep an eye on it and call the doctor tomorrow morning. A whole wave of emotions hit me like a brick wall. I felt so out of control. I've been able to deal with all the side effects of treatment one way or another but this one being new and not knowing if it's just a side effect, infection or something worse was too much for me at the time. I went to the bathroom and quietly cried and just felt crazy for reacting the way I was. I panicked and fear was trying to seep in. I was fighting my emotions and just needed to vent. The thought of "OMG is this how it's going to be from now on? Freaking out any time something out of the normal happens?" and the "What if it's the cancer? What if this or that?" I was trying so hard to hold it together since my kids were around and I didn't want to worry them. Fortunately it was near bedtime and they had gone to sleep. I called my best friend. She told me I wasn't crazy for worrying, that she would react the same way. She said to not over think anything and to just call the doctor tomorrow and take it one step at a time. She really let me vent and helped calm me down. I had a good cry and felt better afterwards. I guess I already knew everything she told me, I just needed to hear it from someone else. I am so thankful to God to have special people in my life whom I can trust to be there for me. So today I did call my doctor. He ordered a urine test. He also wrote a prescription for antibiotics. He suspects and infection but we won't know until the tests results are in. I will be going in for the urine test tomorrow. Just taking it one step at a time.

    1 Comment
  108. 108
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Birthday

    Celebration

    6/11/13 Today I am 35. Woot woot! Completed another year of life and starting a new one. Thank you God for every day you've blessed me with. <3 So how did I spend my day? At the happiest place on eart....the DMV. LOL I somehow failed to notice that my driver's license expires this year so I had to run down to DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles) to renew it. They took a picture of me, made me take the written exam, and I had to pay those lovely DMV fees. Oh and they also tested my vision. I found out this cancer treatment has really messed with my eyesight. I "barely" passed, according to the DMV lady. I'm really hoping that my sight returns to normal or I'm going to have to need glasses...boo. A really nice thing that did happen was the guy that gave me my ticket with # to be served marked me as if I had an appointment which means I waited less than 10 minutes to be helped. Yay! :) In the evening my friends surprised me with dinner and a cake. :) It was a good day.

    1 Comment
  109. 109
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Lost loved one

    Loss

    8/24/13- Lost a friend and fellow Whatnexter @MACGUN117 to stage 4 stomach cancer. Our friendship was cut short. Sometimes life can seem so unfair. I will miss you my friend. A sad day.

    0 Comments
  110. 110
    over 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Lost loved one

    Loss

    8/27/13- Last night I called for my kitty "Lily" she's mainly an indoor cat but does go out from time to time but she always stays inside at night. She didn't respond. Then today I called for her through out the day and she was nowhere to be found. In the afternoon I went to go pick up my son from the school bus stop and as I turned down my street I saw her, laying there on the side walk next to a fire hydrant....my heart broke. At first couldn't believe it, I told myself it wasn't her, it couldn't be....but then I saw the little rhinestone collar on her neck and the little charm with her name "Lily" engraved on it. I couldn't stop myself from crying. I broke down and unfortunately my son was with me. I drove to my house and told my family the bad news. I walked back to where she was laying and carried her little body to our house. Her body wasn't broken or anything, she was whole, complete, just no longer breathing. My kitty left a big hole in my heart, and it hurts. This and losing my friend earlier this week just overwhelmed me. I know life goes on and they will forever be in my heart. I just wish they were still here with me. I know only time will heal....

    0 Comments
  111. 111
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    10/9/13- My eyelashes are thinning out again. I finished treatment almost 5 months ago. Not sure if they'll all fall out, guess I'll have to wait and see. I'll be meeting with my chemo doc tomorrow. I have lots of questions for him. My next CT scan appointment is coming up soon.

    0 Comments
  112. 112
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Eye Exam

    Other Care

    10/15/13- Went in for my first eye exam since my diagnosis. I found out my eyesight has worsened with cancer treatment. I need to wear glasses. I will be using them to drive. Reading road signs is impossible without them. I picked out a cute cat eye design. Can't wait to get them. :)

    0 Comments
  113. 113
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Ultrasound of the kidneys

    Procedure or Surgery

    10/17/13- Went in for an ultrasound of my kidneys. Will review results with the urologist when I go in for the cystoscopy next week.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  114. 114
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cancer "might" be back

    Oh No

    10/23/13- I met up with my doctor today. He reviewed my most recent blood work/labs. My CA 125 came back high @44. Normal is less than 35. He thinks the cancer might be back and wants me to go in for a CT scan and the following week start back up on chemo. I'm praying for a miracle or that the CA 125 results were a fluke and there is no cancer. I don't want to believe that it is back. I keep telling myself to take things one day at a time so that is what I will continue to do.

    3 Comments
  115. 115
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cystoscopy

    Procedure or Surgery

    10/28/13- So I've had this blood in urine issue for quite a few months now. The bleeding isn't constant, just every now and then I notice spotting when I wipe or a clot here or there. It's scary to see that! So I met up with the urologist on 10/14/13 and took a urine sample, which was scary looking because it was pinkish, cloudy and had blood clots in it. Ahhh! Anyways, he said I needed to go back in for a cystoscopy. I prayed to God to please not let me feel any pain. So here's my experience... The urologist said a small tube with a camera would be inserted in my urethra and pushed up to my bladder so they can see why I'm bleeding. I honestly expected a very painful painful procedure, but it wasn't, no pain felt, thank God. I got to the office and made a comment to the patients waiting there, I said "I'm guessing no one ever looks forward to a cystoscopy, right?" and they laughed. I told them I was nervous. One lady said her husband had gotten a few of these procedures done and from his experience she said to ask for double the numbing cream/anesthetic. I was called in and told to undress from the waist down. The doctor and nurse were in the room. I told them that local anesthetics don't work too good on me and to please give me a double dose. They said ok. The nurse put the anesthetic on/in me. It was a little uncomfortable but not much and it was quick. Then the doctor took the cystoscope and told me to cough, which I did. Then he exclaimed "Aha! Radiation cystitis! That's what you have" Then proceeded to write me a prescription for Elmiron which is supposed to help with this but unfortunately I will have to take this medication for the rest of my life (However long that is...I'm thinking 60 years :) ) Anyways, the procedure was done and over with before I could even begin to worry. From a woman's point of view, the cystoscope going in kind of felt like how it feels when you insert a small slender tampon inside you. So this is what all these radiation treatments did to my poor bladder, radiation cystitis. The doctor said he saw several small "patches" of what looked like a "rash" on the lining of my bladder. He said that the medication should help but if things get worse he'll go in and cauterize the small patches....ummmm....OUCH. I'm hoping it doesn't get to that. So for now I'm just thankful that I'm not in any significant pain. I just have to deal with it and take my medication and pray that it doesn't get worse. After the procedure they gave me two pills to take for the next two days to help with burning sensation. I took one right there at the doc's office. I later freaked out when I peed and the pee was bluish green! Once I read the packaging on those pills it did state "Patient should be advised that urine may be colored blue to blue-green while taking this medication" Thanks for not telling me doc!! LOL :D My urologist did state that my kidneys were normal ( I had an ultrasound of the kidneys on 10/17/13) and that no cancer cells were found in my bladder. Wooohooo! :)

