Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Free!!

After 3 long weeks of being hooked up to the heart monitor I am finally done! I woke up this morning to a text message on the monitor saying "your session is complete, please return immediately". Gladly :)
After having to pay such close attention, I definitely saw some things that line up with medications ( heart racing right before it is time to take my beta blocker, etc.) However, there were a couple of things I still don't understand and hope this monitoring will either explain or (hopefully) rule out any issues with my heart. I will post when I have the results.

Otherwise, feeling pretty well overall. Training is going well but my body is definitely starting to feel the higher mileage. We drop to 8 miles this weekend and then back to 11 next weekend.
More later...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shooting For The Moon ~ by Art Ritter

As our family and many others struggle with a cancer diagnosis, live with cancer, or when we loose someone to cancer it takes it's toll on all concerned. This post below was written by a friend, Art Ritter, who is a hodgkin lymphoma survivor. If you are reading this blog you are most likely affected by cancer in one way or another~ read this for all of us "living with cancer". Elayne

years ago today, the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed in my life occurred: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their giant leap for mankind to the lunar surface. Just days before that, on my 18th birthday, Apollo 11 blasted off from its launch pad as we all held our breath – a birthday I will always remember. Even now, I often look up at the moon in wonder, marveling that we walked - in my lifetime - on this object a quarter of a million miles out in space. And we did it at a time when most calculations were done with slide rules, and with primitive on-board computers you would barely trust to do a simple spreadsheet or organize your recipes now.

I have thought many times since having cancer that if we can get to the moon in 1969, why can’t we have cured cancer by 2009? Is it that much harder than getting to the moon, harder than rocket science? Apparently so. I guess this is true in part because there is no single disease called “cancer”. There are so many different types, each with its own biology. Each type must be decoded and understood to beat it. As I recall, what we refer to as non-Hodgkin lymphoma is actually more than 20 different diseases. And there are four distinct types of Hodgkin lymphoma. And that is just for what most people consider to be just two major forms of blood cancers. Lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer – each of these has multiple forms of illness, biologically similar but entirely different at the same time.

Of course, we have made much progress. In 1969, most forms of cancer were looked upon as a death sentence. Many people in my parents generation would not even say the word, calling it the “Big C”, as if uttering the name gave it some special power – kind of like the kids at Hogwarts referring to Lord Voldemort as “He Who Shall Not be Named” in fearful hushed voices. Now, there are more than 10 million cancer survivors in the USA alone.

If I had gotten my Hodgkin lymphoma as an 18 year old the day of the moon shot, my chances of surviving for five years would have been about 40% or even less. When I was diagnosed in 2002 with Stage 3 HL, my odds of living for five more years were about 80%, and someone with stage one of this illness would have better than a 9 in 10 chance of living five years. So with individual cancers, we have made some fantastic progress. I, for one, have benefited tremendously from this.

What will it take to cure the remaining cancers? I wish I knew. But perhaps it will take as massive a commitment as we made to get to the moon – a goal that seemed impossible other than in science fiction when President Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in 1962. But we did it – and not just in my lifetime but 40 years ago! If we made the same commitment today, it is hard not to imagine all cancers being curable within the next 40 years. What a huge difference that would make to so many millions of people and their families! It is obviously very hard, not at all easy, to cure cancer, but when have we shied away from great goals because they were difficult?

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win …”President John F. Kennedy 12 September 1962

Monday, July 20, 2009

update- heart monitor

Day 10 wearing the heart monitor and I must say I am so ready for this thing to come off. I have had to "record" events every day but can also see a pattern now that I have to pay such close attention to it.
Most of the time I feel my heart racing I see the reasons, some anxiety, lines up with medications, etc. Then other times it does not make sense, like when I am tired and rest ( usually laying down). I lay down and my heart starts racing?? I sometimes wake up in the morning with it racing. So... hopefully at the end of 3 weeks I will know more of what is going on and why.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Funny Picture from the Race

This is a picture Tim sent me from the Race for the Cure in June. It looks much more intense than it really was :) See the lady running beside me ( she scares me)? I didn't even know she was there :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Run For Your Life~

The American College of sports medicine Health & Fitness Journal found women who exercised at moderate to high aerobic intensity levels at least 150 minutes every week were three times less likely to die from breast cancer than women who did not


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Heart Monitor

Well, I have been wearing the monitor for a few days now and am already tired of it. All in all it really isn't that bad and the technology is really awesome. If I feel anything ( rapid heart beat, chest pain, etc) I just log it on this little monitor that looks like a cell phone. All the data goes to a company called Cardionet where I am being monitored 24/7. Then the doctor gets a report each morning including anything I recorded. It is pretty cool and they have not sent me any text messages saying there are problems so..... so far so good, but still have 19 days to go.

I did do a 10 mile run with it yesterday, and it really did not bother me too much. I am feeling much better now that it has been several weeks since my last treatments. I am looking forward to the results and hopefully I can continue on with my training and not worry.

That's about it for now~ Elayne

Friday, July 10, 2009


I spoke with my oncologist yesterday. He thinks the heart monitor is a good idea just to check while I am training but does not really think it is my heart. He is suspecting hypoglycemia. Monitor will come in the mail today and begin wearing it tonight for the next 3 weeks. I can take it off to swim ~ yeah!

We have decided that I am having too many side effects on the Faslodex so those injections are stopped. He will be starting me on another drug which will be oral vs the injection. Not sure which one yet either Femara or Arimadex.

Think I just need some "tweeking" of medications and prayers.. thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cardiologist visit yesterday~

my half hour echo turned into a 4 hour visit at the cardiologist. Had an echo and EKG done. Now have to wear a heart monitor for 3 weeks.... NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS :( But... this is what happens when you tell a cardiologist you SOMETIMES get dizzy,lightheaded, see spots and feel weak while running. OK my fellow runners does this happen to any of you?? Yes, I am fueled, hydrated and take my gel shots. Feedback appreciated from the runners/athletes and medical people out there :)

I am on a new drug, Faslodex ( have had 2 doses) and it seems to be messing me up in many different ways. The above mentioned problems did happen before the new drug but had gone away until I started back on the new drug.

My echo went from 52 % to 50%. Not heading in the right direction, doctor says I am low/normal and my heart rate is 59, also low but because I am a runner not so abnormal.

I am feeling similar to when I was on the drug Herceptin which did cause damage to my heart ( my echo then was 45%). So hopefully wearing this monitor will tell us something. I will also have lab work and another echo 1 week after my next Faslodex injection to see if there is any further change immediately following the dose.

There are just so many variables with the medications, heat, training, etc. that I unfortunately have to rule out the big ones first which always require lots of tests. Please be in prayer about getting to the bottom of this with us.
Thanks~ Elayne

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Test on Wednesday

Tomorrow I will have another echocardiogram to check out my heart. This should be a routine test and hopefully all is still well in this area. Last time all the tests on my heart were normal so I am hoping for the same this time.
I believe my doctor will have me come back for another stress test too. It is always funny when they ask me if I am able to walk on the treadmill:) Last time I had the test done the doctor put the TV on and said "this is going to take a while to get your heart rate up".
I am sooo thankful that I am able! Please pray that these tests remain fine and for wisdom about getting off the beta blocker. Last time I was there the doctor said she does not know why I need to be on them, however I start to have trouble when I try to get off them.
I really want to stop taking them especially while I am training for this marathon but not sure what the right thing to do is at this point ??
More later on the test results...


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