• CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    One year today I finished up chemo. It seems much longer ago than that. Still having check ups and regular blood work, but everything is going well. You can't see my port scar anymore which is great! The scars on my abdomen are getting much lighter. As these physical signs fade, my memories of the rough road I went though are fading too. I will never totally forget but it is nice that cancer isn't on my mind everyday.

    2 Comments
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      Congratulations on your anniversary....every step counts! Do something nice for yourself to celebrate!

      about 8 years ago
    • GolfGirl's Avatar
      GolfGirl

      That's terrific. Keep the posts up - your journey has helped me so much!

      about 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I went to see a neurologist today about the neuropathy in my feet. I was quite shocked to find out how severe the neuropathy was including no reflexes in my ankles. Since I'm not having any pain, I will not have any treatment. I will have an EMG (not happy about that!) to document current state.

    One thing I never thought of and I don't see mentioned here much, is the need to care of my feet as though I am a diabetic. Because I have limited feeling, I need to inspect my feet daily to make sure there are no cuts or infections brewing. I also should never go barefoot. Getting pedicures is OK but to be careful on how my nails are cut as I wouldn't feel if I was getting an ingrown toenail.

    I personally have found Crocs great for wearing around the house. I have fleece lined ones. I think they are comfortable, provide protection and stay on my feet. I'll have to think about this summer and wearing sandles and flip flops!

    1 Comment
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      I'm sorry to hear you are still having problems with your feet. What is an EMG? With all the tests I have had, I don't believe I have run across that one. Has your doctor suggested anything in the way of meds or supplements?

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I went to my first Gilda's Club meeting last night. I am participating in a Life After Treatment group. We had a doctor come and share how much is not known about how to treat cancer survivors and their lingers side effects. It was nice to know that I am not alone in what I am experiencing and that the doctors truly don't have all the answers to help. She did recomend a healthy diet, exercise daily and talk therapy. I will keep you posted as I learn more!

    1 Comment
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Thanks for the information about the club, others are probably glad to hear about it and might want to look one of them up.

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    My goal for 2013 was not to reach my deductible. I think I blew it already! I had to have some expected bloodwork today. And it's not even related to cancer!

    1 Comment
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      Yeah, this is the the year I go to 6 month scans, and thought, maybe, just maybe...and then I had to have an MRI for my back. I just keep writing that monthly check....

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I became a member of Gilda's Club last night. I was really impressed. I have been struggling with life after treatment and it was nice to know I'm not alone in my struggle. Apparently there are lots of people out there that lived through treatment and had goals and countdowns, ect., and then it was all over but you aren't all better yet. I'm looking forward to participating with the club and I'm glad I found lots more people feeling like I am.

    2 Comments
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      That's great Carol, let us know how that works for you, other's here would probably like to know. Around where I am at there isn't one, the nearest is 2 hours away.

      over 8 years ago
    • NanaL's Avatar
      NanaL

      Carol, am I mistaken or wasn't your BF diagnosed with colon cancer? Just wondering how all that is going? I may have you mixed up with someone else on "WhatNext" and if so sorry for the confusion. My chemo brain definitely causes short term memory loss. Best to you always!

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I always try to laugh when I can with things related to my cancer treatments and the side effects. After all, what's the alternative? So, I have had numb feet for about 6 months related to receiving chemo. I'm pretty used to it now so I don't notice it that much. So this morning, I'm in the shower washing my hair and I look down and see something on my foot. It scared me because I couldn't feel it. It was my sock! I didn't even realize I had a sock on. LOL! I started my morning with a giggle and still chuckle about it now.

    3 Comments
    • StunnedMike's Avatar
      StunnedMike

      I always loose my slippers because I do not feel them falling off.

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      It's good to have a chuckle about some things, it puts the bigger things into perspective sometimes. That's funny, I can picture looking down and thinking what the heck?

      over 8 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      During the summer, I would step out of my shoes/sandals & keep going for a few steps before I realized anything was wrong. Sometimes, people would have to tell me... And they would fall off when I was going up stairs. Fortunately, the feet are almost back to normal.

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    When I was in active treatment, I would see people post about anxiety related to having follow up testing. I couldn't understand the anxiety. I figured once you get through the treatments, you are cured and that's that. I guess that was a bit naive. I have my first follow up colonoscopy tomorrow morning. I have felt the anxiety building for some time. I get it now. At least with a colonoscopy, the results are quick!

    3 Comments
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      I think you HAVE to think like that, or else you will go crazy living your life in "what if" limbo. After all, many folks with cancer are "cured", and the odds get better every day. If it recurs, deal with it then. Having said that I have my first follow up colonoscopy in March, and I am sure I will be nervous as all get out!

      over 8 years ago
    • lorraine's Avatar
      lorraine

      Anxiety is getting to be a frequently used word even throughout treatment. I'm sure when it's time for my follow up colonoscopy I will have some anxiety. Good luck with yours. Hopefully it will be fast & non-eventful. Take care.

      over 8 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      Yes, but anxiety is at least a step down from terror & horror, and all the lovely gamut of emotions we go through from diagnoses to treatment....I'll take anxiety. Good luck tomorrow, Carol!