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  116. 116
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Vision decline

    Side Effects

    After I had Lasik eye surgery I thought I might not have to wear glasses again for a long time. Unfortunately my vision was affected by cancer treatment. Thankfully it's not too bad.

    0 Comments
  117. 117
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Radiation Cystitis

    Side Effects

    10/28/13- Twice in about two months I felt frequent urgency to urinate and mild burning sensation. I would run to the bathroom and almost nothing would come out, yet I felt the strong urge to push like if you had been holding your pee in for a long time. I noticed blood and clots in the urine. This only lasted for about a day each time. Other than that I really didn't feel any pain. Now I just notice spotting and/or blood clots now and then after wiping. I had a cystoscopy and the urologist confirmed radiation cystitis. He prescribed Elmiron, 1 capsule a day every day and scheduled a follow up in January. Hopefully this helps.

    0 Comments
  118. 118
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Dental Care

    Other Care

    10/29 - 10/31/13- I had deep cleaning, 4 fillings, one crown and 2 wisdom teeth extracted. I have felt pain on the right side of my jaw/mouth. I've been taking about 400 mg of ibuprofen for the pain and it has helped. I haven't been able to start taking the Elmiron for the radiation cystitis since it said not to take while I'm taking NSAID's. Hopefully the mouth pain goes away soon because I can't handle the pain without the pain killers. I have another appointment with the dentist to remove the other two wisdom teeth later this week.

    0 Comments
  119. 119
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CT scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    10/31/13- Had a CT scan of pelvis, chest and neck. With and without contrast. There are two lumps on the left side of my neck. Possibly swollen lymph nodes. I've noticed them getting bigger and now uncomfortable (some pain). Hopefully this CT scan shows what's going on.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  120. 120
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Symptoms

    Pain in the lower left side of my back. Also pain on the left side of my abdomen by my bellybutton. Aside from that also a burning/stinging hot sensation right under the skin of my abdomen by the belly button. It feels tender to touch. If I lay down flat on my back it hurts more. It is minimal when I lay on my side in bed or sit/stand straight. I don't know what's going on. I've already told my doctor about it and I'm keeping an eye on the symptoms.

    0 Comments
  121. 121
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    11/6/13- My doctor called me, cancer is back. Not as bad as I had prepared myself for (Is that bad?). I don't want cancer back at all but the way I cope is to sometimes prepare for worst case scenario, so if anything is less than that, I can cope with it better. I know I'm in God's hands and I trust him. God knows that I don't want cancer. So I will continue to go through treatment to live. My new chemo cocktail is Taxol, Avastin and Topotecan. I'm praying that this works. I'm not sure when I'll be starting on chemo but hoping it is soon. My COBRA has expired and now I'm at the mercy of MediCal.

    3 Comments
  122. 122
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    11/9/13-The usual back pain I usual feel was 5 times worse tonight. I tried going to bed, tried laying down and my back hurt so so much. I tried changing position the way I usually do and the pain was so severe. The only way I didn't feel too much pain was standing or sitting straight up. The pain was on the left side of my back from midway up my back to my waist line. On the pain chart I would say the pain was an 8 or 9. I was so close to heading out to the ER. I took 600 mg of ibuprofen in the hopes it would help with the pain but it didn't. I prayed to God for the pain to stop. I was finally able to go to sleep. This morning the pain was only mild. I don't know if this back pain and the burning/stinging pain on my stomach are after effects from treatment. I've already mentioned it to my doctor and I hope we're able to figure out what's going on. I really don't like ignoring pain because it could be warning signs of something bigger that's going on.

