Friday, August 6, 2010

Music to Soothe the Ravaged Body and Mind

It's so nice to hear piano music being played in our house again!

So ... back to my annoying joint/tendon/bone/muscle saga. Sorry. But it's still an unresolved issue.

I've tried 3 different medications in the past couple of months and this week I'm trying a 4th. We're up to Tylenol IIIs with Codeine. I got a prescription last week but was only able to get it this week ... complications with the company no longer making the particular version of Tylenol III I'd been prescribed ... and then Doctors on holidays ... missing faxes ... and you get the picture. It took a while to get it sorted out but now I have Tylenol IIIs and started them with great hope and some expectation.

I'm very disappointed to report that they don't seem to be helping at all. Rats!! I took a couple of doses yesterday and still, after doing a little driving and then having to walk a few blocks, I had to hobble along for the first block or so before the tendons that run from my calves to heels finally loosened up a bit. I'll try them for a little longer.

I took this week off work to spend some quality time with Hannah. I've found that at this point I can work full time OR I can have a life. One or the other but not both at the same time. I'm pretty much cooked by 6 or 7:oo most nights. I had also wanted to have some fun at Amigo's on Wednesday night. Hannah's friend from Vancouver, Edo, and his band "Brasstronaut" were playing at Amigo's and Kevin and I had been looking forward to it all summer. As it turned out, Kevin had to take another date. Kevin Kaschl joined he, Hannah and a bunch of Hannah's friends. Kevin Kaschl would have come anyway, of course, but I just couldn't do it. I was totally whipped by 7:00 and was in bed by 10:30 after trying very hard to muster a 2nd wind. Basstronaught wouldn't have even started playing until close to 11:00. I was sad to miss the fun and had really wanted to hear Edo's band live. I slept until almost 11:00 a.m. the next morning. I guess I needed a big sleep. I sure did feel well rested yesterday, which was a real treat.

Listen to some samples of Brasstronaut's music at their myspace page. I recommend starting with "Requiem for a Scene" and "Slow Knots". Explore. Enjoy.

It's so hard to judge what's temporary and what's permanent in this post-cancer treatment limbo. I was told to expect to be uncommonly tired for at least a year after chemo and radiation. I hold on to that notion ... that the fatigue issue will continue to improve. There are complicating factors, though, because the Tamoxifen can cause fatigue, as can some of the other drugs I've been trying for the joint issues, and this has all been going on for so long I no longer really know what to expect as "normal energy" and "normal fatigue". And maybe there's a new normal but what is that? I think it's just still too early to figure that out so I must be patient and just go with the flow.

My memory, too, took a hit with chemo. I can tell it's improved a bit but it's not as good as it used to be. I use the word "good" rather loosely. I'm very aware that my memory has been slipping bit by bit for the past several years. It's just not what I used to be and most people I know would say the same. I've taken that to be largely a normal part of aging and genetics. But after all of this ... where will it settle? I'm told that, just like the fatigue problem, it will mostly improve up until at least a year or so after chemo and radiation. But then again, the Tamoxifen can cause some cognitive sluglishness. Hmmm ... I don't know.

Weight. I MUST lose weight. It's an important to maintain a normal body weight to increase my odds of avoiding recurring breast cancer. It's hard to lose weight with the joint/bone/tendon/muscle situation like it is and top that off with the still frozen shoulder problem. Physical activity ... at least enough to really burn calories ... is a challenge. Top that off with the fact that Tamoxifen can cause weight gain and, in particular, it can cause fat development in the belly. I don't know why it causes that particular type of weight gain, but it sucks. Big time! I've always had a flat stomach and so I do not welcome this little fatty patch in addition to the other weight gain. I will really have to buckle down and fight to lose weight. Oh joy!

Hair. Hair's coming back and it's finally thickening up a bit. It still feels like clown hair ... I would not look out of place at the fringe if I died my hair a rainbow of colours and stuck a big, red ball on my nose. But, because Tamoxifen can cause thinning of hair, I can't possibly know if my hair is coming back as thick as it would have otherwise.

And these joints ... we'll continue trying to solve the problem. I did get an appointment with a rheumatologist, by the way. It's for June of 2011!! That's a whole year away!! OMG!!

So there's my health status documentation. I'm up to date and so is everyone else. Time for a big "groaner".
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1 comment:

  1. So who is the mystery person playing the piano?

    I had my last Herceptin treatment on Thursday and it is so good to be done! It has been one year since I had my last chemo and almost a year since I started radiation and the fog is lifting energy wise and memory wise. Hang in there and it will happen for you too. Of course I haven't gone back to work yet so I can focus all my energy on life so that might be the difference.

    I'm going to be in Saskatoon next week and I will try to get together with you. Do you still have my cell number?


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