Sunday, January 13, 2008

Back to reality

Hi all,
Yep, I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps this week-end. First, I'm still recovering from the flu bug although it turned into a nasty, yucky sore throat! I haven't had a sore throat where it hurt to eat or talk in years! It's been quite frustrating as I'm hungry but I'm afraid to eat. (The worst thing about my breast cancer treatments five years ago was the chemo, when I was hungry and knew I needed to eat, but didn't want to eat for fear of throwing it all back up - an experience I hope I never have again.)

My sore throat affected my week-end: my partner, Scott, drove down for the week-end for the two of us to celebrate the anniversary of our first date and I was either tired or feeling frustrated and down over the sore throat. Sigh! It just got me to thinking that I have been either ill or recovering from surgery since late October. I caught a cold in Alaska in October and still had a cough when I went in for surgery (three weeks) and the cough didn't completely go away for another three weeks. Then, there was recovering from surgery and feeling sore around my chest. I think that I had about a week or two when I felt fairly chipper - not too sore, able to sleep on my sides, no cough, sleeping well - but that was right before the flu.

So, yeah, I'm having a pity party.

In addition, it's back to reality this week as I have a lot of appointments related to my breast cancer: Monday is another tissue expansion day (my left side is no longer as hard as a rock - at least parts of that side feeling like a squishy balloon!); Tuesday, I meet with my counselor; on Thursday, I have my first appointment with a woman named Brodie Welch, who practices traditional Chinese medicine (not sure what my treatment might be, but it will hopefully get me through Herceptin treatments); and Friday, I was supposed to have my first Herceptin appointment. However, I plan to talk to Dr. Kenyon tomorrow, especially if my sore throat is the same as it is today. (I went to Immediate Care again on Friday when the sore throat was particularly bad and the doctor informed me (again) that it was not strep and that I should expect to have the sore throat for at least another week.) I really don't want to start Herceptin when I'm not feeling as healthy as I can be - if I still have a sore throat, my immune system is compromised which means that I may have a bad time with Herceptin. Don't want to do that - I want to experience Herceptin much like Jeanne Sather did for six years - Jeanne has her own blog called "The Assertive Cancer Patient" and she states that she didn't have any side effects. I'll talk to Kenyon and see what he says.

I've also thought this week that I do seem to get sick more often and colds/coughs tend to hang around for a very long time (6-8 weeks, typically). Why? My guess is that I'm dealing with long-term affects of chemo - I remember Kenyon's nurse telling me last year that patients who have had chemo have weakened immune systems, generally, and it's harder for them to fight off these infections. My naturopath said something similar - that my body was asaulted by some very powerful drugs and it's still trying to cleanse itself of them. Or something like that. These were all reasons why I opted out of chemo this time around.

Well, let's hope Monday is not a typical Monday - I'm hoping myself for a normal throat, with a spring in my step from a good night's sleep. Happy Monday to you all,

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