    3 Comments
  123. 123
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    11/11/13- I went in for my first dose of chemo since May of this year today at 8:30 am. I packed my warm fuzzy blanket, ipod, kindle, a few water bottles, a banana, cell phone, and the chargers for all my devices just in case I ran out of battery. I arrived, got my blood pressure and weight taken. Then they walked me in to the chemo infusion room. I spoke with my doctor about certain concerns, like if the radiation cystitis would worsen with the chemo and if it was safe for me to take the medication Elmiron while on chemo. He said ok to take meds and would talk to radiation dept about cystitis, and also back pain and burning,stinging sensation on left side of abdomen. He mentioned Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for cystitis and possible MRI to find out what's going on with my back and abdomen pain. My doctor is awesome! My blood was drawn and then I had to wait. We waited for my lab results. To make sure everything was in order and safe for me to get chemo (poisoned).....LOL..How ironic is that? :D Anyways, the results were good so infusion of all anti nausea, benadryl, steroids, and chemos was approved. First came the Avastin, then Topotecan and finally Taxol. Just thinking about chemo makes me dry heave right now. But I'm ok. The hospital provided lunch. They give you a menu and have you circle everything you want. All I had in my stomach was a bottle of water and a banana, so I was very hungry. I don't usually like starting chemo on an empty stomach because when they give me benadryl it gives me severe leg anxiety/restlessness. It wasn't too bad today though. Anyways, for lunch I ordered a LOT of food. With hospital food it's a hit or miss so I wanted to increase my chances of picking something good. I ordered a garden salad with Italian dressing, tuna salad with veggies, slice of wheat bread, mashed potatoes with gravy and steamed veggies, apple juice, crackers, chocolate pudding and vanilla ice cream. That is a lot! I ate pretty much everything. The only thing I didn't finish were the veggies, too much. I sat there getting infused for hours. I watched a couple of episodes of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. Then I listened to my Phoenix radio station on Pandora. I napped until 4:30 pm. I got up only 3 times to go to the bathroom in a zombie type manner connected to my IV pole. Then it was finally time to go home. Before leaving I asked the nurse for a copy of my lab results and also of the results for my recent CT scan. I like to have a record of everything. Tomorrow I go back to the infussion room for my second dose of Topotecan. They said it should only take a couple of hours. Then Wednesday my third dose. This is what my routine will be every 3 weeks. My doc said I will have 2-3 cycles like this, then another CT scan to check progress. So far so good. Was a bit tired when I got home. I ate a banana, drank some water and laid down in bed. I got a bit nauseous so I drank a Zofran pill. Then I ate dinner, grilled mushrooms with lime, black beans, and rice with chicken and a slice of butter with toast. Day #1 over. :)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  124. 124
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    11/12/13- I went in today for my second dose of Topotecan. This chemo drug is given in 3 doses because it's too strong to be given in one. Infusion time only took about 2 1/2 hours. I was at the cancer center for about 3 1/2 hours though. I entertained myself watching some more Grey's Anatomy. I just started season 8. :) The hospital was nice to get me lunch. I was starting to feel a bit nauseous but because I had an empty stomach, again all I ate in the morning was a banana and a bottle of water with my 2nd day Emend pill and Zofran. So here's what I ate for lunch...lol.....Part of a garden salad with Italian dressing, a chicken chef salad with grilled chicken, swiss cheese , hard boiled egg, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and carrot over a bed of lettuce. I didn't finish all the lettuce, it was too much. I also ate mashed potatoes w/gravy, slice of bread w/butter, drank apple juice, and had some vanilla ice cream for desert. Hungry much? Yeah. After I left the cancer center I headed to my appointment with my gyno-oncologist Dr. Michael Lin. I was happy to see him. Talked to him about everything going on, the chemo, the after effects of radiation, everything. He checked my vagina and told me it wasn't dead...LOL...ok maybe not that way but he told me it was "workable" so to make sure and use the dilator and/or have sex. That's a work in progress I guess. I still haven't used the dilator but I'm just gonna have to deal with it and use it. Dr Lin agreed with my current treatment plan. I love my doctors. I left his office feeling happy. Then I chatted up with the nurses up front, since all these steroids and anti nausea meds have me all chit chatty. Afterward I came home to rest for a minute, then my son called and I went to pick him up from the school bus stop. On the way home I stopped by Rite Aid and picked up the Cymbalta to help stop the progression of the neuropathy. I really hate having to take pills on top of pills on top of pills but this is what my life is right now so I just have to do what I have to do. Oh, and now I'm enjoying some home made cheese quesadillas that my son made me! Yum!! :)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  125. 125
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    11/13/13- This was my 3rd dose of Topotecan this week. I felt ok for the most part. My energy levels were high. I'm thinking because of all the Decadron (Dexamethasone) and antiemetics given to me. This day was the same as yesterday. I spend about 3 hours in the infusion room only. My appetite has been good, just my taste buds have been off.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
  126. 126
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    11/14/13- I went back to the cancer center for my shot of Neulasta. When I had COBRA I had the shot delivered to my house and my wonderful cousin would come over and give me the shot. This time since I'm on straight MediCal, the cancer center gives me the shot. It still hurts/burns when I get the shot but just glad I can take care of it at the cancer center and not have to deal with mail order prescriptions. Driving to and from the center today was a bit harder to do. The fatigue and general feeling of being sick is starting to hit me. Hoping the next few days go by quick.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  127. 127
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    0 Comments
  128. 128
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    0 Comments
  129. 129
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    Just general soreness all over. The bump/tumor on the side of my neck has been hurting. Hope it's the Avastin doing it's job and cutting off blood supply to it. The small pains here and there on their own aren't severe but when you add them all together, I just feel like I want to lay in bed and sleep so I don't have to feel any of it.

    0 Comments
  130. 130
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    tumor found in different location

    Oh No

    11/24/13- I met with my doctor last Thursday 11/21/13 for a follow up. He informed me the pain I have been feeling on my back was due to a small tumor near my spine (not in the bone). He says it is probably pressing up against some nerves which is the reason for the pain. He said after I had mentioned the pain to him he had the radiologist re-review the scans and that is how they saw the small tumor. We have hope that the chemo gets rid of it. On a brighter note, I've noticed just after one cycle of the new chemo combo that the enlarged lymph node on my neck has gone down in size! Yay! Hopefully this means that the chemo is doing the same to the rest of the cancer. This past weekend I was able to meet up with some co-workers/friends to celebrate their birthdays. I had a lot of fun hanging out and dancing. Of course I made sure to take breaks between songs but still managed to work up a sweat and shake my booty on the dance floor. Saturday I was able to drive down to spend time with my boyfriend. It was great being with him. He was so sweet and cooked for us (the kids and I) both days. I came back home on Sunday and was able to watch our Sunday episode of The Walking Dead with my kids and two of my best friends. Overall, it was a good weekend.

    0 Comments
  131. 131
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    12/2/13- So I have lost my pixie hair style. I had started liking the style a lot. Unfortunately my hair started falling off last week. It started with a sore feeling of the scalp, sort of like the feeling you get after wearing your hair tied up in a tight ponytail all day and then letting your hair loose...know what I mean? It even hurt to touch different sections of hair. Combing/brushing hurt a bit too. Then my scalp started getting itchy and the hair started falling out. Not in clumps but enough to land on my shoulders, the floor, my pillow, everywhere. It got annoying. I finally decided to go get it shaved off this past Saturday, at a barber shop, not a beauty salon, in front of a room full of men. They were all very kind and compassionate. They asked me questions, which I didn't mind. Now I'm sporting the bald look again and I'm ok with it. I get to start wearing my beanies and hats for winter again. Also, today I was to get chemo treatment but unfortunately my platelets are too low and it isn't safe. I have to wait until next Monday for treatment. Hoping the platelets go up by then. There is a silver lining however. Since the chemo got pushed one week, this means I will get to celebrate both Christmas and New Years hopefully chemo side effect FREE!!! Yay!

