Friday, August 26, 2011

Week 3 news

Three weeks  of treatment are now complete and I am definitely feeling it!  Had a rough morning today, can tell it's Friday. Happy to have the weekend off!
I saw my radiologist on Tuesday. He said the rash ( re-occurrence)is looking good so far. My treatments were reduced from 13 more to 8 more! They will increase in intensity but.. I will be finished next Friday! Five more to go!
Driving home from treatment some guy ran into the back of my car. Chris had just had new bumpers put on my Pathfinder while we were in Hawaii. Fortunately, between the large bumper and trailer hitch, the damage was not to my car as far as  I can tell. To make it worse, we had to stand on the side of the highway in 116 degrees! :(
As things are getting a bit harder I have asked for help with dinners. We have been so fortunate to have friends and family that have stepped in to help. Our son and daughter-law made an incredible vegetarian dinner for everyone and then  yesterday, I spent a wonderful day  with my daughter-in-law, Stephanie. She made 2 dinners  to freeze while I took a nap :) Thank you so much Steph ♥ My youngest son Matt also helped out and made grilled steak and chicken, homemade mashed red potatoes and spinach salad! I could get used to this :)Not bad for having all sons :) During dinner, we all got to feel baby Liam kicking away. Nikki said he kicked a lot when his Nonnie (me:) felt his little feet!
Lastly, this was a post left on my blog by a lady named Vicki that really meant a lot to me. A great example of how the Lord works in our lives.
"Wow, you don't know how much that just inspired me! 13 years!! I just hit "next blog" on my blog and landed right here and am so happy I did. I am just 5 months into a stage IV bc diagnosis. Thanks for the big dose of optimism and healthy living I aspire to achieve :) "
Vicki~ I think we have a mutual blog friend, Kim.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

13 YEAR Cancerversary!

Well, I just realized today is Aug. 21. That means I am "officially" a 13 year (4x) cancer survivor!
Although every year is a milestone, I do wish I were not in treatment for this years "cancerversary". Week two of chemo and radiation are finished with an expected three more weeks to go.
Overall, physically I am doing ok. My skin, from the radiation is getting more and more burned with each day. As I have in the past I apply pure Aloe Vera several times a day including right after treatment. This seems to help a lot. I am sure I will have to move up to something stronger in the coming weeks. I have been able to drive out and back (45 min.) myself or my son Matt goes with  me. Still ok here :)
The chemo (Xeloda) was a bit tougher week 2 as well.  Some increasing side effects include; trouble with my stomach, lack of appetite, taste buds more sensitive, fatigue in the late afternoon/evenings, and joints hurting more now. Chris and I are planning to cook and freeze some dinners as I am too tired at that time of day to begin cooking. (* some of you have asked about helping with this, please e-mail or call me if you would like to bring a dinner we can freeze over the next 3-5 weeks).
Emotionally, having to slow down with my classes, deal with the new side effects and confront the fight again has been hard. Probably time to see Dr. Kevin again :)
With all that said, here are the positives. Chris and I are getting up and running 3 miles in the mornings, 3x per week.  I was able to finish out my summer teaching my "Little Swimmers".  GroupFit and personal training continue on. I have missed the past 2 writers groups, but hope to go back in September and get more focused with some ideas I have.
Today we will be spending  time with all our kids. Can't think of anywhere better to be on this "cancerversary"....well, maybe Kauai :)
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby Shower for Liam

We all celebrated the anxious arrival of our first grandson, Liam. My daughter-in-law had a beautiful baby shower last week. We are getting close and can not wait to meet him!

Nikki at 32 weeks!

The Liam Express

Liam with his Mommy, Grandma's and Great-Grandmothers!

Opening presents :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

The first week

Just thought I would give an update on how things are going since beginning "Round 4". I am currently in day 6 and have one week under my belt!
I have been taking the chemo pills ( xeloda) twice a day and thankfully the side effects have been minimal so far! Because of the risk of hand/foot syndrome I am taking a few precautions. Chris and I are continuing to run, however 3 miles is my limit, 3-4 times per week. So far, no problems. I have also been able to continue teaching my "Little Swimmers" lessons and I am now wearing my water shoes so my feet don't rub on the bottom of the pool.
Chris and I feel it is so important to stay as strong and healthy as possible during treatment so on the 2 days during the week we don't run, he is lifting weights and I am concentrating on yoga and stretching.
I find this really helps to keep me calm and relaxed. One of my goals is to be able to use the relaxation techniques from yoga during radiation. As I wait for the machine to turn on my heart starts to race and my breathing speeds up. It is hard to control, so I will be working on that :)
The drive out  for radiation is 45 minutes and the treatment takes 45 seconds. To pass the time and keep my mind occupied I am listening to an audio book "Three Weeks With My Brother" by Nicholas Sparks. There is a small farmers market on the way home that I hit once a week for peaches and other goodies.
I did decide to cancel 2 of my "5k Learn to Run Classes". It was a hard decision but we have been over 100 degrees since June with nearly no rain. The classes were to be held at night and I just did not think I could take that on during treatment. I am still teaching the above mentioned swim lessons, GroupFit and Personal training. At this point I do not plan to take on any more but am still training to run the Komen 5k in September , two weeks after treatment is finished.
Trying my best to stay busy, but not overdo it, relaxed, but not to a point of bordom, exercise to help with the fatigue and health but no marathons.....yet.
I will leave you with a very big THANK YOU for your thoughts, prayers, & messages! And a couple of my favorite pics from our Kauai trip.

Kayak Kauai

Run Kauai

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Round 4....DING!

Well Folks, round 4 begins tomorrow. I will enter into my fourth round of being in treatment of some kind.
After talking with Chris and my doctors,praying and seeking some more opinions, the consensus is that I do 5 weeks of radiation (M-F) in conjunction with an oral chemotherapy (xeloda).
The xeloda will be taken 2x a day, 5 pills each time. The radiation will be given once a day with weekends off for both treatments.
I will continue to stay on the Tykerb, which is 4 pills before bed and the faslodex injections.
Needless to say, Iam not looking forward to all this.  We are praying that the side effects will be minimal or none and that I will be able to contiue teaching, training and doing my normal daily routine.
Most of all we are praying that God will keep me safe and that the treatments will do what they are intended to do and nothing more. We once again pray for healing.
Chris and I took 8 wonderful days and spent them in Hawaii on the Island of Kauai. It was a great time to get away, think, pray, relax and have fantastic adventures! I will post a slide-show later for those that are interested.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers~ elayne & chris


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