Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Visit to the neurologist today

Today I finally went to the  neurologist. The appointment overall went well and I really liked him and his assistant.
The diagnosis was no surprise to me of Migraine Disorder. The part that surprised me was his concern of the cancer cells spreading through the spinal fluid to the meninges in the brain. I asked if that would have shown up on the MRI or PET scan, both of which were clean.He said no, not if it is in the beginning. I am trying not to be too worried about this, but I would be lying if I said we are not concerned.
 My sister ( who is a nurse) knows this doctor well and said if he was really concerned he would have done tests or contacted my Onc. today. There is a possibility I may have to have the spinal fluid biopsied.
"DIAGNOSIS OF SPINAL FLUID METASTASES A lumbar puncture [Lumbar puncture, also called spinal tap, is the insertion of a hollow needle into the subarachnoid space of the lumbar spine to withdraw a sample of spinal fluid for examination in the laboratory. A local anesthetic is administered prior to the procedure.]" 
 After lots of paperwork and questions he decided he wants to "observe" me for a few weeks. I am to keep a headache journal daily. He is also having me take 12 Advil a day for inflammation, as I am waking up every morning with a headache. Three at every meal and before bedtime. I will do this and log how I am doing everyday for 2 weeks. He will then assess everything again. He also gave me a nasal spray to use when the migraines get really bad.
I know it sounds kind of scary, but I will say he has to be cautious and consider this given my history. I think that is a good sign of a good doctor. I told Chris on a scale of 1-10, I would say his level of concern (to me) seemed about a 3. There are also MANY reasons I may be having these headaches/migraines from my age, meds I take, stress, teeth grinding and more. will be a few weeks of trying the Advil and journaling.
In the meantime prayers are always appreciated for both relief from the headaches and future results. Thanks all~

Monday, March 21, 2011

PPE..Who knew?

I have been recently toying with the idea of running the Big D half marathon with a friend of mine. I had not been "officially" training but a few of us have been running/walking and adding the miles up.
So... I decided to go to one of our favorite places, the Greenbelt Corridor to walk and see how it would go. I had somehow hurt my shin, calf and ankle so I had no idea if or how far I would go. Tried running on it, but it still hurt. Walking however was fine, so off we went on the trail through the trees, open fields and enjoying the beautiful Texas spring day.
About 4 miles in I asked my friend, how much further do you want to go? Remember we have to walk back. She said to the half way point which was 6 miles one way. Feeling good, I said sure. All was great till about mile 10.
 At this point my feet felt like they were burning and really starting to hurt. I did have new shoes but had been wearing them for about 3 weeks both running and walking. As many miles as I  have covered I never felt anything like this. I seriously had trouble getting to the car and back into the house.
  I sat down and began to take off my shoes...they were not coming off, not with out the feeling of ripping my feet off with them. Carefully, I took them off to find blisters over both my feet. First thing I did was soak them in ice water as they were burning and the cold water felt good.
  As time went on and days passed they got worse and I could barley walk. They not only burned and stung, there was a deep throbbing and sharp shooting pains. Advil did help. But, I could not understand why it was this bad. On Saturday I gave in and let my husband "drain" the blisters. Again, the pain was so much worse than a regular blister. Just touching my foot hurt and I yelled and cried like a baby.
Today is Monday, 4 days later and I can finally put my feet down flat and walk. Have not been able to put shoes on yet. I had planned to go to the doctor this morning but I did feel improvement so I did not go.
Then...I remembered reading about a side effect from taking Tykerb.

Hand-Foot Syndrome

Other terms: Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia;  PPE
Following administration of chemotherapy, small amounts of drug leak out of very small blood vessels called capillaries in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  Exposure of your hands and feet to heat as well as friction on your palms and soles increases the amount of drug in the capillaries and increases the amount of drug leakage.  This leakage of drug results in redness, tenderness, and possibly peeling of the palms and soles.  The redness, also known as palmar-plantar erythema, looks like sunburn.  The areas affected can become dry and peel, with numbness or tingling developing.  Hand-foot syndrome can be uncomfortable and can interfere with your ability to carry out normal activities. 
  • Avoid increased pressure on the soles of the feet or palms of hands.
  • No jogging, aerobics, power walking, jumping - avoid long days of walking. 
For more info., prevention, care and advice on PPE click here;

Tomorrow I go back to teaching my outdoor group fitness class. They will be in their running shoes..I will be in slippers. I will be letting my doctor know what happened to be sure this is from the medication. For now, as much as I hate reading all the possible side effects of each drug I have to take, I am glad I remembered this one.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Inspired To Run

My journey as a runner began nearly four years ago after the loss my brother-in-law Jim. He  lost his short but heroic battle with leukemia after just seven months.I, along with five other family members decided to  train for and run The Dallas  Half Marathon in memory of our hero Jim.
I myself would be running as a cancer survivor of 9 years. While  in training I decided to have a physical due to worsening pain in my back. The results from further testing were unexpected. The cancer had spread to my bones and was now considered stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Now facing more treatments and very difficult decisions. including, whether or not to keep running. I did and completed the  Dallas Half Marathon. Thoughts of Jim in his heroic battle inspired me throughout the training and motivated me to complete the race.