    0 Comments
  132. 132
    about 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia)

    Side Effects

    12/3/13- I've been eating stuff like tuna, drinking lots of water, eating beans, spinach, and other leafy greens in the hopes that my platelets come up in time for chemo next week.

    0 Comments
  133. 133
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    12/9/13- I took my pre-chemo doses of Dexamethasone (aka Decadron) and was ready for chemo. Everything pretty much went about the same at the chemo infusion room except for one thing, about half way through the infusion I lost my voice. I'm not exactly sure when this happened since I had been napping. I woke up when a fellow cancer patient was leaving and I tried to say goodbye to her, the only thing was I could barely speak. You could only hear every other word I said. It was weird. The nurses were concerned and told my doctor right away. I wasn't in any pain but regardless had the nurses take all my vitals. Everything came back normal so he said to just keep an eye out on the symptom and call him if anything else happened. That night I still had no voice. My appetite was good and I ate. At around bedtime I started feeling the bottom half of my face (from my nose down to my chin) tingling and numb. It was a really weird feeling, it sort of reminded me of the feeling I got as a kid after I'd stick my face out the window in the car with the wind blowing on it. A weird sort of numbness/tingling all over, except this time it was just half my face. I didn't feel any pain and just went to sleep that way. The next day I had my voice back and the weird numbness was gone.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  134. 134
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    12/10/13-Infusion day #2 this week. I went in to the infusion room for my 3 hour infusion of Topotecan and Avastin. My doctor wasn't in today so I told his colleague about the weird face numbness that happened last night. Was advised to keep an eye out again and if anything more severe happens to head to the ER. Appetite is still good today but taste buds are all wacky. Nothing tastes the way it should. I had to force myself to eat but fortunately the nausea has been pretty minimal. Around bedtime my left foot started hurting a lot. It definitely felt like neuropathy. It has always been pretty minimal, this time around I couldn't even stand on it because it hurt so much. I sort of hobbled over to my bed and just went to sleep. I woke up the next day and no more pain on my foot. Thank God.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  135. 135
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    12/11/13- Infusion day #3. Same routine as day #2. This time I told my doctor about the neuropathy I experienced last night. He said the Taxol might be catching up to me. Chemo is cumulative and he says we'll see how my body handles this round. He said depending on how I do there is a possibility we might stop the Taxol and continue with just Avastin and Topotecan for the last round. My doctor also ordered an MRI, he wants to make sure nothing's going on up in my head.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  136. 136
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    12/12/13- This was my last trip to the cancer center this week. I went in to have the Neulasta shot administered. Quick and pretty painless to get.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  137. 137
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    0 Comments
  138. 138
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweats)

    Side Effects

    Just the chills and sweats.

    0 Comments
  139. 139
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Diarrhea

    Side Effects

    12/13/11- After lunch today I started feeling upset stomach.

    0 Comments
  140. 140
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Diarrhea

    Side Effects

    12/14/13- I don't know if it was something I ate or what. My stomach has been hurting a lot. I haven't taken anything for the pain in the hopes that it goes away. I've had diarrhea and been trying to stay hydrated. I've had to switch to eating just toast, bananas and applesauce. Anything else makes my stomach hurt even more. Laying down holding a pillow to my stomach makes the pain less so that's what I've been doing. Tummy aches suck.

    0 Comments
  141. 141
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Loved one in the ER

    Oh No

    12/16/13- Today I found out my boyfriend who had been experiencing some stomach pain yesterday, had to go to the emergency room. He had to go into surgery for an appendectomy. I was feeling ok so I decided to drive down to be with him.

    0 Comments
  142. 142
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    MRI of my head

    Procedure or Surgery

    12/27/13- Went in for an MRI of my head. The doc wants to make sure nothing's going on in my noggin. Had been having some head aches, face numbness, buzzing in my ear. He just wants to double check. Hoping all is well. By the way, just wanted to also share that this MRI was easier to do than the last one. Last time the machine kept pulling my hair anytime the bed moved and they didn't give me any ear plugs so I was being tortured with all the loud noises coming from the machine. However, this time, I was sent to a different location. The technician was really nice. I was given ear plugs, a warm blanket and some very soft cushions that hugged the sides of my head. I didn't like the plastic "cage" that they put over your head but it wasn't that bad. The earplugs and cushions muffled the loud electronic sounds coming from the machine. I sort of felt like I was at a rave...LOL....or in a Daft XXX music video. :D Then the technician injected the contrast, which was painless. So much better than the other imaging place I've gone to.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    2 Comments
  143. 143
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    1/13/14- Chemo day #1 of 3 this week. Spent the day at the infusion room from 9am-5pm. This is my 3rd cycle of Taxol, Avastin, Topotecan. A couple of hours after the Avastin infusion I noticed my voice was affected again. I began losing my voice. No sore throat, no pain, just my voice was affected. I ate lunch at the infusion room, so far appetite and taste buds are ok. I didn't get much sleep last night, about 30 mins total. I thought I would fall asleep at the infusion room but that didn't happen. Hopefully I'll get some rest tonight.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  144. 144
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    1/14/14- Day #2 of chemo this week. Shorter infusion time since second day I don't get any Taxol. Spent 3 hours at the infusion room. Had a big lunch while getting chemo. Ate salad, pork chops with mashed potatoes and some cranberry juice and banana. I managed to sleep about 3 hours last night, the steroids and other meds have kept me awake. I'm not tired, but I'm sure this lack of sleep will catch up to me soon. Eating dinner was a bit hard. I was starving but had no appetite. So I ate regardless and everything tasted horrible. I forced the food down.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  145. 145
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    1/15/14- Chemo day #3 this week. Went by quick. I sat by 3 very sweet ladies that were getting chemo. One for Ovarian cancer, another for cervical stage 4 like me and the 3rd for breast cancer. It was nice having the company and being able to joke around, laugh and share. For some reason I always have such a big appetite when I'm in the infusion room. Just glad I was able to eat again. Later in the evening dinner was pretty small, no appetite and screwy taste buds. Forced dinner down. Fatigue finally hit, went to sleep at about 10 pm and didn't wake up until 1:00 pm the next day.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  146. 146
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    1/16/14- Went in to the infusion room just to get my shot of Neulasta. Hoping the bone pain and muscle aches aren't too severe this week. So far only minor aches and soreness from the Taxol.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    3 Comments
  147. 147
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweats)

