Emotionally exhausted

This cycle is definitely going better than the last one (which was horrible). So that is a good thing! I think I’m feeling depressed being at my parents place and feeling like I have no life. I feel too crappy to go anywhere or do anything most of the time. I’m still crying all the time and half the time I don’t even know why. I guess everything is just overwhelming. My brain isn’t working. I’ve had conversations with people that I completely cannot remember at all?! Then when they tell me I think really???

I’m trying my best to just deal with being here but the clutter in the house and things being in disarray is getting to me. I try to remind myself it’s temporary but it’s very unrelaxing. Even my bedroom is kind of like that because I haven’t been well enough to unpack the clothes I brought over most recently. The previous clothes are hung up in the closet. I’ve felt a lot worse since last month. Hopefully I can get some stuff done next week. I wish I could get a designer/renovation crew to come and revamp the house. Especially the kitchen, bathrooms, family room and my room. I can dream … I miss my condo.

Having my eyebrows and eyelashes thinned out isn’t helping anything. Tomorrow my mom and I are going to get a wig. I better get some false lashes too! She wants me to go to her friends place with her tomorrow evening for a dinner party. I know them as well so it might be ok. I’m just apprehensive because I’m so emotional and so tired most of the time. I’ll see how I feel.

I’m thinking of talking to the radiation oncologist because I’m not 100% on radiation after implants. The upside is having only one surgery. It’s all very confusing. SIGH. 6 months from now this will all be over and things will be normal again.

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Plastic surgeon

Today I had my appointment with the plastic surgeon to discuss the mastectomy and reconstruction. It was a lot of information but she went through everything in detail and I felt as comfortable as I could. The surgery and reconstruction would be done at the same time. Also the lymph nodes would also be removed at that time from the left side. It’s major surgery but done in the morning and I’m home that night. Home with drains coming out of my arms but at least I’m home. The drains come out 1-3 weeks later. Yuck that sounds nasty but oh well.

We’ve also decided that we’d probably make them a fuller. Right now I’m a 32C so we were thinking a fuller 32C cup. I just want to be a little bigger/fuller than I am now. Not too much bigger or anything. That would feel weird and uncomfortable I think. At least they’ll stay perky till I’m old. Lol.

Also I’m starting to feel more positive again even though my diagnosis is early stage high risk (still locally advanced bc it spread to 2 lymph nodes) Ugh. All of that can be scary if you read too many stats online. We will go with what my oncologist said or wrote on my form for work. She didn’t actually tell me this. I think it’s best not to tell patients as it can scare you and put you in a negative mindset. It said early stage 70-80% 5 year survival rate. Seeing that was difficult … I cannot be in that 20-30%!!! I am going to be in the 80%. I’m responding extremely well to treatment and with all the reading I’ve done on diet/exercise/lifestyle, I know those things will improve my chances. There’s no 100% guarantee but if I can do those things to improve my chances by even 10% then I have a 80-90% chance of staying alive. (God it sounds so weird to say that).

Oh and did I mention that I’m having both breasts removed to further minimize any risk. Even if it’s a little bit. Let’s say that’s 5%. So have I changed it from 70-80% to 85-95% now? That’s what I’m gonna tell myself. No one really knows what will happen tomorrow but I have to believe that those are my odds and that I will be ok for a very long time. Otherwise I’d be living in constant fear which wouldn’t be living at all.

VENT:
Today I was very frustrated by a friend who can’t seem to respect my feelings. We have a few mutual friends who I chose not to share with at this point. That’s my choice and I have my reasons. He keeps trying to convince me to tell them and it’s becoming exhausting and annoying. He was also a little upset that I was not returning his phone calls. Part of it was because he kept harping on this issue and other times I was really just not feeling well and not up to talking. During our last conversation, he also pushed the issue with my ex which I didn’t want to discuss and it got me all worked up because he wanted to know the details of what happened. I already told him I didn’t want to talk about it but he kept going. I was upset and angry after that conversation so thought it best not to talk to this friend for awhile. He still doesn’t seem to get it and is struggling with respecting my feelings and simply being understanding. He seems to be taking things personally and doesn’t seem to get what I’m going through. I’m starting to think telling him was a mistake. He’s not a bad person but doesn’t seem like he gets it. Very unfortunate.