Once I finished the half marathon I knew I wanted to complete a full marathon. While in High school I ran track and was introduced to the  Dallas White Rock Marathon.It was a race I had  contemplated doing since then.. The decision was made and training began. Again, the cancer roared it's ugly face. This time spreading to the pectoral muscle. More treatments, surgeries and tough decisions to be made. All this combined with the loss of several family members within a years time took it's toll. Running provided the physical and emotional outlet I desperately needed.
 I have been fortunate to have support from my doctors, family and friends. They  encourage my running and do everything to help me reach my goals.On  December 5, 2009, I completed my first marathon with my husband and running partner by my side. A highlight during the race was seeing our kids cheering us on at the finish line!
 Running has not only helped improve my life but has provided me with ,both physical and emotional healing, It has become my passion.
  I decided to become a Personal Trainer and share this love with anyone that will run with me. I now teach 5k  run groups and boot-camps. The joy I have teaching and sharing my running experiences is what gets me up each day and keeps me going as I continue to fight for my life.
By~ Elayne Minich

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The right decision

One of the hard parts of living with any kind of illness that is  on-going are the side-effects. Whether they are from past surgeries and treatments or present treatments and medications, it causes day to day fatigue and problems.
With this comes the dilemma of never really knowing how you will feel day to day and week to week. Because of this I did decided to request exemption from jury duty, which was granted. 
I went to bed Sunday night with a terrible headache and woke up at 6:30 AM with another horrible migraine.Spent all day very sick in bed, not able to hold anything down including medication for nausea and pain. My BP reached 168/100, which is common when I have these headaches. This would have been the morning I would have had to report for jury duty.
I do not know what is causing these migraines. I have said before I will be seeing a neurologist. Just have to get up the courage to get started with yet another doctor.
Today I am feeling better. Wiped out but better. Thanks to all of you for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Please Vote for my picture!

Hello everyone!
 I entered a photo in a  contest just for fun :) However, I worked VERY hard to get this picture by climbing Mount Brandon  a 952 m (3123 ft) mountain  on the Dingle peninsula in Ireland.
It is the highest of the unnamed central mountain range of the Dingle Peninsula and the 9th highest peak in Ireland.
It is a beautiful shot and I am trying to get in the top 10... I have a long way to go!
If you want to vote for my pic. just click on this link and hit vote...thanks!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's in a name?

This has been an important question for us as we are expecting our very first grand-baby! Of course there is the traditional Grandma and Grandpa but...we don't always like to do things the traditional way so we have been pondering this.
I realize as many of you have told me that we will be called whatever the baby calls us, but we can certainaly try to establish a name...right??

Do you pick a name easy for a baby/child to say? Or one you just want to be called? Maybe something to do with family heritage? One that is a version of your own name, like Grandpa Chris, or ..just make one up, like Grandma Opal!
My parents go by G&G Ski, a shortened version of their last name and easy for the boys to say when they were little. Chris's parents went by G&G Minich.

Here are some we have looked at and the one we are most leaning towards.
Mama and Grandpa Minich ( all the kids already call me mama Minich, (so it fits).
Nonnie or Nonna, which is Italian for Grandma but Chris does not like Nonno for grandpa.
In Scotland, they call their grandma either granny or nanna. Grandpa is granda (pronounced gran-da).
"Seanmhathair" is Irish for grandmother - . It literally means 'old mother' and is pronounced like this: shan- waw - her. WAY TO HARD!
In Yiddish, they say…
Grandpa = zeyde
Pronounced zey’∙deh
Grandma = bobe
Pronounced boh’∙beh / boo’∙beh
I’ve always heard it as bubbie or bubby( ah, don't think so :)

German is Oma and Opa. With baby Minich's last name and the easy pronunciation, Oma and Opa are growing on us and leading the way!

So, what do you think or like?Are you a Grandparent? What do you go by or what do you call your grandparents??


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