    Side Effects

    1/17/14- 1/21/14-Chills, sweats, no fever, hot flashes, fatigue, bleeding (anal and nose), nasal congestion, buzzing/ringing in my ear (right side), constipation, bone & muscle pain from the Taxol & Neulasta. I've also started feeling pressure and soreness on my chest. Most of these side effects aren't felt all at the same time and are not constant thank God. I just remind myself that the harsh days will pass.

    0 Comments
  148. 148
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CT scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    1/30/14- Ct scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis. Results came back and showed tumors as dead cancer. CA 125 came back within normal range, however my doctor said there were innumerable tiny spots on both sides of my lungs that came up. He said compared to the last scan, they had gotten a tiny bit bigger. At this point they're not sure if it's cancer. They are too small to biopsy. So the plan now is to do two more cycles of the Taxol, Topotecan & Avastin regimen, followed by another CT scan to see the effect of treatment. I'm hoping and praying for this cancer to be gone for good.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    2 Comments
  149. 149
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2/3-2/5/14 - Drove to the cancer center on Mon, Tues and Wed for chemo. By Wednesday fatigue started to kick in. After my first dose of chemo this week I again started losing my voice. This time it wasn't as bad but I sounded pretty hoarse. This went away after a couple of days. I've also been experiencing pressure in my chest area. It almost feels like someone's sitting on my chest and I feel a bit short of breath. Every now and then I also feel a bit of soreness on the left side of my chest. When I eat it feels like the food doesn't go all the way down to my stomach. A few times at night I've felt my pulse rate speed up. Like if I've just ran a mile or something. I have been told that the Avastin does increase blood pressure so maybe this is part of that. I've also noticed an increase in mucous from the sinuses, and it all seems to go straight to the back of my throat, I hate it. I keep blowing my nose and so much comes out, fortunately it's all clear mucous but it's just so annoying. A few times I've blown my nose a little hard and I have been getting nosebleeds. Fortunately those stop pretty quick. I've informed my doctor of everything that is going on. At this point we're just keeping an eye on all the symptoms.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  150. 150
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2/7/14- I usually go for my Neulasta shot on Thursday but it was raining yesterday, and I was feeling really achy and sore. I went in today instead.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  151. 151
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    2/8/14- Bone pain/muscle pain. The pain felt very similar to when you dip you hands inside a bucket of cold ice...you know...the pain you start feeling. That's exactly how my legs felt. I didn't take any pain meds, just slept a lot. My sister and daughter were very kind and massaged my legs and that helped a lot. I know tomorrow will be a better day.

    0 Comments
  152. 152
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Relationship issues

    Oh No

    6 year relationship ended... "Dear God please give me the strength to continue to move forward, to continue facing challenges gracefully and to give me wisdom to accept the things I can't change. Please guide me and help me to continue to live in a way that reflects the unconditional love you have shown me."

    4 Comments
  153. 153
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Digestive issues? Heart issues?

    Side Effects

    2/12/14- I spoke with my doctor. I've been experiencing chest pain off and on. I will be seeing a cardiologist because at this point we're not sure if it might be an issue with my heart or GERD, or acid indigestion There are a few symptoms that have become regular for the past two cycles of this new chemo drug combo. I started feeling "pressure" in the middle of my chest and sometimes on the left hand side. I noticed I would burp more often and sometimes regurgitated food. I know I'm sorry, that's gross. After a meal I kept having the feeling of food being stuck in my esophagus, like not fully going down to my stomach. I feel shortness of breath. Definitely sounds like a digestive issue right? So I took Tums (which I've never taken in my life), and that seemed to help. Then the other night, as I blew my stuffy nose, I felt a sharp piercing pain on the left side of my chest. That hurt. I just kind of massaged and applied mild pressure and the pain went away. A couple of minutes later my dad was showing me a funny video and I laughed, again, the sharp piercing pain on the left side of my chest. This one hurt more than the one prior. Now I was scared. My dad saw me and he became concerned. He told me he could drive me to the ER. The pain didn't last long, only a few seconds. I don't know if this is something serious or not. I just told my dad I would call my doctor in the morning to let him know what was going on. Which I did. My doctor said if I experienced it again to go to the ER immediately. In the meantime, he will refer me to a cardiologist to check this heart of mine.

    1 Comment
  154. 154
    almost 6 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    2/24- 2/27/14- Oh boy has it been a week! I had chemo Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and today Thursday I went in for my Neulasta shot. I am physically wiped out! There was a bit of a difference in the way the chemo affected me this week. Usually, all the pre-chemo drugs (steroids,etc)) keep me pretty energetic the first 3 days, not this time around. Each day I went in for chemo, I fell asleep once the Benadryl was given to me, I woke up, and it was time to drive home. Once I got home, I went straight to bed. I couldn't keep my eyes open. I tried eating and drinking fluids as much as I could in between sleeping. I honestly don't think I've experienced a level of fatigue as high as I have this time around. I don't like it at all. I feel like the days just pass me by and I'm unconscious for most of it. Bleh. Thank God it's not always like this. Anyways! Right now I'm just enjoying the sound of the rain. We haven't had much of that here in LA. They say it's going to rain the next three days but who knows. I'm just glad the weekend is almost here, and that means less lonely days here at home during the day. I love having a full house, with the kids and my parents here. Company is always good. :) I had wanted to take the kiddos to the Festival of Whales this coming weekend but I don't think that will happen. First, because of the rain to be expected and second, because I don't know if my body will feel up to it. We'll see. :)