Alternative medicine???

I told a friend of mine recently about my health and she told me that her aunt had breast cancer 4 years ago and did no surgery/chemo/radiation. She opted for alternative medicine and the tumor went away and she’s been cancer free for 4 years. I didn’t ask her yet but I’m assuming it was stage 1 so she caught it a bit earlier. She also changed her diet and did whatever she needed to do to detox her body. She emailed me and shared her story and also gave me her number if I wanted to speak to her further. She is going to send me some reading materials so that I can get more information. It was good to speak to someone I actually know who had this work for her instead of just reading stories on the internet. Very thankful that she emailed me so quickly and shared with me.

Now in my situation this does not mean that I will not finish my treatment. Still going to have surgery after chemo. I just want to do whatever I can for future prevention. So if this worked for her then I’m going to look into it for after my current treatment is done.

Another friend also told me about a friend of his who had oesophageal cancer and his prognosis wasn’t good. Apparently he was in really bad shape. He didn’t use alternative medicine but he did change his diet and has been cancer free for 5 years. It’s good to hear positive stories. I think in his situation the treatment worked and changing things afterwards has helped him stay healthy. You never know what will happen and ignoring the stats is best because it can be discouraging.

It just seems crazy to me that the rate of cancer is on the rise but technology and medicine have advanced. I know 2 other women early to mid 40s dealing with breast and stomach cancer and then 2 other friends just dealing with other health issues. One of these friends is using alternative medicine and diet to get better. She stopped her drugs and what she is doing now is helping her slowly get better. So happy that she’s recovering!

Today was day 3 and I had no aches and pains this time. A little muscle tightness, twinges and of course fatigue but so much better than the last time! I still emotionally go up and down because it’s all still scary but I’m trying my best to stay positive. Praying and telling myself that all will be ok.

Diet and exercise

I’ve been doing a lot of reading because it’s hard to understand why some people get sick and others don’t (unless it’s genetic). No breast cancer in my family other than grandmother who had ovarian cancer in her mid 60s. So I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what’s happening. It still feels surreal at times. Trying not to read anymore stats as they are a general statistic on a whole without including all the variables that would break it down into subsets. Each person is an individual and has unique variables. The statistics can give you a general idea of the what the case may be for that group on average. I’m trying to keep in mind that, that is exactly what it is. So is it just bad luck or more than that?

While I cannot control everything there are certain things that I can control … Diet, stress, and exercise. Yes these things do play a part, I truly believe that. They may not control 100% of what happens but if they can increase my chances then I’m going to do whatever I need to do. The one thing I keep reading over and over that I know I didn’t do was to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Something I did not do for several years (if not more). That’s now changed.
I’ve always exercised and the last couple of years it just wasn’t happening. That will change again once I’ve recovered from this.
Last but not least STRESS. It has been a major factor for me. And when I am stressed I eat less and exercise less. Which is definitely a bad combo. Stress, lack of sleep, and sugar (refined) all affect our immune system. The immune system needs to be strong to fight things off. I’m not going to get into the detail of how this all works until I do more research but these are my thoughts.

I think everything is connected … I actually know of someone who apparently healed her cancer through natural means. Now I don’t know if that’s post surgery and what stage she was at but I’m going to talk to her and find out. And no this does not mean that I’m going to forego surgery and radiation. I’m still doing all of that. I just think that these things can help me post treatment.

PS. DAY 2 after this cycle and so far so good. Last time pain started day 3 so we will see what happens. Hopefully I will be fine this time. Praying, thinking positive and keeping my fingers crossed.

