Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This & That

Time is just flying by lately and I thought it would be much more fun to write about something more interesting than treatments.Sometimes I think it is easy to forget, that fighting cancer is just a part of your life, not all of it.One which no-one chooses but many of us have to live with day to day. With that said, here are some of the more enjoyable parts of my life to share.

Chris and I have received our passports and are looking forward to traveling to Europe for the first time! We will visit Tim in Prague and then spend some time in Great Britain. We have been busy trying to plan the trip out. It is quite time consuming and so difficult to pick what to do and where to go.Thankful for Rick Steves' travel books!
Speaking of Tim, he has decided to move back home in July and we are looking forward to all of us being together again.

Over Spring Break  we all decided it was time for a family camping trip. That is exactly what we did! Four crazy days at the lake camping. We started in shorts and left in 6 inches of snow! What a fun time we had playing sport toss,LOTS of Uno, making smores and beautiful walks in the snow.

Today began a new session of classes I am teaching and thoroughly enjoying! I teach a Ladies Boot camp and a 5k Learn to Run group as well as some personal training. It is so fun to be a part of  these groups and peoples lives, seeing the wonderful changes in their lives. One of the ladies tonight asked me " so when do we get that runners high"? :)

Everything is budding and blooming outdoors! I have planted some tulips, that are beautiful and  my garden is complete with herbs and veggies! The garden has always been organic, but this year we have decided to use all organic for the yard as well. Using fertilizer that smells like a chicken coop and nematodes for bug control. So far we have very green weeds and a garden that is doing ok. Not sure we know what we are doing, but we are learning.

Chris and I are thrilled to be running again and the last few runs have been fantastic! We are making it a priority to run 3 times a week ( plus what I do with my groups). I truly believe that running has played such a huge role in how fast I am recovering from surgery and radiation. You go into the treatments, etc. stronger and recover much faster. Even if all you can do is walk it helps!

This concludes a little of "this and that". Sometimes I just think about how happy I am and how much I am simply enjoying life right now :) God is so good to  me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Getting back out there!


After what seems like a very long time, Chris and I started back on our running schedule last night! Our evening runs are 4 miles. It was not easy nor did it look pretty ( nothing like the marathon runners we were just 4 months ago:) .  But after Surgery, 25 more radiation treatments and several new medications we are so thrilled and thankful to be back out there once again! News of what is next for the two of us coming soon.... it will be exciting!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cancer Update from Johns-Hopkins: Bottled water in your car is very dangerous!

Sheryl Crow's oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue. So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.... Pass this on to all the women in your life.

This information is the kind we need to know that just might save
us!Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic!

This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

No plastic containers in microwave.

No water bottles in freezer

No plastic wrap in microwave.

A dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.

He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us.

He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using
plastic containers.

This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastic releases
dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.
Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex
or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and
soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else.

Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper.

It's just safer to use tempered glass, CorningWare, etc.
He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved
away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saranwrap, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.

Cover food with a paper towel instead.

This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in Your life.

Today is a gift, embrace it

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Healing & Helping Hands

I am quite happy to say that the burns are finally healing and I am feeling much better! I was able to get a cream that helped with the pain and healing. It worked quite well and very fast. I now have a tan ( and peeling skin, yuck) in the most ridiculous of areas! My energy is also much better,but still have a ways to go.I have run a few times, but am not yet back to a regular routine.

Things got kind of rough there for a while and I feel so very fortunate to have had so many friends that brought us dinners and offered help. Each and every dinner was a blessing as that time of day is difficult from fatigue. So.. thank you everyone!

As I write this, my next blessing is Maria, who is here now! We decided to get some help with keeping up with cleaning the house. She is as sweet as can be and this allows me to handle teaching and training my clients and keep up with everything else.
For me, being able to teach, exercise and continue my "normal" day to day life is a vital part of staying well. These few things that may seem small have been a huge help!

With that said... it is time to pay bills, do the dishes and laundry! Have a wonderful Day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

chemo or not??

Today I saw my Onc. and spent quite a bit of time discussing what to do from here for my treatment.This is a difficult decision for me.When this was a new cancer and a rough 6 months was ahead, to aggressively treat it I could wrap my head around that, there was an end end in sight. One filled with hope. Because this cancer has metastasized, there is with that the knowledge that it is incurable BUT treatable, with only God knowing the answers.
So we, myself, Chris and my team of doctors/nurses try to make the best choices we can with the knowledge we have at this time.
Both of my doctors took a look at the burns today from the radiation and gave me some medicine that will help with the healing and a numbing agent in it to help with the pain.
What we know is the hormone therapy has worked well for me so I will continue on the Lupron injections. I was on Arimidex and taken off it the past 2 weeks due to headaches, severe pain in my hands and my BP being high. All have gone away since stopping it. So... I will once again be getting another drug, Faslodex, by injections. I stopped it once before because of side effects and I guess I will have to decide which side effects I can live with.Prayers are needed here :)
So, back off Arimidex and back on Faslodex.
The Tykerb, when it was raised to 5 pills a day started to cause a lot of stomach pain and problems, which I have had these past few days. Dr. A told me to go back to 4 again.
One of the hardest decisions was whether to begin chemo or not. At this time we have decided not to. I will continue the hormone treatments and my scans/labs to monitor closely.
My recent labs came back with my tumor markers down and in normal range again! Chris and I will continue to pray about these decisions and seek the Lord.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This too shall pass~

A while back when I was beginning my radiation treatment I wrote about the similarities between training for a marathon and going through cancer treatments.

Well, now a few months and 25 treatments later I am facing the hard part of this "training". In particular;
you have to get up each day and push through physically weather you feel like it or not
you have to get used to pain and learn how to ignore it

The pain from the burns is much worse than the previous times I have had radiation. In particular, under my arm. My energy levels are so low that when I do feel ok, I want to do everything. That , however does not last long. Taking all these medications is also a struggle and knowing what the right thing to do and take make for very difficult decisions.

I know I have to get through this part and "this too shall pass". Thanks for listening & for your thoughts & prayers.
By the way,I would take training for and running a marathon over this any day!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Radiation is over!!

Today was my 25th and final treatment!I am so glad it is over. I am burned, very fatigued and simply ready to begin healing.This was the 3rd time I have had to have radiation and I pray the last.
I have decided to get some help for a while. Today, my friends daughter came over for a few hours and was a huge help getting the house cleaned up with me.
I plan to begin having someone help with cleaning the house for a while so I can concentrate on resting, healing, continuing to teach my classes and take care of my garden and all the other home responsibilities.
We have many great friends that have been bringing us dinners which have been delicious and very much appreciated.
As of now my cold/flu is getting better but still don't feel so great.The doctor said it will be a few weeks for my skin to start healing and at least a month before the fatigue gets better.
It looks like it will be a little longer, but I look forward to feeling better and getting my running shoes back on!


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