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  155. 155
    over 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CT scan (Chest only)

    Procedure or Surgery

    3/12/14- Went in for a CT scan of my chest. This time around I didn't have to drink the yucky smoothie. "Breathe in, hold your breath"...then "Breathe". I'm so used to it by now. I already know my CT scan technician by name and he knows mine. He's really nice and I feel like I'm in good hands every time I go. He told me to drink water before the scan, that it makes the veins more visible and larger, which in turn means it will be easier for the tech to insert the contrast needle. I will review scan results with my doctor next week at my next chemo appointment.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  156. 156
    over 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    3/18/13- Wow, I haven't updated since my last chemo. Not much has been going on. With this chemo regimen I'm on it just feels like my body has less time to recover. It used to feel like 2 weeks of no chemo, now it feels like it's only one week because before I notice, it's time for the next chemo round again. It goes by too fast. I think fatigue has played a large part in this. However I did get to do "some" non cancer activities these past 3 weeks. We celebrated my sister's 32nd birthday here at home with family and friends on March 2nd. That was a lot of fun. I had also made plans to go to a Whale Festival with the kids the day before but unfortunately it decided to rain here in LA and so that wasn't doable, plus the event was cancelled and rescheduled for April. We just stayed home and enjoyed the rain, which was still great. The following weekend, on Saturday, I had wanted to go to an Irish Festival, but that was a good hour and half drive away, I just didn't have the energy for it. Instead, I went thrifting. My dad told me about the neatest and biggest thrift store ever! They have so many cool things and the prices are super cheap! The place is only 5 minutes away! Hey, being on a disability income this kind of comes in handy. However, I've been a bit concerned about the cleanliness/germ issue. I don't want people to stare but I'm really thinking about wearing a mask and gloves when I go. The dust just gets to me. Have I told you I'm addicted to board games? Yes, I love playing them, with my kids, family or friends. It's a great pastime, especially when you are stuck at home. I especially love strategy games, makes me feel like I'm exercising this chemo brain of mine. Well, I found a bunch of them here, practically brand new for 99 cents to $1.99 each! What a steal! Addiction satisfied! LOL :D Anyways, I feel I'm rambling. Oh, and I've also been coming up with a bunch of projects to work on here at home, but I'll talk about that later. March 14th (Friday) all my friends showed up at my house, brought dinner and we hung out, had some good talks and laughs and watched movies. That was awesome! I always love company. Don't know what I'd do without them. Today's chemo (3/18) went by pretty fast. My doctor came by the infusion room and we went over my latest scan results. The results are good, everything seems to be shrinking and some spots are even gone! Yay!! So for now, chemo continues in hopes that it all goes away and I'm declared NED! Yes please! I went over certain side effects with him, the ones I could remember at the time. One of them being the blood in urine thing caused by radiation cystitis. I told him it started up again so he recommended Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. He had nothing but good stuff to say about it, so he's going to order the procedure. I'm a little nervous about it, but if it can cure the cystitis, then I'm just going to have to do it. The rest of the day I spent sleeping for the most part. Lunch arrived, I ate, then fell asleep again. Then the girl that gives massages came and I asked her to please massage my legs, she wanted to do my feet too but my feet are off limits to anyone. Don't ask why. LOL. The leg massage felt sooo good I fell asleep, hope she wasn't insulted. I do remember sort of telling her that it felt really good at one point. I did keep waking up to go to the bathroom several times. It's became a bit of a hassle to disconnect my pole from the wall jack, and untangle all my IV lines, and roll it to the bathroom, oh well, deal with it. :| I finally woke up and it was time to leave. I had a tuna sandwich for dinner, which I had to force down by the way. Not because it wasn't good but because my taste buds made it taste like it wasn't good. I've been awake since then! It's already 4:57am here in LA! I haven't slept at all. This is not good! My kids wake up in about 3 minutes to get ready for school and I have to drive them to the bus stop at 6 am, then get ready to go to day #2 of chemo. Oh boy! Wish me luck!

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  157. 157
    over 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4/16/14 through 4/18/14- Went in for chemo after having such an awesome time in the Grand Canyon. I expected to be kind of sore from the trip but I wasn't. My energy level was high, a bit surprising. Maybe it was because I was looking forward to spending time with my family on Easter Sunday.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  158. 158
    over 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    5/13 through 5/15/14- Bloodwork Monday, Chemo Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Friday Neulasta. Same routine each time. My energy levels are all over the place. I'm down one day, I'm up the next, then I'm hibernating another, then I'm ready to go and can't sleep. It's insane. I'm just glad that any pain I do have is minimal. My doc and I had been worried about my heart since I had been experiencing chest pain. I saw the cardiologist and he said my heart seemed fine after he ran some tests. I am scheduled to do a stress echocardiogram next week, hoping my body will be ok to do it. I've never done this test before. This weekend is also the Strawberry Festival but I had to pass on it this year. Haven't been feeling too good and I just want to rest this weekend.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  159. 159
    over 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CT scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    6/4/14-Another day another scan. I keep myself busy and let got handle any worry for me. Will discuss results with my doctor when they are ready.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  160. 160
    over 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    6/17-6/18/14- Chemo week=hibernation week. Chemo side effects have made it dangerous to drive myself to and from treatment. My cancer center has helped me with transportation. I am so thankful for this. Being able to have peace of mind that I have a safe way to get to my treatments is such a blessing. I have been able to maintain my weight, I eat lunch at the infusion room and try to eat at home. Once I get home I end up sleeping a lot. In a way it is better because the days go by faster this way. Thankfully I haven't been in too much pain.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    2 Comments
  161. 161
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Hospitalized

    Oh No

    8/29/14 through 9/4/14- Had to be taken to the ER due to swollen feet and ankles. I couldn't walk and was in pain. All sorts of tests were done to try to determine why. Platelet counts were really low and I had a blood transfusion. I was placed in isolation for a few days since the infectious diseases doctor was called because of a suspected fungal lung infection. Thankfully most of my nurses that took care of me were really nice and treated me like family. I was able to have visitors so that was good. After all the tests were run (ct, xray, mri, ekg, ultrasounds, tons of blood, urine, etc etc tests) all came back negative for any crazy diseases so doctors basically said it was the antibiotics I was on that caused the swelling. I was told to stop taking them, which I did, and within a couple of days my feet went back to normal.