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    Just back from vacation. I had a fantastic time biking around the outer banks and visiting lighthouses. It gave me lots of time to think and reflect as well. Living as a survivor, at times, is harder than going through the treatment itself. Still working on getting back to life and realizing my life is not going to be exactly the same as it was pre-cancer in more ways than I thought.

    1 Comment
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      My wife likes lighthouses. When I was diagnosed in 2008 for the 3rd time, I took her to Maine. She always wanted to go see Portland Head lighthouse. So, we went, stayed gone over a week. REally enjoyed it. As you say, things won't be the same, and I look at things differently, as I imagine most of us do.

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    Leaving tomorrow on a vacation I booked prior to starting FOLFOX. I can't believe I made it through and feeling well enough to really enjoy a vacation. When I booked the vacation, I worried if I would be well enough. I am happy that I am not only well enough, but I'm cancer free!

    4 Comments
    • Jayne's Avatar
      Jayne

      Enjoy Carol! You have certainly earned this vacation! I'm so glad for you.

      over 8 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar
      teddyfuzz

      Have a great time Carol! You have earned this one!!!

      over 8 years ago
    • Mfausset1's Avatar
      Mfausset1

      Enjoy Carol, you deserve it!

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I am getting a flu shot today. It's the first medical care I have had, if you consider a flu shot medical care, since being released from my surgeon at the end of June. For some reason, the routine just doesn't feel routine any longer. I used to fill out medical assessments with no medical history. Now it's complicated! Still, I am happy to be healthy again even if I am forever changed.

    1 Comment
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      Lol..too true! I went in for a PET scan last week, and they are asking me all these questions about my medical history,and I'm like "Don't you have this stuff in your computers, already? It's not like it's the first time I have been here." :) And it's funny how your brain blocks so much out...I have a hard time remembering dates of chemo & surgeries, and almost completely forgot my radiation treatments. As my surgeon said "Hopefully, this will someday just be like a year-long bad dream"

      over 8 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    Back in the pool this morning. I was finally given the all clear to get back into all of my activities. I was absolutely thrilled! Wednesday will be yoga!

  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    One year ago today, I was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer. One year later, I made it through all of my treatments and I am cancer free!

  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I had my port out this morning. I am finally done with all of my treatments and procedures and just in surveillance at this time. My friends and I are going to celebrate with a bottle of champagne tonight! I don't have another doctors appointment for a check up until October!

    2 Comments
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      Congratulations!!! Have a blast tonite!

      almost 9 years ago
    • DorkGoddess' Avatar
      DorkGoddess

      Woohoo!!! Congratulations! That's fantabulous news!!!

      almost 9 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    My platelets are finally above 100! It has been two and a half months since my last chemo. I was beginning to think something else was wrong with me. Now I can finally get out there and play hard! Look out Pittsburgh, here I come!

  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    Just got home from Jamaica. It was nice to just hang with my friends like I used to before I was diagnosed. Had a great time eating and drinking and just relaxing. It was hard to come back home!

    1 Comment
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      That is great to hear - a well deserved vacation!

      almost 9 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    I had my post op appointment yesterday. My wound is healing well and I am now allowed to walk instead of just strolling and ride my bike again. :-D I am also allowed to start slowly adding raw fruits and veggies back in my diet. My Christmas present from my surgeon will be a colonoscopy but I will take it!

    2 Comments
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    Ahhh. Good to be back to my normal routine. My reversal surgery went really well. I was in the hospital a little longer than I had planned but I am already back to work, less than 2 weeks after surgery. Now on to focus on healing and recovering. My platelets are still low and my energy isn't back yet but I need to give it some time.

  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    3 days till surgery. Stressed to get things cleaned up at work and anxious about the surgery. Going to be a long 3 days with not a lot of sleep but I know good things are to come once I am through this. I have to keep my eye on the prize!

    1 Comment
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      We're totally rooting for you!

      about 9 years ago
  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    This is my last weekend before surgery. I plan on spending Saturday cleaning out my refrigerator, shopping for things to do while in the hospital and packing my bag. I'm feeling a little unsettled about the surgery but this is the last step for me to move from treatment to surveillance. That is really a good thing to keep focused on!

  • CarolLHRN's Avatar

    CarolLHRN posted an update

    Glad to be done with treatments and slowly getting back to my old routine. Still, something emotional is not quite right. I can't put my finger on it quite yet. It's not anxiety but I am not restful either. I hope to go for a long walk after work today to hopefully clear this up for me. Just 16 days to go till my reversal. It's getting so close!

    3 Comments
    • StunnedMike's Avatar
      StunnedMike

      What is a reversal?

      about 9 years ago
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar
      CarolLHRN

      My ileostomy will be closed and my bowels will work normally again. Yea!

      about 9 years ago
    • ttisme's Avatar
      ttisme

      Carol, just because we're finished treatments, doesn't mean our bodies are going to jump for joy! You still have a lot going on with your reversal and that healing process too.
      I feel like I'm in a fog. Something is missing. I feel fine, nothing is really bothering me. Maybe its just now having time to look back and process all that passed me up that last 6 months. When I asked Onc about after effects, I couldn't get a straight answer.

      about 9 years ago