Chemo #5

Had chemo #5 today. Went OK. Hopefully this cycle will be better than the last. She have me neupogen instead of neulasta. The dosage is lower if I take it for 3 days instead of 5 so my white blood could should stay more under control. Just sucks that’s it’s more needles I have to give myself. Oh well. She still seems a little off at times giving me the incorrect dosage of pre-chemo Dexamethasone. It didn’t make much difference but the pharmacist came and talked to me since I started new chemo drug and was really great. She called my oncologist and got the dosage straightened out and gave me a little chart. The pharmacist was really great!!

My parents came back today. Thank god. I feel so much better with them being back in the house. It’s just comforting having someone here and not being alone.

Also told another friend who I spoke to a couple of nights ago and he was wonderful to talk to as well. He’s always been a great friend! Always there for me and I know he’s still there for me no matter what. Offered to take me to chemo etc.
The funny thing is other friends have too and one of these friends is not even someone I am close to. That was so sweet of her.
Sometimes I just need to talk and have that comfort and support. I especially needed that while my parents were away. So to the friends that called me thank you.

1 more chemo cycle to go!!! I’m almost at the end of Part 1. 🙂

Shoulda coulda woulda

I feel a little more positive than yesterday but still can’t help but think back to why I waited so long to go to the doctor. It’s so unlike me. I know I need to stop because it’s not changing anything. I guess I’m thinking did my relationship have me so out of whack that I just ignored the lump or thought it would go away or thought my breast was just lumpy?! I’m normally the person that goes to the doctor for any little thing. I also think that I was so consumed with my relationship and wanting to have a baby that I wasn’t focused on much else. In the past I’ve checked my breasts and I even asked my doctor about a mammogram to which he said I’m too young. I was 40. I could have still gotten it if I wanted to but I didn’t. That part doesn’t even matter it’s the fact that I felt what I thought could be a lump and didn’t get it checked out right away. My cousin also saying it’s probably nothing (making me feel paranoid) also affected me and stuck in my head.

I just feel like because I waited, something that could have been caught early wasn’t. It could have been stage 1 which would give me a better prognosis and surgery would have been a lumpectomy instead of me doing a bilateral mastectomy. Yes now I’m more paranoid and even though it’s only in 1 breast I’ve decided to have both removed (then reconstruction).

My mom just called from India. My cousin who is married and now lives in Bahrain just happened to be back home (Hyderabad, India) visiting her parents. She told my mom that she’s been dreaming about me for the last 3 days and asked if I was ok. I started crying, that is so weird. She is the sweetest person. People there are different. When I was there last it seemed like my cousins anyways were so genuine loving and selfless. I came back from that trip and people (just in general, I don’t mean my family/friends) here seemed so selfish and insincere. Anyhow, I’m glad my mom is coming back tomorrow.

Trying to stay positive

I’m feeling depressed about not having gone to the doctor sooner. I am trying really hard not to think about it but seem to be struggling right now. Keep telling myself that I’m responding well to treatment and everything will be ok. BUT I’m upset with myself for not having gone to get the lump checked out sooner. I have to stop thinking about that and focus on getting better and staying better. I know I have to stop … Everything will be ok.

It could have been worse. It hasn’t spread so I need to be happy about that and just focus on taking care of myself and getting through this. Dr. Google is terrible. The internet can be horrible when you’re dealing with a health issue.

Talked to a friend today who was very supportive, positive and called me because she knew my parents were gone. I really appreciated that and talking to her helped. We had a falling out last year but I am so glad we are talking again. (Love you!)

So glad my mom is back in 2 days. She’s very positive and comforting.

Ok I have to be a fighter I cannot let the stats scare me or live in fear. The next little while (several months) will be difficult but I will get through this. I do believe that lifestyle (diet, emotional well being, exercise etc) affects us physically and I will make the necessary changes to stay healthy. Yes it even says on cancer.org that those things help, minus the stress/emotional well being. It talks about diet, exercise, and limiting alcohol to help stay cancer free. It actually said that 1/3 of all cancer deaths are related to diet and activity factors. I still believe that stress affects everything so I do think that stress and emotional well being are factors as well. There just isn’t enough scientific evidence.

I feel a little better reminding myself that I do have some control over things and can help myself stay cancer free.