    0 Comments
  162. 162
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    CT Guided Needle Biopsy of Lung Nodules

    Procedure or Surgery

    9/3/14- This procedure was done while I was hospitalized for the adverse reaction to antibiotics. My regular oncologist consulted with radiology about the most recent results of a ct scan and they decided that a couple of the spots on my lungs were now big enough to safely biopsy. The biopsy was needed to confirm if the spots were a fungal lung infection or still the cervical cancer. The following is a recollection of the procedure as much as I'm able to remember... I was taken down to a room with a ct scan machine inside. I was told to lay on the bed on my stomach. First an ultrasound machine was brought in an an ultrasound was done. Afterwards, several scans of my back were taken. An IV needle was placed in my arm and I was given a sedative intravenously to relax me. Some stickers were placed on my back and then they marked on the stickers and my skin where they would insert the biopsy needle. Once they determined where the biopsy needle would be inserted they removed the stickers and injected local anesthetic in the area surrounding the needle's path. I think out of the whole procedure, this is the part that hurt the most. The injecting of the anesthetic felt like being pricked by a small needle on your back, then a painful burning sensation followed. The burning sensation didn't last long but it did happen each time anesthetic was injected. After the local anesthetic took effect they inserted the biopsy needle into my back. I know at some points they asked me to breathe in and hold my breath. I felt when the biopsy needle went in, it felt like strong pressure of something pushing inside my chest, not painful, just a bit uncomfortable and a weird feeling. They did this a few times until they had good samples to send to pathology. At one point I was told that I might get the urge to cough and to just let them know if I was about to cough. I was also told that I might cough up blood and to not be alarmed as that was normal. I remember I did get the urge to cough and was scared that by coughing I would somehow cause the needle to puncture my lung, but I was assured that that wouldn't happen. When the procedure was done, they just placed a tiny little round band-aid on my back and that was the only evidence of the whole procedure. I was advised to try not to cough but there were time when I just couldn't hold it in. So I coughed up blood and the scariest was seeing blood clots, all normal, according to the doctor. I did notice it hurt to breathe in deep, so I tried to keep my breathing a little shallow at first. Little by little I normalized my breathing. It still did hurt but that slowly went away. I was taken for a follow up scan and was informed I had a small pneumothorax (air between my lungs and chest wall). I was monitored overnight in case it got worse. Thankfully the air dissipated and all went back to normal. Had a final CT to make sure all was ok and I was finally able to be discharged from the hospital. Yay!! Results of the biopsy will be reviewed with my oncologist next week.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  163. 163
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemo has stopped working

    Oh No

    9/10/14- yesterday I met up with my oncologist to review the lung biopsy results from last week. Turns out the spots are still cancer and not a lung infection as suspected. The chemo/treatment (Taxol, Topotecan, Avastin) I was on has stopped working which is why the spots have been getting a little bigger. I am now moving on to the next phase of my treatment which is clinical trials. My oncologist and I are currently waiting to hear back from an oncologist that specializes in gynecological cancers at UCLA. We've already heard back from a doctor at USC. I will be going in for a consult with both doctors to go over details of the current trials available for me. Both my oncologist and I are very hopeful that one of these clinical trials will work. So I march ahead, head held high because the Lord is with me and by my side.

    1 Comment
  164. 164
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Start a clinical trial?

    Decision Point

    9/18/14- I met up with Dr. Wainberg at UCLA for a consultation regarding a clinical trial that has opened up for my type and other types of cancer. This new trial is not chemotherapy, it is considered "immunotherapy". I needed to decide if I want to start the study in 2 weeks, October 2nd. My oncologist advised this is a good option for me and I trust him so I have chosen to participate in the study. For those that would like to know additional information about what the trial is about, I've included the following... The drug being tested is called MEDI4736. What is MEDI4736? It is an antibody made in a lab. Antibodies are natural proteins made by our immune system that binds other proteins and molecules to fight infection and it's ill effects. It is a human monoclonal antibody directed against programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Signals from PD-L1 help tumors avoid detection by the immune system. MEDI4736 blocks these signals, countering the tumor’s immune-evading tactics. MEDI4736 is being developed to empower the patient’s immune system and attack the cancer. The purpose of the study is to determine the dose of MEDI4736 that is safe and tolerable in subjects with solid tumors. It will also evaluate how much MEDI4736 is in my blood at various times, whether my immune system becomes activated following treatment and/or if my body produces antibodies against MEDI4736, as well as the effect that MEDI4736 has on the cancer. Of course there are risks/side effects of this treatment but the possible benefits outweigh the risks and possible side effects. I am hopeful and excited to participate in this study, not just for myself but for everyone out there that is having to deal with a cancer diagnosis.

    0 Comments
  165. 165
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Needle Biopsy of Lymph Node

    Procedure or Surgery

    9/30/14- Before I start the clinical trial they need a fresh tumor sample. I went in to UCLA for a needle biopsy of a lymph node near the left side of my collar bone. This is my third needle biopsy, I can say without a doubt that I don't like them. One good thing is that everyone at UCLA hospital was very friendly and attentive. This particular biopsy was ultrasound guided. I asked them to please give me enough anesthetic because I did not want to feel any pain. Of course they didn't. Boo. I was awake through 90% of the procedure. Again, the injecting of the anesthetic was that poking, burning combination. I had a physician in training ("fellow") working on me. It was sort of unsettling to hear the main surgeon telling the trainee "Not there, no, no, ok, yes, right there". I'm laying there and the whole time I feel like I'm this guys guinea pig, like a frog being dissected, the learning tool. I was NOT happy. I get it, people have to learn somehow, I'd just prefer to not be awake while they're learning on me. Anyways! This "fellow" guy kept making mistakes, lol, why me??? I was so close to telling him not to touch me any more. I was in pain and I asked them for twilight because this whole being awake thing was making me nervous and stressed. The last thing I remember hearing was "OMG, do you see that?! Yes, that milky white fluid, no, no, yes, there, give me that, let's get a sample and get it sent for testing" I was OUT. Turns out that white stuff came out of a cyst that was next to the lymph node they were taking samples of. What caused it? Who knows. Mr "fellow" poked the wrong area and discovered it. LOL! Glad that's over!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  166. 166
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    MEDI4736 (Immunotherapy)

