Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fun and Games in Breast Cancer Treatment

What a beautiful rose this is! It's from Sylvia and Don in celebration of my decision to not have further surgery. It's opened up so nicely.

Yesterday marked a full 21 days (3 weeks) since my last chemo treatment. Frankly, I had hoped to feel better than I do today. Still, I know it will get better. I know it will. Soon.

I think the edema made me feel kind of crappy yesterday. It got worse as the day progressed and maybe had something to do with my elevated heart rate. My ankles and legs are still puffy this morning so, rather than wait any longer, I took a lasix pill today and hopefully that will make a difference.

I almost wish I hadn't made any plans for today. It's not easy getting out and about and walking when your shoes are too tight and it's not exactly slipper weather. Kevin's feet aren't much bigger than mine, so I might "walk a mile" in his shoes today. Well, not a mile, but from the parking lot to the food court. With this edema, my inclination is to waddle like I'm 9.5 months pregnant.

I had agreed earlier to participate in the C95 Breast Cancer fund raising event. I have to be at Circle Centre Mall on 8th Street at 1:00. I'm not really feeling it today, which is disappointing. I think I want my prednisone back since my face is still ballooned anyway.

I'm starting my 5-year stretch of Arimidex (estrogen blocker) today, too. I read the list of side effects and the most common ones are hot flashes (even if you haven't previously had any), nausea, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, bone loss, shortness of breath, thinning hair (that's a laugh). Less common (but not rare) side effects are trouble sleeping, depression, swollen arms and legs, vaginal bleeding, stomach upset and loss of appetite, bowel issues, rashes, blood clots, and high blood pressure. Rare side effects include, numb fingers and toes, allergic reaction, fever, low white blood cell counts, pain, pale skin, weakness, anemia, and abnormal liver function tests.

Since I'm already experiencing most of the above side effects, how will I know which is a lingering chemo side effect and which is a new Arimidex one? Fun and games in breast cancer treatment. Cancer isn't for everyone, you know.



  1. Hi Heather - Rhonda and I were very lucky to have just seen and heard you (via being interviewed by Ramblin Dave and the gang. As always, you are a source of inspiration and your knowledge about this dreadful disease and your sharing of the information with others is a true testament to the wonderful person that you are! Take care and enjoy that much-awaited trip to Vancouver to see Hannah! Love, Lyn


    Not sure if this will work! Such a great song, I am not sure if you have heard it or not.


  3. Hi Lyn and Rhonda! ARGH!! You SAW me??!! I only just realized that there's video, too. GULP! Of course, a couple of weeks ago they mentioned that they would be filming things but since I didn't even notice cameras there, I forgot all about that part of it! YIKES!

    Every time the phone rings, I expect it to be Oprah, of course. But it's not. She must be busy!

    Thanks for your continued encouragement!

    And Hi, Lesley!

    Oh maaaan! As if I hadn't shed enough tears today already! How cool that you went to school with this guy! I just dripped tears all over my keyboard as I watched the video and listened to this. I think I've heard it on the radio before but the video is very touching. Thanks for the link! I hope others take a boo at it, too.


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