LIVESTRONG:

What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).


So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.


I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

WARNING:
Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Oy Vey; The Feet and More...

The Feet! Last week was my week "on" my oral chemo drug, Capecitabine (generic for Xeloda), and it did not go as well as in past. I take 1,500 milligrams each morning and night for 7 days on, then seven days off. I have been starting it on Tuesdays and yesterday was the last of the seven days for this session. But I've been struggling with the hot, tender feet off and on this entire week, even from early on in the week. It's called foot and hand syndrome or Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia (that is the first time I've seen this name for it), and is a side effect of this drug. And lots of dryness and other things that I won't go into, is also a potential side effect. This happening early on in the week is not normal for me at all. Once every few months I'll have these issues, but it is usually nearer to the end of the week's regime where I will skip a dose or even a day. I had to skip Monday's two doses all together, and also skipped one dose each day for a couple of days earlier this week. 

My oncologist has given me approval to do the above modifications to the schedule when need be, and he has even indicated I could skip a whole week, once in a while, if warranted. I'm thinking I may need to skip the next week's dose. 

The issue here is trying to continue to tolerate this drug as long as I can, since it has been working very well for me, continuing to shrink the liver tumors. I've been on the oral Xeloda drug for 20 months now, and the norm is about 12 months -- that is until it either is no longer effective or until the body begins to struggle to tolerate the drug. I know there are lots of options out there, but don't really know what is available for me and my specific kind of breast cancer (since there are many). And then there is the curve of trying to find the next right drug that is effective and tolerable. My feeling is, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. And it gives me a bit of anxiety to think it'll all need some fixing.

I also seem to be more tired than usual these past few weeks, maybe even months, and some weight is creeping back on these bones. I'm getting less exercise, partly due to the fatigue. And maybe the less activity plays into the fatigue. It is all a vicious circle, isn't it? So today, instead of heading down to the Plaza for our weekly farmer's market in this heat, I took a two-hour nap. It sure felt wonderful. But first off I attended my two-hour Taoist Tai Chi class and loved it.

On a side note, tonight I had a Belgium beer. I really drink very little these days, and some recommend against any alcohol or sugar for cancer patients, as the sugar (and alcohol which turns to sugar in us) can feed most cancers. But, you know, I have a life to live and who knows how long it will last. So I typically will enjoy a glass of ice cold white wine on a hot summer weekend day, and yesterday being Memorial Day, I thought I would enjoy a glass before dinner. I can't tolerate Chardonnay, or any wine with that creamy, buttery mouth to it. It has not been to my liking for years now. And now, it seems almost any white is following it's path, except a delicious champagne or well chilled-rose. So tonight I went for a light, ice-cold beer and it was perfect.

For now, I'm positive and hopeful that this coming week, which is a week "off" of the oral chemo (and perhaps will even skip one of the scheduled weeks on), will be all that I need to kind of reset things for awhile.


Attending my brother's graduation on Thursday from Contra Costa College. Congratulations Eddie Spaghetti. And recent fun times with the grand kids. 


         



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Enjoy every day ~ it is a gift to you, your family and friends.

~ Peace and Love ~


B  E  L  I  E  V  E

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
 



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