    Clinical Trial

    10/2/14- Today was my first dose of this experimental drug. I was in the hospital from 11:00am until 6:30pm. A super long long day! This facility is really nice. It's separate from the main hospital and actually faces the Pacific Ocean, which is what I noticed first. I knew I wanted an infusion chair facing the ocean. It looked so pretty from the 6th floor. I had and EKG done prior to the first dose, I was given a questionnaire to answer. I was finally given MEDI4736 via my power port. The infusion only took a little over an hour. I also had to have my vitals taken every 15 minutes while I received the infusion. After infusion I had to have another EKG. Then I continued to be monitored for 2 hours after end of infusion. Everything went well. I feel ok. No side effects from what I can tell. I will be receiving this drug every 2 weeks.

    2 Comments
  167. 167
    about 5 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    My daughter's Sweet Sixteen!

    Celebration

    10/3/14- My daughter is officially sixteen! We will be celebrating it tomorrow at a bowling alley with family and friends. It is a Glow and Bowl theme. I can't wait! I am so thankful to be able to share this wonderful milestone in her life. Thank you God.

    0 Comments
  168. 168
    over 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    clinical trial drug (MEDI 4736) stopped working

    Oh No

    3/2015- Was taken off the trial. After a few months of things being "stable ", too much growth started to happen.

    0 Comments
  169. 169
    over 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4/2015- Had 4 weeks of radiation to my collarbone & neck. I also had 5 treatments of radiation to my spine (T9) to ease pain caused by another tumor. Radiation was successful, both tumors shrunk significantly and the pain went away. Yay! :)

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  170. 170
    over 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    BMN 673 + Irinotecan

    Clinical Trial

    5/7/15- Today I started a new clinical trial at UCLA. It is called a Parp Inhibitor trial.

    3 Comments
  171. 171
    over 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Parp Inhibitor Trial (BMN 673)

    Clinical Trial

    Completed Dose #5 of Irinotecan, continue taking the experimental drug on a daily basis. My prior dose of 4 pills per day got lowered to 3 pills a day after having dangerously low blood counts that didn't seem to want to go up even with the help of Neupogen. So far, counts do get low with the 3 pills daily, but not too low. At least not enough to delay treatment or cause severe side effects.

    0 Comments
  172. 172
    over 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    7/31/15- I went in for Dose #6 of Irinotecan. I was told to arrive at 11:30am. I arrived at 11:17 am. Early for once. My kids were with me and we waited almost 2 hours for them to call us in. I was extremely frustrated, tired, and fatigued. Once they called me in, I was put in a small cubicle type area with 2 other patients and their companions. I felt claustrophobic. They gave me all the pre chemo meds via IV and I started feeling anxious, restless and emotional. I felt trapped in there it was horrible. I couldn't wait to leave. I was so heavily medicated after treatment that I had to stop driving and park somewhere to rest and close my eyes for a bit. It was scary. I was finally able to make it home. The whole treatment, waiting, fatigue, and not to mention the extreme heat we've been having here in LA made for a horrible time. Once I got home, I went straight to bed and slept. I slept for a good 4 1/2 hours. Thank God. I really needed that. I woke up around 9:30 pm and couldn't get back to sleep. I finally went to sleep around 5 am. I woke up today at 9:30 am. It has been a very tiring start to my weekend. Hopefully I get all my energy and strength back because I really want to go camping again with my family this coming week. Our destination, Yosemite National Park. I'm praying I'll be ok to go.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    2 Comments
  173. 173
    about 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Liver problems

    Oh No

    10/12/15- It's been a tough 3-4 weeks. So many different side effects (if you can call them that) have affected me. It's hard to stay positive when you are in so much pain. When the main focus of the day is to try not to feel any pain. It frustrates me and just makes me feel like poop. It hasn't been easy, but thankfully, at the end of the day, I hear a voice that tells me "It's going to be alright." Thank you God. Thank you Lord Jesus. No matter what the circumstances, I walk by faith. My labs this past week showed really high numbers for bilirubin, and other things. My doc said a sign of issues with the liver. I was sent to get a CT scan and he confirmed there is something blocking in my liver. He says it doesn't "look" like cancer but will go in, during an endoscopy to find out and they will try to unblock whatever is there. He has a suspicion it is just a gallstone. So finally I know why I've been feeling like doo-doo these past few weeks. So many digestive issues, bloating, acid reflux, gas, back pain, cough, nausea, vomiting, etc etc....ugh. It is 4:11 am right now. In a few hours I will be laying on a stretcher undergoing the procedure at UCLA hospital. I'm a little nervous. After all, who likes going to the hospital for procedures? I just really hope that this is an easy fix and that I start feeling better soon. I will trust in God to get me through as he always has. On a brighter note, yesterday I was able to go out with family and friends to celebrate a family friendly Oktoberfest (no beer for me). We do this every year to celebrate my dad's late September birthday. We did the chicken dance, enjoyed some live German music and had fun. Afterwards we went to the beach with friends. No swimming, just walking on the pier and enjoying the ambiance. It was really nice. By the end of the day I didn't feel so great, I was really tired. Thankfully I didn't drive so I was able to take a nap in the car. Now.....to get this week started. Hugs to everyone.

    0 Comments
  174. 174
    almost 4 years ago
    Lirasgirl33's Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    Hello Pals, Happy New Year to everyone. I hope my post finds you all doing good or at least getting through each day with hope and full of love. I would like to inform you all that this will be my last post here on Whatnext. I had to stop the clinical trial because the cancer progressed. My health deteriorated and since October, I've been hospitalized 3 times. I'm in Hospice care here at home with family. I keep praying for all of us dealing with cancer and send nothing but love, hugs and warm healing thoughts your way. Love you all. <3

    4 Comments